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The most surprising career choices NBA legends made after retirement

From Karl Malone being a truck driver to Scottie Pippen owning a farm, here are some players who decided to pursue unexpected career paths after retirement.
Karl Malone truck driver, Tim Duncan MMA fighter, Scottie Pippen livestock farmer

Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, and Scottie Pippen

You'd think that professional basketball players, who earn millions every year, are set for life with the amount of revenue they garner. After all, most of them live luxurious lives and have enough money not to worry about other things that don't involve basketball.

But how about those whose careers ended earlier than they'd hoped? Or players who spent so much money during their playing days instead of saving up? Or those that just can't sit at home and enjoy retirement? Here are five players that eventually pursued 9 am - 5 pm day jobs after retiring from basketball.

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Karl Malone (truck driver)

Malone may have earned enough money during his Hall-of-Fame worthy tenure with the Utah Jazz, but he knew that he needed to make more after retiring to sustain his lifestyle. So instead of laying around (and probably reminiscing about almost beating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1998), The Mailman decided to work as a part-time truck driver for a timber hauler company. This timber-hauler company was also the same business he invested in, which he focused on after basketball.

Vinnie Johnson (CEO Piston Group Manufacturing Company)

After playing a massive role in the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" era, Johnson retired in 1992. He decided to start his own company called the "Piston Group," a small manufacturing business that blossomed into a multi-million dollar one. Johnson took the role of CEO and is currently still at the helm of his company.

Tim Duncan (Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and entrepreneur)

Even after winning five rings with the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan pursued his passion for MMA after retiring from basketball. He hasn't reportedly joined any tournaments, but he's been training in his free time. Besides MMA, Duncan also runs a BlackJacK Speed Shop (an auto body shop) that he started in 2013.

Scottie Pippen (farm owner and sports broadcaster)

You probably see him on TV every now and then talking hoops because Pippen decided to pursue sports broadcasting after retiring. Besides sharing his insights about the game regularly, the six-time champion also owns a livestock farm in Arkansas with his brother.

Greg Oden (student-manager at Ohio State)

Oden's playing career vanished quickly because of the multiple serious injuries. So, the number one pick in the 2007 NBA draft decided to turn into academics after playing just 23 games. He chose to be a student manager at Ohio State for the men's basketball team, which also helped him go back to school. 

Inspired by the story? Check Jooble for basketball careers.

Zach Randolph

“I learned everything like a soldier” - Zach Randolph recalls his first years playing alongside Scottie Pippen and Rasheed Wallace

Zach Randolph talks about the humble beginnings of his career, as well as how playing alongside NBA's greats Scottie Pippen and Rasheed Wallace helped him develop into the player he became

Tracy McGrady

"I don’t broadcast that, I don’t show that off a lot" - Tracy McGrady on his low-key AAU program

T-Mac's program has a perk which teaches his pupils about the reality of life

Rick Barry

“Do you know how much better I would be if I was playing today?” - Rick Barry once explained why he would’ve thrived in this era

A longtime coach likened Barry to Luka recently to show a modern-day comparison for the Warriors legend.

Reggie Miller

“When people say they don’t regret it, they’re lying” - Reggie Miller once revealed not winning a ring “burns” him

Miller also opted to remain loyal with the Pacers instead of chasing a ring with the Celtics in 2007.

JJ Redick talks about how he almost got into a fight with a teammate while with the 76ers

“My offseasons were harder than the season... I couldn't do another offseason.” - JJ Redick gets real on why he retired in 2021

While the offseason grind had helped Redick, perhaps his old age made it more difficult to work out like had had before.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right) reacts with forward Mike Miller (18)

“Because I know what it looks like to play against or play besides LeBron James” - Mike Miller on his transition to becoming an NBA agent

Mike Miller is blazing a trail for other retired players who want to enter the industry, like T-Mac and J.O.