Rookie symposiums are notoriously chock full of worthless classes. Here are a few suggestions of courses far more useful than “Are You Bigger than the Game” and “What Defines Success” (real panels, for the record) to help them avoid the common pitfalls of rookiedom.
Before doing something, think to yourself, what would Pacman Jones do? Then do the exact opposite. For instance, “should I spit on this jail staffer after just having been arrested?” Pacman would, so you shouldn’t. Let’s try again. Should I hit a stripper and slam her head into the stage after she didn’t follow my make it rain dollar bills pick-up instructions? Pacman? Of course. You? No. Should I then have one of my boys shoot two of the strip club guards? Pacman? Yes, please. You? Not unless you want to cough up $12.4 million.
No 5: “Wear a Condom. WEAR. A. CONDOM.”
Before you laugh or say that you didn’t go pro not to enjoy your sex, look at the flip side and let us go through what happens when you don’t wear a condom.
- You get a career and/or life-ending STD like HIV; or
- You become Antonio Cromartie, can’t remember your kids’ names, and your game checks become child support payments;
- You get a non-career-ending STD, which leads to:
- You give that STD to a future partner;
- That future partner gets a lawyer;
- That night of fun becomes a problem with a dollar sign followed by several of your hard earned zeroes after it.
You may think that this is nonsense, but it’s not. As a lawyer who has counseled on behalf of athletes, I can promise you that it happens more than you’d like to think. To those of you wanting names, sorry, both the confidentiality clauses and attorney-client privilege preclude me from dishing.
No 4: “Don’t Pull a Ray Rice”
It’s sad that this even has to be said. Just don’t do it. And for the wise guy thinking about asking, but what if the woman hits you first, the answer remains the same. Don’t hit her. Unless your female assailant is beating you to a pulp, just do what you have to do in order to keep her away from you. In other words, be an offensive lineman in pass protection. Here’s a video of Jay-Z and Solange as a tutorial.
Your boy, your cousin, your aunt, your other friend . . . none of those guys are your agents or financial advisors. For every LeBron James having Mav Carter run his show, there are a hundred other guys who go broke trusting the wrong people with their money. If your 10th cousin is hitting you up for money, just tell him that you can’t touch it because it’s in a trust and then call it a day. You want to be able to help your family? Don’t waste it while you’re in the league, because some day soon, that continuous cash flow will be gone.
No 2: “Work the Media”
Work the media. Don’t let the media work you. Do you want to be DeMarcus Cousins or James Harden? Neither loves dealing with the media, but one can’t keep his name out of the blogosphere for the wrong reasons despite playing in Sacramento. The other grew a funny-looking beard and signed a $200 million deal with Adidas. You don’t have to hide your personality. Just don’t be an outright jerk.
No 1: “Sex is Sex. Drink is Drink. Breakfast is Breakfast.”
Sorry. This isn’t an actual piece of advice. It’s just another awesome quote from Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. See the clip above, and if you want to see him comment on De La Hoya in fishnets, go to the end of the clip.