By lore, these young men are about to enter perhaps the most sexually active niche of modern society. And he told them in no uncertain terms to either be monogamous, or abstinent. It’s the kind of talk he has given many times, to many groups. (He also spoke to NBA rookies in 2010.) He is accustomed to a mix of reactions. Here’s what may surprise you about the NBA class of 2012: They loved it. Gaskins says nearly half the group had questions, approached him after the talk, got his phone number, followed him on Twitter and more.
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But don’t take his word for it. Listen to the players themselves, who told their own version of events on Twitter after Gaskins spoke. Young Sun Kendall Marshall said “I’m turnin my playa card in.” Blazer top pick Damian Lillard declared: “This man @TonyGaskins is too real. Y’all need to get up on him. He just changed my life. #realrap” Harrison Barnes, Darius Johnson-Odom, Draymond Green, Jared Sullinger, Andre Drummond and Quincy Acy all tweeted similarly.
Gaskins knows from his own life, and from his clients, all about the unhealthy dynamic between male athletes and the women who hang around stadiums and hotel lobbies. And he had stories, thick with sexually transmitted diseases, women who cheat more than men, and clever schemes to get their hands on players’ money and more. “The mindset with a lot of guys,” Gaskins says, “is I’m the man, I make all the money, she knows I’m going to cheat and that’s that.”
What that scheme ignores, Gaskins says, is that things inevitably get complicated: “If she’s letting you cheat, nine times out of ten she’s cheating too. You’re out of town and she’s spending your money on another man, who is scheming to take her from you.” Gaskins knows this story, because it happened to him in college. Gaskins has many memorable turns of phrase, like “take your mess, add some age, and make it your message.” One that applies to the women whose men cheat is: “Hurt people hurt people.”