Frugal Lessons From Ballers: Season 4 Episode 7

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.


Afraid to Fail…Afraid to Succeed

Charles is having trouble balancing his work and life schedule. He lets his wife, Julie, that he feels like he is letting everyone down by not devoting enough time to get the best results. He shows doubt in himself. Julie explains to him that he is afraid to succeed just like he was too afraid to fail when he first retired out of the NFL working at the car dealership.

Being afraid whether to fail or succeed is tough for professional athletes. You constantly doubt your capabilities because you’re not use to doing anything besides competing in your sport. When you are at the top of your sport, the one thing you worked your whole life for, it’s tough to find anything that compares. Professional athletes struggle all the time post career because they are too afraid of their own potential. Little do they know, their experience playing professional sports gave them everything they needed to succeed outside

“Stick to Sports”

Mantras like “stick to sports” and “shut up and dribble” have been addressed towards athletes as they’ve increased their voices outside of the game they play. Whether it’s about government issues, culture ideologies, injustices within the community, athletes as a whole are making their voices heard.

In this episode, Ricky is speaking with a couple neighbors in the community about some political and racial equality topics that they disagree on. Ricky gets frustrated at their ignorance and lets them know about it and later tweets about it.

As a professional athlete although it isn’t fair, your thoughts and what you support will be scrutinized and have an effect on your career and who your fan base is. In the episode, we see a screenshot of Ricky’s tweet sent to Charles as a forewarning of what’s yet to come. It remains to be seen how his tweet will affect his chances of getting signed.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting your opinions be heard but it’s important to know that with you voicing your opinion, there may be some push back by other entities.

NCAA & Boosters

Episode 7 becomes a battle of the boosters when it’s hinted that Quincy has decided to actually attend the Ohio St Buckeyes. Spencer takes it upon himself to make sure that isn’t the case because of the deal he has planned with USC. Jason the “future” agent of Quincy warns Spencer that Quincy needs to be kept out of harms way. Spencer and the Ohio State staff and boosters are fighting over the next marquee star.

This episode shows how insane the NCAA and high school recruiting process is for top talent. It’s important as an athlete to have a good team around you to protect you. Boosters and schools will promise you all sorts of things and even blackmail you in order for you to commit. They will use perks like free gear or relationships with celebrity alumni to get you to commit. It’s important as a young athlete to prepare for all scenarios and understand what you want before you get into deep negotiations.

Make sure you get the most out of whatever situation you choose as long as you aren’t breaking any rules that won’t come back to bite you.