As basketball players, we’re always being told to stay ready.
You remember the game. You did something really dumb. Coach pulled from the court, and buried you under the bench. You just knew you weren’t going back in that game. Then
with a 2 minutes left, coach called your number, and after sitting down for 15 plus minutes, it was your job to go back in and win the game.
Were you ready?
To be a pro means always being ready.
Working to find your way as a professional basketball player is the same way.
My good friend and former teammate, Terquin Mott, keeps a suitcase packed in his house at all times. If somebody calls with a better offer, Terq is ready.
Another way to be ready is to know what to expect from the business side of things, so when you go to camp, do work, and have 5 agents, and 3 teams calling to offer you a deal, you know the difference between signing your life away and signing the opportunity of a lifetime.
How To Get Ready
If you’ve never signed with a team or agent, and you don’t know much about the business, then you need to get ready. Before you go do another ball-handling drill or think about signin’ up for another exposure camp, do some homework.
Here’s a good start.
More than likely you don’t know much about what a player-agent contract looks like. Many players go through their whole careers and still couldn’t tell you what’s on any of their contracts.
To the player’s defense, the contracts are usually written in different languages and are presented in a few different ways. And even though most of the contracts are structured similarly, it actually takes a few years to get a the hang of it.
That’s why you need to get a lawyer. They can explain to you what’s going on in the document.
Get A Lawyer.
I tell young players all the time to be resourceful. If you’re in college or just out of college, you may have studied with some lawyers. Maybe you’re girlfriend’s dad is part of a law firm. Use your star power, ask around, and find yourself a lawyer.
Even if you don’t find one, you can always go to the friendly internet and do a search. Thats not the best way if you want your lessons to be free, but its better than nothing. The alternative will be alot more expensive in the long run. Trust me.
But I Don’t Know What To Ask
I knew you’d say that. That’s why I did the work for you and wrote a nice, friendly letter for you to use.
Use It. Get A Lawyer. And Stay Ready.
Use This Letter For Asking A Lawyer To Help You With Your Contract
Hi Mr. / Mrs. (insert name),
As you may know the time has come for me to take my career to the next level. I am focused, determined and confident that my opportunity is about to manifest very shortly.
When it does, I’d like to be 100% confident that I’m making the right career decisions.
There will most likely be two contracts that will get me started. The first will be my a contract with my agent. The next will be my contract with the team. Each will be similar in structure and about 5-10 pages in length containing line items about salary, terms, termination, my rights as a player, the other party’s rights, and some other items may be in there as well.
I ask that once these opportunities present themselves, that you would be available to help me look at and understand them. I’ve been advised that all my future contracts will be similar in structure, and that the more quickly and thoroughly I know how to interpret them, the better off I will be at making the right decisions for me and my family.
Please let me know if you would be available as this business moves quickly and if an opportunity presented itself, I would require your council pretty quickly.
Thanks in advance.