Andre Iguodala is changing the NBA
In 2009, Sports Illustrated published a statistic that 60 percent of former NBA players go bankrupt within five years of their careers. The essence could be different: Antoine Walker failed on bad investments, Gilbert arenas was ruined by an extravagant lifestyle – but the result is about the same.
In the beautiful NBA of the present, everything is different.
Now basketball players are not only specially taught how to handle money more carefully. Their financial strategies are also changing. The biggest fortunes of the stars of the 90s were built on investments in real estate, in dealerships, in restaurants. The main stars of our time, in addition to traditional options, are invested either in technology (Durant), or in film production (Curry, LeBron).
Even against an advanced background, 2015 finals MVP and three-time NBA champion Andre Igudala stands out. The forward became interested in venture capital investments before moving to Golden state and after moving to San Francisco in 2013, decided to make the most of the club’s close proximity and spiritual proximity to Silicon valley. Igudala has not only invested in about 40 startups, he also encourages other athletes to invest in high-tech as well. In 2017, Igudala and Curry appeared on the cover of Bloomberg – together they came up with the concept of a Technology summit of players, where athletes are told about the possibilities of such financial investments. In addition to Igudala and Curry, Baron Davis, Jaylen brown and Kevin Durant spoke at the annual summits, and the audience included many NBA players, from Aaron Gordon to Kelly Olynyk.
Igudala has a business partner
Of course, Igudala is not acting alone. It is managed by Rudy Kline-Thomas, whom the player met back in Philadelphia.
Cline-Thomas ran a company that helped minor players in the NFL and NBA in their business activities.
Somehow that kind of help landed him in jail. He was sued by Vikings player Madier Williams – he claimed that Cline-Thomas owed him $ 200,000. As a result, he sat behind bars for four days, because he refused to pay: now he says that he simply transferred the player’s money to his agent, since the League prohibits players from lending money to their agents, and the agent did not return the debt. Then Kline-Thomas sued the agent himself and compensated for the damage.
At Philadelphia, Cline-Thomas worked with rookie Herbert hill. Igudala taught him how to be an NBA player,but this knowledge did not come in handy. “I spent a lot of time with herb and met Rudy from time to time,” Igudala said. – I listened to what he was saying, and I told him once: “Let’s exchange numbers, I have questions.”
Cline-Thomas dissuaded igudala from a multimillion-dollar investment in real estate in downtown Philadelphia and instead opened up the stock market to Him. In 2010, the basketball player allocated 2 million for the adviser to prove himself through an account on E-Trade. “We agreed that I would only pay him if he made a lot of money.”
It was through this ruthless exploitation of black basketball fans that Igudala came to invest in “unicorn companies.”
Cline-Thomas is not technically an agent of Igudala. At the same time, he manages all the processes – both for financial investments, and for signing new contracts with NBA clubs.