Richard Jefferson says no rookie is ready for the league lifestyle and money coming
Earlier this summer, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul stated his desire to bring more financial literacy to players around the league, stressing that a lack of financial knowledge and understanding continues to plague players. However, this idea is not one that can completely prevent rookies from committing financial mishaps, according to Richard Jefferson.
The 17-year NBA veteran has been around the game for quite some time, and he told Alicia Jessop of The Athletic that there is nothing that can truly prepare first-year players for life in “The Association.”
“Nothing can prepare you for it,” Jefferson said. “There is no weekend seminar or mentoring that can prepare you for the journey that is in front of you. That’s the truth.
“The NBA does as good of job as any league giving guys a base and helping them understand what’s in front of them. At the end of the day, though, nobody is ready. You might be prepared talent- and ability-wise, but nothing will prepare you for the traveling to different cities and all of the different things that come with that.”
Indeed, the NBA is far different from playing for a collegiate program. Players take on more responsibilities to reflect good character and act as representatives of their organization off the floor.
Money is always an issue, and the sheer lack of financial literacy in the NBA has absolutely hampered past players such as Allen Iverson. Shaquille O’Neal has said that he spent his first $1 million check in a single day as a rookie.
However, as Richard Jefferson suggests, seminars only go so far. They can get all the training in the world, but NBA newcomers will still have to adapt and learn on the fly.