One-On-One Financial Lessons with Greg Oden at the Big3

August 30, 2021

Tags: Greg Oden, NBA

As Ice Cube’s Big3 wound down it’s final week in Las Vegas, former NBA player Greg Oden was courtside and in the locker rooms talking to the pros about financial lessons learned during their careers.

With an eye on helping younger athletes become financially literate so they can live out successful careers, Oden checked in with pros like Ryan Hollins, Andre Owens and Brandon Rush and asked, what financial lessons would you offer rookie players?

“Reputation is everything” and have a ‘Pit Bull’” for vetting – Ryan Hollins

For Ryan Hollins, “reputation is everything” when it comes to finding and hiring your investment team, and you’ve got to ask the right questions, Hollins says.

“See what their track record is. Ask how many people they’ve worked with in a similar situation.” 

Hollins also points out that you should have a “pit bull,” a person who can be tough, ask tough questions, set up a financial vetting system and not be afraid to say no to the athlete, nor the athlete’s friends and family.

“When someone has to go through the vetting system before they borrow from you, make them go through that system,” Hollins said. In many cases, according to Hollins, if someone isn’t willing to go through the vetting system, they probably aren’t going to pay you back anyway.

“It’s easy to make money. It’s harder to keep it.” – Andre Owens

Ask Andre Owens about money and he’ll tell you the real challenge is keeping the money you earn.

“It’s easy to make money. It’s harder to keep it.” 

Once you make money, Owens says it’s best to find investments and learn how to keep that money around rather than going out and “blowing it.” Financial literacy plays a big role in realizing how to find investment opportunities but ensuring you have the best team of advisors is also key, Owens said.

Watch what you buy – Brandon Rush

Jewelry. It’s a word that Brandon Rush can’t help but shake his head to. 

“I still got all that jewelry I bought my rookie year and second year and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with it,” Rush said. “It’s just sitting in a closet in a little bag”

Athletes are fiercely competitive and that isn’t just on the field or court. There is a tendency for athletes to compete in the parking lot too by buying expensive cars, chains and other jewelry to one-up and impress teammates. 

This kind of spending behavior always, without fail, leads to bad financial decisions. It’s a lesson all rookies should know and be aware of so that they can recognize when they are falling into this bad financial habit.