With the sides being so far apart, a work stoppage seems likely. So what have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
This summer I’ve taken the time to look forward and see what I want to do. I took a course at Syracuse University that’s called “Sportscaster U” and I just wanted to see if that would be something I’m interested in. I got help from the guys at ESPN and learned about the ins and outs of the sports casting world and how intricate it is. I want to test that to see if that’s something I possibly want to do someday. They give you real-life camera experience. It’s something that I’m considering.
I also went to the PAFI [Professional Athletes Franchise Initiative] seminar for athletes at Georgia Tech. That’s something I’ve been interested in. I look at business opportunities that bring people together and improve the community. My cousin [Denver Nuggets forward] Al Harrington and I are in the works of trying to get a company together where we try to improve the environments in the state of New Jersey so people can live better. Kind of like Magic Johnson and Grant Hill do with other communities. It’s sort of taking care of where you’re from and adding to the growth with what we’ve learned in this world so far.
You hear about so many athletes going broke after their career ends. Some of it is due to reckless spending and bad financial habits. What are you doing to ensure you don’t end up in the red after your career ends?
I’m trying to save as much as possible and make better business decisions. Most adults learn the power and meaning of money in their late 20s and early 30s. You have guys coming in at 21 and they’re just now learning how money works. At first you think you’ll make this forever but you soon realize that it’s not. You have to make the best decisions. You have some financial institutions that don’t have our best interest at heart. Basketball is our business, not finance. You have to worry about the people that focus on finance and hope they make the right decisions for you. There are a lot of guys get caught up by not understanding financial responsibility. I’m looking for things to grow with. It’s not a quick fix here or there. I’m just trying to find things that I’m personally interested in and I can grow as a man who learns more and more.
It also doesn’t hurt that you’re married to a woman who is more than a trophy wife. You recently wed Valeshia Butterfield, CEO of WEEN & The Butterfield Group. How are you two working together at this time?
We’re learning how to be resourceful and work together to balance a home budget to make the most out of our money. I just recently married and have never had to think about someone in that capacity before so I’m embracing the fact that I have to worry about my wife and her wellbeing and she worries about me as well. I’m fortunate to have someone who worries about me at a time like this. She helps me just like I help her. She works in a different field than I’m used to but I help her when I can. We’re both learning about the different things that we do.