Many NBA players have found success not just on the court but in business as well. In fact, it’s become quite common to see NBA players on business magazine covers these days, with some using their NBA salaries as a launching point in their investment and business journeys.
So what businesses do NBA players typically invest in? And what do these successful businessmen have in common?
Let’s take a look at 10 NBA players who are also entrepreneurs.
How Common is it for NBA Players to Pursue Business Ventures?
Many NBA players earn a good living. Even the role players can become wealthy. Just ask Junior Bridgeman, a role player who turned his $350,000 career earnings in the NBA to a whopping $600 million net worth through smart investing. The former NBA player owns Wendy’s franchises all over the United States.
In fact, a rookie who hasn’t even set foot on an NBA court yet can receive one million dollars in salary if he’s an early draft pick. On the other hand, franchise players like Stephen Curry earn astronomically more, with his 2022-2023 contract ballooning up to $48.1 million.
NBA players work hard for their money, and many of them enjoy it, too, with luxury purchases and extravagant vacations. However, some want to ensure their wealth will continue creating value even after they’re done with basketball.
As such, it has become increasingly popular among athletes in the league to invest in existing businesses. Others start up their own.
And even though these decisions come with many potential rewards, pursuing a business venture is challenging, as it requires long hours and dedication.
What Business Do NBA Players Typically Invest In?
NBA players have a lot of disposable income and often invest in businesses that they are passionate about. Some common industries that NBA players invest in include restaurants, car dealerships, and real estate.
Restaurants: It’s no surprise that the NBA’s top talents are turning their eyes to the restaurant industry. Not only is investing in a restaurant a savvy business move, but it also allows them to express their love for food, creativity, and vision.
For example, Derrick Rose has invested in a local Chicago pizza joint called Giordano’s. It’s home to world-famous deep-dish pizzas that the NBA player loved to eat during his days with the Bulls.
Car Dealerships: Many NBA players are passionate about cars and see investing in a dealership as a way to get discounts on cars for themselves and their friends and family. They may also feel that they can use their public profile to help promote the business.
Real Estate: Being a professional athlete in the NBA means that not only are you playing basketball all around the world, but it also provides you with the luxury of being able to invest in real estate wherever you go.
With teams constantly reshuffling squads by trading and signing players, those who make their living off the court by buying and selling properties can capitalize on their locations. Whether it’s flipping houses or just renting out properties, NBA players often recognize how important it can be to set themselves up for financial success long after their basketball careers have ended.
By investing in real estate, these athletes take advantage of the mobility within the league and create an additional source of income throughout their lifetime.
Emerging Technology: With the stock market always changing and tech stocks often rising or falling quickly, it can be chaotic to invest in emerging tech. Fortunately, many NBA players have the financial flexibility to help them take risks on new businesses or tech trends they believe will yield rewards.
It’s not just great basketball players but entrepreneurs too! Investments in emerging tech can allow them to become even more financially independent now or in the future when their playing days are behind them.
5 Current NBA Players Who Are Also Businessmen
Some of the most well-known NBA players are also business people. Here are five current NBA players that own businesses:
1. LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the most famous athletes in the world, and he has used his platform to build a business empire. He has endorsement deals with major brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Beats by Dre. He also has his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment, which produces TV shows and films. His successes in the boardroom have made him the first-ever active player to reach billionaire status. It’s a feat that even Michael Jordan couldn’t achieve as a Chicago Bull.
2. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is one of the top scorers in the NBA, and he has parlayed his on-court success into a successful business career. He has endorsement deals with Nike, Degree, and Beats by Dre. But in the business world, he’s also carved out a name for himself as a savvy investor. He famously joined the Golden State Warriors partly to expose himself to the Silicon Valley startup scene. Since then, he’s invested in tech fintech startups such as Coinbase
3. Carmelo Anthony
Although Carmelo Anthony, the 10-time NBA All-Star, doesn’t draw as much attention on the court as he did in his prime, he has used his earnings to build his business career off the hard court.
Currently a free agent, he probably isn’t exactly hard-pressed to find work as his Melo7 Tech Partners Investment group is hard at work, making him wealthier than ever. He also has endorsement deals with Jordan Brand, 2K Sports, and Foot Locker.
4. Stephen Curry
As one of the highest-paid active players in the NBA, Stephen Curry’s portfolio is quite interesting to study. He has mostly spent his money investing in technology companies such as Rubrik, a data management company, and Postmates, a delivery service. He has also invested in sports startups such as PlayersTV, a streaming platform for athletes, and Slyce, a social media platform for athletes. Curry has also invested in a wine company, a basketball training app, and a sleep-tracking company. Check out other business ventures of Curry here.
5. Jimmy Butler
While most other athletes are investing their money in existing businesses, Jimmy Butler is one of the rare few who decided to take on building a business from the ground up – from within the NBA bubble during the tumultuous 2020 season, no less! His Big Face Brand Coffee has since become somewhat a cultural sensation with its unconventional pricing scheme. And like his counterparts, he’s also a huge endorser for a lot of big brands such as, Jordan Brand and Beats by Dre.
5 Retired NBA Players Who Became Entrepreneurs
Retired NBA players often have the time and resources to invest in businesses. They may not have the same public profile as active players, but they can still be successful entrepreneurs.
1. Dwyane Wade
As a 12-time NBA All-Star, D-Wayde has used his platform to build a successful business career. He has endorsement deals with Gatorade, Li-Ning, and Stance socks. Upon his retirement in 2019, he also became one of the minority owners of the Utah Jazz.
And if you’re looking for what NBA players own teams, you’re going to see Wade in a short list of company as only Michael Jordan and Grant Hill.
2. Kobe Bryant
In a way, Kobe Bryant is a pioneer for NBA players dipping their toes into investing in the technology space. His biggest business decision was in Bryant Stibel Investments, a VC company dedicated to finding tech startups with growth potential in the athletic space.
3. Shaquille O’Neal
The Diesel, as he is often called, is one of the most well-known retired NBA players who has become one of the richest former NBA players. He has investments in multiple businesses, including a car dealership and a real estate company. It’s also no surprise that he’s a basketball player that owns restaurants.
But, if there’s any investment that cements his place as a business leader, it’s his early 1999 investment in Google. As we all know, the then-tech startup became one of the biggest companies the world has ever seen.
4. Magic Johnson
Another retired player, Magic Johnson, is one of those players whose post-playing business journey has become as prominent as his stellar basketball career. He is the chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, a conglomerate with interests in media, entertainment, and sports. He also has his own line of fitness products and is a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
5. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever to lace up his sneakers on a basketball court. But did you know he’s also one of the greatest to lace up his leather business shoes in the boardroom?
He’s the first-ever former NBA player to reach the billionaire boys club status with a ton of endorsements, savvy investments, and other off-court dealings. He is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team and has his own line of sneakers and other products. Just the Jordan Brand alone is already worth around $10 billion, with His Airness getting about 5% of every sale.
5 Things NBA Players Turn Entrepreneurs Have in Common
NBA players who turn to entrepreneurship typically have a few things in common. They are passionate about their business ventures, they have the drive to succeed, and they are able to use their public profile to help promote their businesses.
1. Passion for the craft
Passion is one of the most important traits for any entrepreneur, and NBA players are no different. Many of them invest in businesses that they are passionate about, such as restaurants, car dealerships, and real estate. They feel that they can use their public profile to help promote the business and make it more successful.
Jimmy Butler’s coffee addiction, for example, fuelled his passion for creating Big Face Coffee, an emerging disruptor in a coffee space filled with giants like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.
2. Drive to succeed
Drive is another essential trait for entrepreneurs. NBA players have the drive to succeed both on and off the court. They are often very competitive and want to be the best at everything they do. This drive helps them succeed in their business ventures.
3. They are motivated
When it comes to investing, it can be easy to become discouraged when the market does not seem to be behaving in your favor. That’s why keeping a motivated outlook is so important; by having that little extra push, you can continue to take steps toward reaching your financial goals despite unpredictable circumstances.
Not only that, but motivation also encourages smart decision-making as investors seek out opportunities and analyze risks. Without it, emotions often come into play and cloud our judgment. Therefore, having a healthy dose of motivation when investing can make all the difference in achieving success.
In business, grit is an invaluable attribute to have, as it allows entrepreneurs and business owners to keep pushing forward in the face of difficulty. It involves having a strong work ethic even when it would be easier to give up or stay stationary, allowing someone to make steady progress towards their goals with tenacity and self-discipline.
Having resilience is also a key part of being gritty – facing challenges with perseverance instead of resorting to quick fixes that could end up compromising the long-term sustainability of the business.
Adopting a well-rounded attitude combining patience and hard work can help pave the way for future successes, whether it’s taking on new projects or learning something new. So when it comes to success in business, never underestimate the power of grit!
5. Willingness to Learn
It’s important to remember that NBA players, like any other entrepreneur, started out without knowing the ins and outs of the business. They had to learn along the way and continue learning as new opportunities arose.
This involves understanding trends in the market and listening to experienced advisors who can point them in the right direction. It also means adapting when needed, as any successful entrepreneur will tell you that the key to success is staying ahead of the curve.
Having a good network of mentors and advisors can also help ensure that NBA players make the most out of their business endeavors. Being open-minded and willing to learn from others’ experiences can go a long way in succeeding as an entrepreneur in any industry.
Wrapping Things Up: NBA Players Who are Entrepreneurs
Ultimately, NBA players have the same traits as any successful entrepreneur. By having a passion for their business ventures and being driven to succeed, they can use their public profile to help promote their businesses. With the right attitude of grit, motivation, and willingness to learn, they can reach new heights in their business endeavors.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.
Interested in learning about more NBA players who have ventured into entrepreneurship? Check out some of them below: