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Owners will have a hard time waiting out Jeff Foster

Nov 18, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

Jeff Foster Getty Images

The perception is that every NBA player is living life like Vinny Chase in Entourage. Women, drugs, parties, hangers on and money flowing out in a river.

It happens. But not to everyone.

Businessweek has a story with Jeff Foster, the Pacers center you usually think of as the other guy in the poster but who has hung in the league a dozen years. And he’s a guy who did something novel — he saved his money.

Foster has played in the NBA for 12 years and earned more than $47 million, and he’s done something extraordinary: He’s saved about three-quarters of his take-home pay.

The story goes on to break down Foster’s investments — he got burned by the Internet stock bubble but now has a diverse portfolio of investments. While a lot of players have had their last contract spread out so they got payments into the summer, Foster didn’t because he wanted that money to be earning him interest.

He did buy himself a Porsche at one point, but he’s sold it. He’s back to having an SUV now. Can’t have those wild expenses during a lockout.

  1. hystoracle - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Foster should open a Financial consulting/advising firm for professional sports athletes. Most of these guys have no clue what “save for a rainy day” means and wind up broke a few months after they are done playing. Foster shows what can be done in life with a little motivation and a view on the big picture. Good for him!

    • derekjetersmansion - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      You can lead a horse to water…

      • mogogo1 - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        Sports Illustrated ran an article a couple years back about athletes going broke and interviewed a financial adviser the NFL had employed to try and help players. He said in all his years on the job, hardly anybody ever took his advice to invest in blue chip stocks but every single guy thought he’d make it big by owning a restaurant.

  2. bernie19kosar - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    A player who has averaged 4 points and 6 rebounds a game has made more than 47 million dollars in his career?

    Yeah, the system isn’t broken. These poor, poor players…

    • leearmon - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:20 PM

      Someone had to offer Foster those contracts though. Most of those guys get paid millions of dollars too. I wonder why no one is saying they’re ruining the game…

  3. silverdeer - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    That is good to hear. I would be curious to find out how many players outside of the ones that make a gazillion dollars a year are going to be able to financially survive this. However, I guess we are going to find out soon enough.

  4. sshameless - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Then you hear the players whine that they just want what is fair. Like being forced to live on $47 million is so tough. And that is just the poorest class of them like Foster. While these players and owners gouge fans like Shylock in “Tale of Two Cities” for their pound of flesh from the fans.

    You can’t get halfway decent seats for you and your family at one game for less than $1,000. They overprice jerseys and shoes for hundreds of dollars that only cost a few dollar in materials and labor to make because they shipped the manufacturing to poor countries that pay employees 15 cents an hour. All so they can greedily line their pockets at fan’s expense.

    You hear idiots like Jason Terry say the owners are trying to eliminate the middle and poor class. Pure BS, no middle class in this country is paid millions of dollars annually. Especially for playing a game that requires no scholastic work at education.

    Etan Thomas claims the players are the 99%. Even worse BS. These players aligned themselves w/ the 1% as their beloved compatriots. Charging filthy prices for decent seats and stadium suites which their corporate pals are glad to pay w/ their excess of their ill gained moneys. Then holding out for millions in contracts, stating they just want to be fair.

    Without fans, these players and owners have no money gouging opportunity. I say when these Shylocks start their league up again next year, all fans should lock them out. Don’t attend their overpriced games, buy their overpriced merchandise, and don’t pay for their cable TV contracts.

    Tell them not until they start charging decent and truly fair prices. The vast majority of their fans are not filthy rich corporate thieves. Charge prices that the fans of the normal economic standards can afford. What is wrong w/ them living on a few hundred thousand dollars per year instead of $20 million?

    Instead of stealing money from fans by overgouging prices, then blowing it on $50 million dollar mansions and fleets of luxury cars. And they claim they are not treated fairly. Sickening to hear that lunatic crap from these jerks.

    They don’t have the hard earned education to even hold on to money, in most case. These athletes quit paying attention to classes in the 9th grade. There has been athletes playing professional sports that played for 5 years in college. And after they graduated, we found out they did not even know how to read.

    They must depend on agent lawyers to market their persons and make investments for them. Tell them how to dress, how to talk, where to go and what to say. These athletes could not read a Financial Statement, P & L, or even comprehend a Business Plan and Projection.

    Hence, unscrupulous agents, business MBA’s and lawyers rip off all the money owners gouged from fans and paid these athletes. Is it any wonder that w/ lawyers like Stern, Hunter, Silver, Kessler, Boise and others involved and running the negotiations for the CBA, that agreement over splitting billions is denied. And now that they have successfully removed negotiations from the players and owners and into litigation, only the lawyers and judges can decide what happens.

    It won’t end until the players run out of money to pay these lawyers millions in their exorbitant $1,000 hourly fees and double accounting charges. The owners don’t care, they have deep pockets to pay lawyers to cut throats till they get what they want. American economic justice.

    And guess who gets to pay for it all when they say they will start playing games again. Yep, the fans. While these fricking billionaires and multi millionaires whine about how hard they have it in their mansions.

  5. foxmtbr - Nov 20, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Lawrence Funderburke was another smart saver like this. He went on to write a book about the frivolous spending and eventual financial fall-outs of his fellow NBA players – “Hook Me Up Playa!”

  6. jimsjam33 - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Spend a little Jeff Foster . Tomorrow is not promised to anybody . I’ve never seen a u-Haul truck hitched up to a hearst on the way to the cementary .

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