Frugal Lessons From Ballers: Season 4 Episode 6

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 financial points from the show that athletes deal with or can learn from.

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Having A Good Manager

In this episode, Ballers show how important it is to have a good manager in your corner. Time and time again you see athletes falling victim to bad advice from shady agents and managers. This episode shows that having someone that will look out for you can make all the difference in your career on and off the field. Vernon’s manager, Reggie, takes it upon himself to check Joe on their investment with Sports X because things aren’t going well. Jason, Ricky’s agent, makes an extra effort to get Ricky back into football. An agent that still cares after you stop getting him checks is an agent that you should cherish.

Your Network Is Your Networth

Ricky’s friend and former teammate, Charles, is now GM of the Los Angeles Rams, the team he wants to play for. Spencer who’s trying to get a TV deal done with USC has to go through an ex teammate of his brother. Ballers throughout the show has made a constant reference to the importance of network. As a professional athlete, it’s so important that you keep good relationships with people you come in contact with because later down the road you may need to do business with them or even need a favor from them. Your network can open up a lot of doors if you go about it the right way and don’t burn bridges.

Business & Emotions

Never let your emotions get in the way of business. It clouds your judgement. Whether it’s wanting to invest in your friend’s not so good business idea or not getting out of a bad deal because of your pride, your emotions will affect your business decisions. In the latest episode, Spencer won’t even negotiate because of a past experience with a former buddy of his. Spencer fails to even realize that the deal isn’t about him and lets his personal emotions affect his business. You have to be cold in business sometimes. When athletes get cut or traded out of the blue, people will say that’s just how it goes, sports is business. Well that’s how people need to think all the time.

Paid Upfront

Quincy, the biggest high school prospect to come out in the last 20 years is pretty smart for his age and experience. He makes no qualms about what he wants out of his relationship with Spencer even if he has to cut a few lanes to get it. He makes a claim about how he wants to get paid upfront. It was really interesting he brought that up. Knowing what you want out of a contract or deal beforehand can make all the difference not only from a leverage standpoint but negotiation standpoint as well. Having an idea of what you want and not wanting to risk anything on the back end based on the unforeseen future is important to take into consideration. Quincy explains why being paid upfront is so important to him because the future isn’t promised. It was great that Ballers showed that scene.

Bonus:

Episode 6 of Ballers was written by Rashard Mendenhall, a former NFL superbowl champion. This goes to show you that you can use your experience and platform to follow other passions in your life after your career is done. Mendenhall retired at age 26 and struggled to find his path but through Ballers as well as other projects he’s found his new path while keeping his old one close to home. As a professional athlete you never know how long you’ll be able to play, but you will always have the experiences and abilities that helped you so well on the field move you forward in the next phase.