By now, I hope you’ve gotten a good idea of who I am and what iBall United is all about. (If not, then Hi, I’m Howard, and this is iBall United. Nice to meet you:-)
iBall was established to empower players to be better-equipped, more knowledgable, and more accomplished players than they were when they came into contact with us.
If you’re doing big things and doing them the right way, then we’re your #1 fan. If not, then we’re not gonna blast you (unless you just way outta pocket) but rather be a source of direction and encouragement to get things back on track.
By no means do we think we’re perfect. There are always more things to learn and ways to get better. And we respect and look forward to your help each step of the way.
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS
That said, today is a little different. Today, I listened to a powerful message. The theme of the message was ‘Respect Your Elders.’ As a man who has abided by those words almost to a fault, I’m coming to the keypad today with some extra pep in my s’type.’
Listen up young fella…
By overestimating your worth on the market, these players, to their own peril, decide to wait and wait for the manifestation of a perfect opportunity. Each day the window closes more. Then it shuts. And then they’re screwed.
One of the first things I tell players to do when they start their seasons on a new team or in a new country, is to find a mentor. The mentor should be an American (or from your native country), veteran player, and he/she should be a person that is well established, and well-liked by many.
These ‘Elder’ players have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are usually more than willing to tell you everything you need to know so that you can make better choices than they did when they started out. Exchange numbers with them. Go out and grab a
beer coffee. One thing’s for sure, you’re gonna hear some really crazy stories. You’ll also get the inside scoop on how things operate on the team, country or city you are playing for.
No matter what time of year it is, for some young players, it’s gut-check time. The rest of this message is for you.
For many young players, the time between their last college game and the NBA Draft is super critical. The management team they select will greatly impact the rest of their career.
For NBA Draft caliber players, you should seek the council of well-respected, experienced players who have been there before. Ask them for references for legal, financial and others who will be able to guide you through the process. It’s time to get down to business and learn as much as you can about everything you are about to encounter.
For players who fall somewhat in the middle– not on the NBA draft board but not on the radar for top paying European jobs, timing is super critical. You have to sift through the The process is extremely difficult to navigate, and it should not be rushed into or entered lightly.
My hat goes off to coaches and other university staff who have been there for players and take the time out to coach them through this process. Believe it or not, it is NOT their responsibility. It is also not their area of expertise, so even if they are coaching you through career decisions, you may not be in as good as hands as your would like to be.
When players are entering their professional careers, it is really easy for them to get an unrealistic sense of self- and market-worth. To make things worse, family and friend expectations, attention from agents, invitations to camp, and fairy tale stories about basketball millionaires all work together to misinform, misguide, and confuse the player.
For players who have not prepared themselves and cannot distinguish a real opportunity from one that stands on a stack of cards, they put themselves at risk of making decisions which are devastating to their careers.
Some players have one or two agents who knock on their door, and because they don’t boast a long list of well-established players and may not be promising them an immediate shot at the NBA, the player waives the agent off as unqualified to represent them. By overestimating your worth on the market, these players, to their own peril, decide to wait and wait for the manifestation of a perfect opportunity. Each day the window closes more. Then it shuts. And then they’re screwed.
And then there’s the rest of us…hoping and praying for the day that an agent or team shows interest in us. We have a dreamy perception of what it would be. Something like.. I go to camp, impress an agent. He fronts me a car and gets me a contract for $250k the next week. It’s not the Tyreek Evans money that I was looking for, but at least it’s a start. For us, it’s time to wake the hell up, and get back to the basics. Say you do go to camp and impress a team or agent. If you were presented with a contract and given 24 hours to say yes and get on a plane, or come back with a revised offer, would you have any clue where to start? If the answer’s no, then get your head out the clouds and snap back to reality.
And that goes for all of us. For every player in all the previously mentioned situations above, the times are changing. If we are not prepared to look out for our best interest in every situation, or at least have a trusted resource to do so, then we can easily see the window come crashing down on even the best of opportunities.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
The question is, do you know where you fall? Are you the highly sought after player who is one or two workouts away from being drafted? Are you that sleeper that agents are flocking to because they know whichever path you choose, whether it be the NBA or Overseas, there is huge potential for high earnings? Are you that guy who has great numbers in the NCAA but not really expected to do much in the USA? Are you someone who understands that the road will be tough, but you’re ready to impress somebody to the point that they are ready to work with you?
The point is. Learn the game before its time to play for real. Know WHO you are or at least get a good idea of it. Seek out representation that is proven to dealing with a player like you. Weigh your options (if you have that luxury) and make a choice. Just like they say about working on your game. Every minute that goes by, somebody is out there working to get better. The same goes for getting you a deal. Every minute that goes by that don’t have somebody working to get you a deal, the next guy is being considered for the job.
Learn more about how iBall United is helping players to build and sustain professional careers. Contact us below or visit our website at www.iballunited.net