Guaranteed contracts, an average career length of five years (contrast that with the NFL’s 3.3 years), a legit PR machine… Compared to other leagues, NBA players are set up for long-term success off the court. And as a result, the Association has been the leader in producing certified moguls.
So let’s play our own game then, shall we? Let’s take a minute to create a fictional starting lineup of the NBA’s biggest moguls of the decade. While we’re pretty crafty with a turn of phrase, we just gotta call this what it is: THE ONE37pm NBA ALL-MOGUL TEAM (cue money sounds).
Obviously, we need to set some ground rules. A mogul, or one’s 'mogulness' can be evaluated by a few criteria:
How deep are the player’s pockets? Ideally this is pretty objective, but turns out you can’t demand financial records of strangers. I tried. I even asked Gary. So, we’ll do the best we can.
Youth helps here. Has the player in question postured themselves to make money moves in the future?
RESPECT WITHIN ONE OR MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES
Harder to measure but equally important. Bonus points for a breadth of industries. True moguls invest in themselves and know how to spread their wealth.
ABILITY TO MOVE MOUNTAINS
This might be the most important criteria of mogulness. Who is most likely to Euro-step the wait at New York's red-sauce joint Carbone without a reservation? Who can finesse an executive producer credit without ever making it to set? Who can land their homie a gig as assistant manager of player personnel on their current team?
AND WE WON’T TALK ABOUT YOU UNLESS
The player needed to actually play in the NBA after 2010, not just grow their worth. For example, Steve Nash played 15 games in the 2013-2014 season—he’s cool. But Michael Jordan retired in ‘03, even though his wealth made a leap this decade; he’s ineligible for this contest (still cool, though).
The lineup, while fictional, must be playable. Can’t start three bigs. However, we might be favorable to a three-guard lineup, or a stretch-four playing center—shouts to small-ball. This is the ‘10s after all.