Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Be Like Marvin

Here's a great article from the Boston Globe (link via DaveSez) about how young NBA players and millions of dollars often lead to really bad results. One of my favorite stories involves Ricky Davis giving money-management advice:
Celtics second-year forward Kendrick Perkins, who jumped directly to the NBA from Beaumont (Texas) High School, admits he became swept up in a flurry of free spending when he first came to Boston.

"Once you start living the NBA life, it becomes a habit," he said.

"Some of our guys are ridiculous," he said. "The cars they drive, the things they buy ... they play cards on the plane and lose thousands of dollars. The young guys want to fit in, so they play, too. But most of them can't afford it."

Perkins said guard Ricky Davis talks to him regularly about managing his money properly.

"He tells me all the time, 'Save your money. Don't do it like me. I blew it,' " Perkins said. ''Ricky is trying to make some changes in his life. At least he's man enough to say, 'I screwed this up.' A lot of other guys are sort of in denial."
And yes this is the same Ricky Davis who intentionally missed a layup -- at his team's own goal -- to get his 10th rebound and a triple-double during the 2003 season. Charles Barkley wasn't immune either:
Barkley was 21 years old when the Philadelphia 76ers selected him fifth in the 1984 draft.

"I went out and bought six cars," Barkley said. "Dr. J [Julius Erving] and Moses [Malone] pulled me aside and said, 'Son, don't be stupid. Take all of those cars back except one. Save your money.' "

Barkley returned two Mercedeses, two BMWs, and one of the Porsches.
They should pass out this article to every kid that's drafted tonight. Twice.

Now contrast that with this news about Marvin Williams:
Marvin Williams needed a car. Projected to go either first or second in tomorrow's NBA draft, the freshman standout from North Carolina's national championship team had places to go and things to do while training this summer in Chapel Hill. He didn't want to rely on his own two sneakers or the kindness of friends.

Williams e-mailed his attorney, Jim Tanner, and within a few days, had a silver Hummer H2 with black leather interior. It was the right car for a teenager about to become a multimillionaire. It was the wrong car for Williams, a small-town kid from Bremerton, Wash., who usually chooses sensibility over showing off.

Williams test-drove his flashy ride for the past month but recently handed back the keys before heading to New York for the draft. To the 19-year-old, the oversized sport-utility vehicle -- the essential vehicle in many NBA driveways -- was like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly, effective but unnecessary. "Marvin is real low-key. He said he liked it, but he probably won't buy one," his father, Marvin Sr., said in a recent phone interview.
Pretty amazing, huh? How many 19-year old kids do you know like that? For that matter, how many 30-year olds do you know who would've given back a Hummer because 'they didn't really need it'? Let me state for the record that if I was guaranteed a large sum of money tomorrow, I'm guessing in 10 years that Jackie MacMullan would be writing a "here's what happened to that dope who blew all his money" column about me and my new life on the streets.

And oh yeah, after sticking up for Bellhorn yesterday, he turned on me by making a really big error (and threw in a strikeout for good measure) in last night's loss to the Indians. Still, 11-2 in their last 13 games ain't too bad, so I'm still on the Bellhorn bandwagon for another day.