Former NBA player J.R. Smith is the latest guest on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast with Brandon Marshall, and the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year and two-time champion kept it all the way real. Smith talked about athletes’ mindsets as relates to what they can do to help their communities and the power of wealth.
“We’re in the bubble, George Floyd happens, and we stop playing,” Smith said. “Everyone is like ‘what we gonna ask the owners for?’ Stop asking them for sh-t! What are we asking them for? I went down the line, no bullsh-t. You can ask these dudes. I got Paul George sitting right here, I got DeMar DeRozan sitting right here, I got Russell Westbrook sitting right here. I’m literally sitting next to all these dudes who are LA guys. I’m like, bro, I’m not counting your chips but everybody else is. You make $200 (million), you make $200 (million), you make $175 (million), you make $150 (million), and you make $180 (million). Why don’t y’all have your own gym? Why we gotta go to UCLA to work out every time? Y’all come from the exact same community. You want to inspire kids that look like you? All it takes is five of them.”
Don’t worry about the fact that Smith listed five salaries but only three players. His point is valid and a good one. The upper echelon of NBA players makes a lot of money. They earn it and then some, to be fair. But what could things look like if players pooled their resources? It could be transformative.
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