Philadelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick shared a cool anecdote that connects the dots with commissioner Adam Silver's claims that NBA players are truly unhappy, during a conversation with former teammate Chris Paul in Redick's podcast on The Ringer. Paul and Redick played together for four years with the Clippers before Redick signed with the Sixers.
While a lot of that was immediately annexed to the era of social media and how players tend to check their mentions and delve on the never-ending wave of hoopla surrounding them, the Sixers guard explained otherwise.
“Bob Myers — Golden State GM — he was my agent when I first came out (of college). I remember my second year when I wasn't playing a lot, we had a bunch of late night conversations — me venting to him. And I remember something that stuck with me ever since.
“He said to me, he's like, ‘We represent 50-something clients — I would say five are happy.' He's like, ‘Even the guys who are making a ton of money and taking 20 shots a game…' He had a client at the time who takes 20 shots a game and he just signed a huge deal — like four (years) for $50 (million) extension and he's unhappy.
“He's like, ‘I have maybe three or four clients that are legit happy.' I kind of agree with that assessment. Think about how many guys in the league on a day-to-day basis are really, really enjoying it.”
Redick's second year in the NBA was before the league enjoyed this effortless fusion with social media and while the addition of the latter has obviously amplified this unhappiness, it's also made it all the more obvious for those who consume it on a daily basis.
“I believe there is something right about what he said,” Paul said to Redick. “Obviously, everything we do now there's really no privacy… some guys genuinely want to hoop, go home, chill with their families. But this is a business, this is entertainment. This is what we do, so some of this is what you signed up for.
“We gotta just try to find a happy medium, which I don't know what that is. I don't know the answers to it. But happiness isn't money. That's one thing that we do know. Happiness is not fame.”
Even mega-stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are seen constantly struggling to navigate the regular season, despite having their own signature shoes, plenty of endorsement deals, being the face of their respective teams and getting paid a hefty amount of dollars to play ball.
Redick signed with the Sixers in 2017 after stints with the Magic, Bucks and Clippers.
As Paul and Redick tell it, money isn't everything — and it certainly can't buy happiness or a sense of purpose for some of these guys.