Here’s Perk talking to Peter May (of Boston Globe fame) on HoopsHype this week about his money management during his first year in the league:
“At the beginning, every one I knew had a hand out and I was spending like $200 and $300 a week. That adds up. It got to $11,000 a month. That adds up too,’’ Perkins said. “You have to learn to distance yourself from people, even if that means staying inside at home more. You know, out of sight, out of mind? That first year in the league was to tough for me. You’re worried about offending people if you say no. But you eventually learn that you have to do it.”
This reminded me of a sports/law panel I attended for my regular job a couple of weeks ago at New York Law School. Among the panelists was Andre Buck, a player agent (and lawyer) who represents a number of young NBA players whose names you know. The panel touched on several basketball topics, including player spending habits and the role they might play in a (potential) 2011 lockout.
Here’s what Buck said:
“They just spend money. It’s unbelievable. It’s just unbelievable. It’s the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen. $15,000 nights. Guys spending $35,000 a month just to live. There are so many stories…”
We all perked up hoping to hear some juicy tales of strippers and $1,000 bottles, but Buck’s a smart guy who cares about his clients, so he stopped there. But the point he made is the same one Simmons made in an outstanding column a couple of months ago: a lot of NBA players, especially young ones, spend more than they should and, as a result, depend on every paycheck to keep their lifestyles afloat or just pay bills.
And Buck echoed another Simmons point: These spending habits give the league owners (and Stern) leverage in collective bargaining talks, because the league knows a lot of players literally can’t afford to miss several paychecks due to a lockout. The owners learned this in ’98-99, Buck said, and they know it’s still true.
A few other NBA tidbits came out at this panel, and I’ve been meaning to write about them–including one about Rajon Rondo. I’ll get to it soon.