Frugal Lessons From Ballers: Season 4 Episode 9

Ballers is a HBO series show about a former football player turned financial manager (a character named Spencer, played by The Rock) that highlights the life of current and former players in regards to sports and finances and how they balance it all together.  Ballers goes in depth on a number of topics involving the lifestyle of professional athletes from players transitioning post career to handling family and friends to dealing with negotiations.

The following highlights different key points from the show that athletes deal with or can learn from.

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Athletes Go Hollywood

Rashad Mendenhall, Marcus Wiley, Donovan Carter and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson all have something in common. Besides being actors on the show, they were all D1 college football players and played professionally at some level. Now they are making their marks in the Hollywood and Media space. It’s always good to see athletes finding their way post playing, whether it’s as a screen writer, sports analysts, or actor, it’s important to know that it is possible. Ballers continually showcases that in their show.

Relationships Matter

Ricky is fortunate to have a good family that supports him. They look out for him during his time dealing with his transition on whether he wants to continue playing or retire. They intervene when they catch him taking PEDS.

It’s important to have people in your corner that genuinely look out for you. You don’t want a bunch of yes men around you turning a blind eye to whatever you are doing. Whether it’s your family, close friends, significant other, management, etc. you need to surround yourself with the right people that always have your back.

Second Chances

Second chances are hard to come by in sports. When you have an opportunity you have to grab it with both hands and never let go. Ricky unfortunately took advantage of his relationship with Charles and is now suffering the consequences of not signing with the Los Angeles Rams. In sports and life for that matter, it’s important to always make a good impression because that can take you a long way whether getting another contract extension or even a foot in the door. In Ricky’s case, his impression wasn’t enough because of his continued antics.

Control Your Destiny

Quincy decides to commit to USC regardless of any TV deal that may come his way. It’s important as an individual to understand, that you control your destiny. Don’t feel pressured to sign somewhere because you feel obligated. You have to do what’s best for you. Whether it’s signing with a team that can help you succeed off the court or going to an organization that will pay you more money or playing closer to home, you control that final decision and ultimately your destiny.


Spencer is coming for blood when it comes to the NCAA. It seems like the NCAA is reaching a tipping point on whether they will end up paying student athletes. Whatever side of the fence you are on, doesn’t take away the fact that student athletes are very fortunate and their platform will only continue to grow with all the resources we have at our disposal. It’s important the NCAA find ways to develop their student athletes in ways that will help them long after their time at university is over. If they end up paying them, financial literacy becomes that much more important. If they don’t, what services are they going to focus on to help with networking and character development skills?

Amobi Okugo