LeBron launches show about star athletes and their money
Victor Cruz has money advice for professional athletes
LeBron James is trying to pull back the curtain on how star athletes deal with their money.
His media company, Uninterrupted, teamed up with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) on an online series featuring superstar athletes who are willing to talk about their relationship with money — from good choices to their struggles.
The series features 10-minute episodes with athletes like James, Draymond Green and Serena Williams.
It’ll be hosted by James’ longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter, and will air on the websites of both Uninterrupted and Chase.
The first episode featuring Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green goes live on Thursday.
In his first year in the NBA, Green had a salary of $850,000 and decided to learn how to manage that money himself.
"I didn’t hire a financial adviser," Green said. "I said I’m gonna do this on my own. I want to learn how to pay bills. I want to learn how money works."
Green now has a team to help him, but he’s cognizant about saving because he doesn’t "ever wanna go back" to where he came from.
"As much as my mom and my dad did to make sure I had a great life and to make sure every need that I had was met — times were still hard," Green said.
But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t wasted money along the way — like the time he spent $21,000 at a nightclub.
"I had a blast for sure. I could’ve had a blast for $4,000 though," Green said. "I woke up the next day hot like ‘What?!’ I mean that’s $21,000 I can never get back. … I still remember. I remember that bill."
Carter, who is also the CEO of Uninterrupted, said the show gives a different take from the usual story of athletes mismanaging their money.
"You never hear the stories behind the decision making," Carter said. "Their lives are literally flipped in that they make the most money they’re most likely ever going to make in their lives at a very young age, while they’re still learning how to manage everything that comes with a very new lifestyle."
Ben Clammer, an executive at JPMorgan Chase who works with many pro athletes, said that the best advice he has for them is to "take that same level of discipline and focus" they apply to their sport and apply it to their money.
"You must know the details — how much of your contract is guaranteed; what will be left after taxes and commissions — it’s a big mistake to overlook the ‘fine print,’" Clammer said. "Maintain the mindset that your current contract will be your last, because you don’t know what might happen tomorrow."
The series will also dispel the notion that athletes don’t have to worry about money because they have such large contracts, according to Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer for JPMorgan Chase.
"The fact is, everyone wants to make the most of their money," she said.