In his 15th NBA season, Chris Paul has been through everything, and this season is no different. His future with Oklahoma City Thunder is under a big question mark, and not many teams are willing to bet on Paul and make a trade, at least not at this very moment. Things can change fast, especially in the NBA, even though Thunder is one of the most positive surprises so far this season.
Paul played for four NBA teams so far in his career while sharing a locker room with numerous All-Stars, HOF's, and various characters that played in the league during that period. In an interview Paul gave for The Athletic, he said the only thing NBA players don't talk about is their financial situation and ability to manage their money rationally.
"I think the reason why I'm so passionate about this is because I'm finishing up my 14th year in the NBA, and I've been around long enough to realize that guys in our league, we talk about everything in the locker room except for finance, except for money. Nobody talks about money, because it's one of those uncomfortable things."
Chris Paul, via The Athletic
Paul is heavily involved with the National Basketball Players Association and serves as their president since 2013. During those years, the NBA invested in the education of young players, especially surrounding the financial part, which is crucial because many players go bankrupt several years after they finish their careers.
There will still be improvements to the existing programs so players can gain practical knowledge that will help them make sound financial decisions. As Paul said, the problem is when you are 18 or 19, you come to the league, and already have millions on your bank account while at the same time thinking only about basketball, not knowing anything about basic economic terms.
"I've heard so many stories. That's why I try to talk to guys because it happens. This is a short career. In the grand scheme of life, this is a short career. You try to maximize it as much as possible. There are the rookie transition programs, and all these different people that try and help you. But when you come to the NBA at 18 years old, you're just thinking about basketball, basketball, basketball. You don't even understand what health insurance is.
Chris Paul, via The Athletic
In the past decade or so, the NBA invested a lot in educating the players on making responsible business and financial decisions. Unfortunately, there were far too many negative cases in the past, when NBA stars with massive contracts were able to find themselves bankrupt several years after their retirement. Paul is teaching this generation of players to have more knowledge and information on how to manage their earnings properly. That will eventually enable them to have a prosperous life after their journey in the NBA is over.