Class Differences, Money Management in NBA

Good piece over at Hoops Hype hitting upon impressionable young players, many of whom have come into substantial amounts of money for the first times in their lives. Managing money -- and teaching players to say "no" -- is an essential part of the NBA’s transition program for rookies, in which the league imports current players, veteran players and anyone else who can speak to them about what lies ahead. Worth a read, especially since you get it from the athlete's perspective -- as opposed to sitting there wondering how this could happen, over and over again. ↵
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↵What struck me, though, was something author Peter May left out: The obvious class difference between Joakim Noah and Kendrick Perkins. Actually, that's not quite fair. May laid it out pretty explicitly: ↵
↵⇥In Perkins’ case, he was a quiet, Texan who had been raised by his grandparents, unaccustomed to luxuries that are now a part of his life. He entered the NBA right out of high school, even though his prospective college coach, John Calipari, told Perkins he’d be a lottery pick if he went to Memphis for even one year. [...] ↵⇥

↵⇥Noah grew up in the spotlight; his father was a professional tennis player and winner of the French Open. Noah also is outgoing, engaging and the kind of individual who might attract the very people the NBA says like to prey on kids. ↵⇥

↵
↵Okay, maybe I'm stereotyping, but isn't that just a slightly different position to be in with regard to a sudden windfall of cash? Noah should've been more used to having money, and if he didn't know the value of a dollar, it's because he was likely spoiled. What's more, can't we make some assumptions about some of the people he was throwing money at, or what position he'd be in if he got hurt and never got another contract? Now contrast that with Perkins, who comes from a more humble background. I'm not saying all his friends and family were dirt -- poor or living in projects, but they weren't French celebrities. ↵
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↵I don't want to take this much further, because I don't know the exact circumstances of who was around either young player. But if Noah doesn't know how to handle money, that's more a individual psychology thing, as opposed to Perkins, who could be any number of other first-rounders in the last 10 years.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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