Per Liz Mullen of SBJ, the National Basketball Players Association has hired former NBA player, union president and ESPN broadcaster Antonio Davis to lead a program intended to help prepare players for life after basketball – “Off the Court.”
So far, he is the only person working for the program and his title is to be determined. He will report directly to NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts.
The new CBA between the league and the players will fund the program, similar to the NFLPA’s player transition programs. Some of Davis’ duties include making sure players file the right paperwork when they finish playing to get health insurance and other benefits, and working with retired players on planning for a second career.
According to Roberts, “We [NBPA] go to the rookie training program and one of the first things they are told is, ‘You’ve got to be prepared for life after basketball,’” she said. “And these guys are looking at us like, ‘Are you kidding me? We just got here. Now I have to be prepared for leaving?’”
The NBPA currently has certain programs in place to help NBA players gain experience in industries of interest, outside of basketball. One of the most popular programs is called Sportscaster U., in which players who are interested in a career in broadcasting participate in a seminar at Syracuse University. According to Davis, not enough players are taking advantage of these opportunities.
With Davis at the helm of this new program, he brings a unique component of having had success in the NBA as well as making a successful career transition himself. With his background, he provides an example for players to look up to.