Jonathan Bender Rumors

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Jonathan Bender
Jonathan Bender
Position: -
Born: 01/30/81
Height: 7-0 / 2.13
Weight:218 lbs. / 99.3 kg.
Earnings: $30,670,146 ($42,782,001*)
RICK CARLISLE, Dallas Mavericks coach, 60 years old, 188 games over five seasons, retired in 1990 The last pickup game I played in was in 2000. This was a pretty compelling thing to observe if you’re any kind of historian. It was me, Derrick McKey, Chris Mullin and Larry Bird against Al Harrington, Jonathan Bender, Jeff Foster and Zan Tabak. We played a three-game series. It was tied 1-1. In the third game, Bird came off a screen on the right side, caught and shot a 17-footer high above Jeff Foster’s outreached hand. The ball went straight up in the air and straight through the basket without touching the rim at all. Larry and I looked at each other and basically said, ‘We’re done with this after today.’ The game-winner will probably never be able to be topped. Plus, physically, playing against those guys, Foster was so strong and so dynamic that it was dangerous being out there. Larry and I both realized it. That was the last time I ever did it. And I’m positive that was the last time he did it too. I was 41 at the time.
While players such as Antoine Walker, Allen Iverson, and Kenny Anderson have blown NBA fortunes, Bender delved into the business world with much the same vigor as the basketball court, and has turned into a financial maven, earning millions on his business ventures. Bender earned $30 million during his NBA career but has become the model for post-career prosperity by developing his own back apparatus designed to help joint pain in the shoulders, knees, and back, and rehabilitate chronic soreness.
Bender said he began wearing the instrument during his playing days, allowing for his comeback with the Knicks, and the 33-year-old is a shining example of a successful post-NBA life, despite never reaching his on-court potential. The key to his success, Bender said, was preparation. Unlike a litter of prep-to-pros prospects anticipating a 15-year career, Bender said he began to save and invest his money during his early years with the Indiana Pacers after being a first-round pick in 1999. “I would see other business guys and the way they would carry themselves and they were just very interesting,” he said. “The whole business atmosphere was very interesting. When you really dig into the root of what we have going on as far as athletes, there’s a shelf life. We’re not going to be able to produce for the long run. Someday it was going to stop and I knew that at an early age. And I knew I wasn’t a financial wizard.”
An inventor’s mind with a salesman’s drive, Bender walked into a Relax the Back store in Sugarland, Tex., one afternoon and met the manager, who told him he suffered from the lower-back condition sciatica. “Try this out,” Bender told him, confidently handing him his MedPro. It didn’t take long. The manager, so startled by its effectiveness, bought one on the spot. “He told me it eased his pain between 60 and 70 percent,” Bender says.
Similar stories soon followed. One elderly man who, after a nasty motorcycle accident, hadn’t been able to walk up stairs in 20 years. That was until he tried Bender’s product. “The best part of all of this is seeing his passion,” says Bernice, now Bender’s wife. “He’s not wishing he was still playing basketball. More than anything, he loves helping people, like that old man who had some of the same pain he did.”
Bender has partnered with Relax the Back and is now selling his MedPro (retail: $199) off his own website. The byproduct of Bender’s imaginative mind that day in a Houston park has spawned a company — JB3 Enterprises — and a product that has propelled revenue growth of 40 percent month-over-month since December. He aims for more. While the current MedPro model has found a home among baby boomers (Bender himself sold 300 units his first two months), he hopes to soon polish off a model designed for serious athletes.