HoopsHype Jonathan Bender rumors

August 4, 2013 Updates

Unlike the stereotypical professional athlete (“we’ve been raised not to really use our brains,” he says), Bender had always been a deep thinker. He remembers an epiphany he had while sitting on another bench, at the Pacers game in 2005. He looked over at then-owner Mel Simon, in one of the few games the billionaire attended, and started to wonder how the mall construction magnate had gotten there. “Those guys,” Bender says, speaking of NBA owners, “I always thought owning the team was their big business. But when I did some investigating, I realized this was just a side thing to them. It was like their board game,” he said. SheridanHoops

As he sat on the park bench that afternoon, Bender focused on the way people moved, and how they shifted their weight to keep balance. All of a sudden, it hit him. “I thought if you added a band to the back of their leg, I didn’t know exactly what it would do, but I knew it would add some resistance,” he said. SheridanHoops

Today, the JB Intensive Trainer sells for $130 on his website. It’s been a popular buy among fitness and physical therapy gurus, who praise the product as innovative. Most people wouldn’t expect this kind of ingenuity from a big-time athlete who never went to college, but for Bender, this is par for the course. “As athletes, we don’t really get the chance to use our brains within life until we retire,” he said. Bender would return to the NBA in 2010 for a brief cameo with the Knicks before permanently calling it a career to focus on his business. He said part of the reason for his comeback was to prove to himself that his product worked. “God gave me a brain and some creativity,” he said. SheridanHoops

July 14, 2013 Updates

In April, Bender launched a company based on an odd-looking device he invented to help others avoid the knee troubles that put an end to his promising NBA career. Already, he's brokered a deal with California-based Relax The Back retail chain, which sells wellness, fitness and medical items coast to coast. On that day sitting in front of Simon's house, Bender, who passed on college to leap to the NBA, took his first business course. And it wasn't just Simon's riches that fascinated the teen. There was something else. Ventura County Star

Even after signing a four-year, $28.5 million contract following the 2001-2002 season, Bender couldn't stop thinking about his "long-term future." "He was always a quiet guy," said Donnie Walsh, who was Pacers president when Bender was drafted. "After a while, you realize that behind all that quietness is an extremely thoughtful guy. And a very smart guy. You could see that in the way he played, but also in the way he handled himself off the court." Bender was as eager to talk about business as basketball, Walsh noted. "I'm not surprised he's gotten into business after his playing days," Walsh said. "He always had the interest and drive." Ventura County Star

July 22, 2011 Updates

Mississippi native and former NBA star Jonathan Bender is encouraging people to show compassion for those struggling in these tough economic times. According to the Labor Department, applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week which officials say is a sign that layoffs are rising and the job market is weak. Bender and Feed the Children wanted to help South Mississippi families by holding a food giveaway. Volunteers loaded boxes into car after car. Behind every wheel was a story of a family facing hard times. Carolyn Warren said, "The economy. It's hard. It's hard out here. It's hard for everybody and I know it's hard for everybody. It's hard for me that's why I'm out here." "I'm just the type of person that try to make it day to day. Disability. Disabled," said Alex McAfee. WLOX-TV and WLOX.com

June 15, 2011 Updates

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