Toronto Raptors rookie point guard Delon Wright is entering the NBA with an advantage over other rookies, his older brother Dorell Wright is an 11-year NBA vet and Champion.
This season, Dorell will be playing professionally in China, but penned a letter to his brother full of advice to navigate his first year in the NBA. The advice covers some of the same rules to “the game” laid out in my book, PostGame Pass: access into “the life”
Dorell tells Delon to step away from the card table. Even if his teammates laugh at him because of it.
First, run away from the card games on the team plane. Don’t play. Don’t sit down at that table. And if you do play, put a limit on your buy-in. Pick a number, and if you lose it, get up. Guys will talk trash and try to keep you in.
“C’mon, man! You’re done?” Just say, “Yep,” and walk back to your seat.
Arguments over money tend to escalate quickly or leave athletes with broke pockets and hurt feelings. I go into detail on this topic in Chapter 5.
We all know that when it’s there and coming in, it’s easy to go out there and spend, spend, spend. Every athlete goes through a time when they’re going over budget (and yes, you should have a budget).
What they don’t tell you is that it’s not just the availability of money that adds temptation, but time. You have all this free time to buy, buy, buy. Really, free time is the root of the trouble you can find as a pro. That’s the hardest thing about the adjustment you’re about to make
In Chapter 14, “Sign Your Own Checks,” I outline several ways athletes lose money and share exit strategies.
He gives advice on how to handle returning home to Los Angeles to play this season:
When you come back home to L.A. to play the Lakers and Clippers, everyone is going to call you for tickets. That was one of the things I struggled with early in my career. I wasn’t even playing, and I was getting 30-something ticket requests for people to come see me dressed all nice on the bench. I used to spend a lot of money buying tickets.
Here’s your story: “I’ve only got 10 tickets, and these are going to my immediate family, so I can’t do anything for you.”
People often assume that players are showered with free game tickets.
Dorell also shares tips on time management, finding mentors and avoiding technical fouls. The full letter is available at The Players’ Tribune.
For more insight into the lifestyle of professional athletes, plus topics like:
- What an athlete needs in order to be considered a superstar brand
- The rules to respectful cheating for professional athletes, plus the five cities pro athlete wifeys fear, but jocks love
- How the Internet changed the game for groupies and athletes
- Why athletes date the same women, especially strippers and internet vixens
- Why athletes are groupies, and their desire for reality TV fame
- 7 things a woman should know before dating or marrying a professional athlete
- What comes in a “Baby Mama Golden Parachute”
- What are the most popular post-game careers for professional athletes, and how to avoid being another cautionary tale
photo via CassyAthena.com