Kyle Guy Is Still Eating Little Caesars

The second round draft pick doesn't get paid until November. So he got creative.

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Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

In June, the Sacramento Kings selected Virginia guard Kyle Guy with the 55th pick in the NBA draft. With a handful of big names at the top of the draft—namely, Zion Williamson—the narrative this year encompassed a smaller group of athletes than usual. The first 30 picks in the NBA draft automatically earn guaranteed NBA contracts. What happens if you’re a second rounder? 

Kyle Guy was a second rounder. He’s on a two-way contract, aka a non-guaranteed deal that pays depending on which league Guy is assigned to. If he spends most of the season in the G League, he’ll make a G-League salary, which peaks at about $7k a month, substantially lower than the minimum NBA salary ($898,310). 

“There’s definitely a stereotype that when you get drafted you just have a bunch of money in your bank account,” Guy said over FaceTime from his place in Sacramento, “which is not the case.”

In the NBA, the first check hits on November 15, about two weeks into the regular season. If you’re a first rounder, you’re allowed to get an advance on that money. Guy, pick 55, is legally barred from getting such a cash allowance. Guy just got married, and his wife, Alexa, starts at Notre Dame Law School in the fall. 

So what does he do until November? We talked to Guy to figure that out.

ONE37pm: Since you were drafted, you’ve been doing a lot of Cameo work and some other odd jobs. You’re being pretty transparent about why you’re trying to earn right now. How did you come up with this plan of attack? 

Kyle Guy: I am basically unemployed for three more months. So as soon as I got drafted, obviously, we were excited, blah blah blah, and then we started figuring out when I’d go out [to Sacramento]. 

But then I started realizing, me and my wife, we need some money. We still have to pay for the wedding and our rental car out in Sacramento, Airbnb and all this stuff—that was not easy. Also, she was getting ready to go to law school, so she did some babysitting for some money and then I did Cameo. I’m doing this VIP VR thing, which is kind of like Cameo but it’s a FaceTime for one minute. So they can ask me whatever they want for one minute. I signed up for three sessions of that and then a couple other endorsements like this. You know what Fathead is?

The big posters. Yeah.

Guy: So there’s something similar to that called Home Stadium, and basically it’s like your whole wall would be a football stadium or a football field or a basketball arena or whatever you want it to be. I’m doing stuff with them. Just anything that can help me get by. Cameo is actually the most steady kind of income that I have, and obviously, most NBA players sign a deal with Panini, which is a trading card company, so I'm getting paid that way as well.

Were you always this industrious off the court?

Guy: I sold a lot of shoes when I was in college. I sold my PlayStation. I sold probably like 50 pairs of shoes. Anything to keep me above water.

Where did you sell them?

Guy: Most of the time I made a fake Instagram account, because in college you can’t flip or whatever, so I made a fake account that didn’t have my name or anything. My PlayStation I sold to somebody I knew, so I just did that through text or whatever.

I would ask people, “Hey, can you tell people that if they’re interested in shoes I’ll send them some pictures and stuff?” I was telling my wife yesterday, it’s kind of nice that we have this perspective. I like this metaphor of being fed and being starved. We played both sides of it.

I’m a very money-conscious person. I’m efficient and, yes, definitely a hustler trying to spread generational wealth.

What have you learned about yourself, scrapping together paychecks? 

Guy: I think it’s kind of like working two jobs. It’s not as constant as basketball. Sometimes I won’t have a Cameo every single day. But I think being able to go to this place where it’s like, “All right, I got to get this done no matter what or I’m not eating tonight. There’s been some nights where I’m not eating dinner. The past two nights I’ve eaten Little Caesars, the whole pizza for $5, the Hot-N-Ready takeout deal. That’s just the best thing for my financial situation right now. 

There’s so much talk of trying to get a financial structure for college athletes so that athletes generating all this revenue for big universities can get a cut. What do you think the solution is there? With your experience, I’d be curious to know what you thought the details might be.

Guy: I think it’s hard to pay every single person the same amount because of revenue differences, or differentials, and then also player differentials.

I think the cost of attendance thing is very, very helpful. So maybe just like a baseline. Maybe just like another $1,000 for everybody, another $2,000 for everybody, and then kind of based on jersey sales or any revenue or anything like that. I mean, football and basketball bring in so much revenue that could be spread throughout other sports that don’t generate as much. I would explore those avenues. I don’t know how they would do it. It would be very tough, but it’s funny because I do think we deserve to be paid. But I don’t know how they would do it.

So, November is a long time from now. Do you have some other stuff lined up for the fall?

Guy: The problem is, when you do these deals or when you do stuff, the money isn’t like, “OK, I did it and now the money is in my bank account!” Sometimes they’ll send some up front, but sometimes it’s like a three-week waiting period. So I’m in limbo at the moment, but once stuff hits, I’ll be good. I’m very open to doing anything. 

I like branding myself. So I have no problem putting [something] on my Story. “Hey, everyone, check this out!” Which I think gives me an advantage in this hustlers’ world that I’m trying to live in. It’s definitely not a pity party. I’m not complaining about being in the shoes I’m in. I’m renting a home. I’m fine. I’m not saying that.

But I still got to furnish the home and all these things. I got to get a car. It’s just when you’re starting off, the cost increases, plus we were paying for a wedding, so you got to scrape up what you can.

Do you have a particular financial philosophy that you adhere to? If so, what is it? 

I’m trying to educate myself in that area before I start doing anything. I have a financial advisor. I have a tax person. I have a team put together to help me with this stuff. I don’t know, I think the NBA does some really cool things with 401(k)s and whatnot to very much set you up for afterward. So just taking advantage of every opportunity and door that’s open for me and then playing the game smartly with my money in terms of entrepreneurship or businesses or stocks, whatever it is. I’m just playing it smart and, again, trying to make that generational wealth.

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