Privacy is something NBA players have become estranged from once they become famous or successful. It comes with the territory of winning or becoming champions, but NBA stars are still humans, and they miss the activities they can freely before without the extra attention.
Jimmy Butler on the consequences of fame
Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler's brand of hard-nosed defense and tough-talking leadership earned him millions of fans. Butler also made millions off his NBA salary and endorsements. However, he admitted he missed some things he could do before everything happened in an interview with Lane Florsheim of The Wall Street Journal.
“I think one of the hardest things about being a celebrity is that you can’t go be a parent from time to time. I hate that I can’t take my daughter to the zoo because everyone wants to talk basketball or take a photo. To my daughter, I’m just her dad, she doesn’t know any different.”
Jimmy Butler, WSJ
An NBA star playing in big market teams cannot afford such privacy or luxury of leading everyday lives. However, the extra attention could also bring in potential money from endorsements or business ventures. In the case of JB, it helped market his coffee business, Big Face Coffee, that he started in the Orlando Bubble. There are two sides to each coin.
Players who embrace celebrity culture
Not all NBA players shy away from the spotlight. Some have made movies, produced albums, started media companies, and own podcasts. Since they cannot really escape from the public's eyes, they might as well get the most out of it.
Old school players like Larry Bird absolutely hated extra attention, while LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have used the same influence to start positive changes in the community. Byrant built his Mamba Academy while James has his school in Akron. Meanwhile, there are the retired and current players who own a podcast, such as JJ Redick, Duncan Robinson, Matt Barnes, Quentin Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas, among others.
Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan are examples of former and current NBA stars who shy away from the spotlight. They enjoy their lives in their way and are proof that not all the fame that comes with being NBA stars is worth the privacy that every human being is entitled to and deserves.