So You Think You Are Ready to go Pro: A letter to the aspiring NBA players of 2012

As the deadline for college basketball underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft approaches (April 29th) it is important that these aspiring NBA athletes consider the following:

               1. What are your plans if you make the league?

2. Will you return to school and earn your degree?

3. Will you soil yourroyal oatsand have potential mates sign a prenup?

4. Will you pay your taxes?

After reviewing these questions you would be wrong to presume that I am advocating for college basketball players to stay more than one year because that is certainly not the case. If a young man can serve his country in the military at 18 he should be extended the opportunity to play professionally in the NBA at the same age. However, to all my aspiring athletes who dream of donning an NBA jersey and shaking the hand of David Stern it is critical that you have a plan. To avoid slipping through the cracks an answer to my four questions are needed in order to ensure that you are not mentioned as reasons why a player should NOT leave school early and enter the NBA Draft (i.e. Sebastian Telfair, Hasheem Thabeet and Dajuan Wagner)

My first suggestion is to avoid the euphoria of I Think I Made It Syndrome and foolishly spend your new riches on meaningless depreciable assets such as jewelry and an assortment of luxury cars. Far too many athletes have made this mistake and have found themselves bankrupt and homeless. After grossing nearly $200 million dollars over a ten-year career Allen Iverson has nothing to show for it due to deplorable spending habits and he is now forced to play for pennies in a B-league in Venezuela.

Next word of advice is invest your money in reputable businesses and franchises, please avoid hiring family members and friends at all cost. Like in the movie He Got Game, avoid the leeches at all cost or they will suck you dry. If you are unsure of what your plans are after playing professionally go back to college and earn your degree. If you have a plan be proactive and put it into action, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson wisely invested their money and now they both own NBA and MLB franchises.

Another important thing to avoid is the Shawn Kemp epidemic that nearly all pro athletes fall victim too. Shawn Kemp was once a promising player in the NBA that ate and sexed his way out of the NBA and a possible hall of fame induction. While in the prime of his career Shawn Kemp had 7 kids by 7 different women in ONE YEAR and had to request advances from the Seattle Supersonics in order to keep up with his child support payments and avoid imprisonment. Fed up with his ever-growing waistline, diminishing skill, and questionable personal choices the Rainmaker was cut and never reached his full potential despite many looks from other teams. News flash gentleman, your time in the NBA is short but the young lives that you create are forever and providing them with a sustainable life is a must. Please avoid being like Dennis Rodman, a Hall-of-Fame player who is broke, addicted to drugs, and behind by over 200k on his child support payments

Last and certainly not least please Pay your Taxes and entrust your money to a reputable bank or investment firm to avoid the evil of the IRS. For some strange reason athletes mistakenly believe that they are immune from IRS and therefore do not have to pay taxes. Although Wilt Chamberlin will forever be remembered for scoring 100 points in a game, lets also remember that he spent his last days broke and bankrupt.

In closing, aspiring athletes sign on the dotted line of your prospective agents contract only if you are truly ready for the long journey ahead, getting into the NBA is only the beginning. But securing a life once you leave the game is what will matter most of all in the end. – A.Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprtz)

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