Today’s generation of NBA players is much different than any other generation of players before them, and there are a few things that benefit them in a much broader way. The first and foremost is the increased earnings and the amount of money they are getting, which is pretty astronomical if you compare it with what players received a decade ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. On top of that, players have more power and control over their careers than ever before and the ability to monetize their talent in so many different ways.
That wasn’t the case not so long ago when superstar players had no special privileges, and it was expected from them to act and behave in a certain way. According to former NBA player and coach Mark Jackson, players should be thankful to LeBron James for changing that narrative which enabled players to have more power than ever before in NBA history.
LeBron James changed the game, and he doesn’t get enough credit for that. He changed the game not only as a basketball player, but he changed the game as a businessman. He allowed guys to realize the power that they have.Mark Jackson, via Club Shay Shay
NBA players are no longer just athletes, but they also need to have a business mindset because of all the opportunities that are out there. The power players have, which enables them to have more control of their careers, is something that wasn’t the case before, and we’ve seen it recently on a few examples. Jackson used Kevin Durant and his decisions to move from one champion-contending team to another without any real consequences. Obviously, the fans are the ones that share their displeasure, but the teams themselves no longer can control a player as they did back in the day.
LeBron changed the game for guys to understand the power that they have as a businessman and making the right decisions. So when Kevin Durant decides he wants to go to Golden State, that is alright. And then he decides he wants to leave Golden State and go to Brooklyn, and it’s alright. People realize it’s their future and their legacy, so they have to make the right decision.Mark Jackson, via Club Shay Shay
Player empowerment has been picking up traction for the past couple of years, and players use it to their advantage as much as they can. LeBron started it all in 2010 when he decided to leave Cleveland and move to Miami, and he continued doing the same thing when he went back to Cleveland and then later to the Lakers. Other players are following this trend more extensively than ever before. Even though some say it’s not beneficial for the teams because there is no guarantee a superstar player will stay, this trend is not going anywhere. Players will exploit it as much as possible because it gives them more power as individuals, which is something LeBron wanted when he was looking at his legacy and putting himself in the best position to win championships.