It’s been a while since I written about HR and sports! It’s one of my favorite things to do. There are so many great sports stories in our lives that give us great insight into possible solutions we can actually use in real life.
This most recent example comes to us from the land of the NBA (National Basketball Association). Right now in the NBA, it’s the offseason where all the big trade deals and free-agent signings happen. You might have heard of a little-known player, Lebron James, going to the Los Angeles Lakers! This post is not about LBJ!
This post is about a player coming off a bad injury, DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, who played for the New Orleans Pelicans last year, and, before the injury, was arguably a top 25 player in the NBA. His numbers last year were 25 points per game, 12.9 rebounds per game, and 5.4 assists per game! Those are giant numbers.
He tears is Achilles tendon and he is becoming a free agent this season. So, he’s got a problem.
No team wants to really give him a long-term contract, because that is a bad injury and they aren’t sure how he’ll come back, plus he won’t really be ready until January, so he’ll miss part of the season. He’s only 27 years old, so he is fairly young, but big guys don’t have a great track record of coming back from this injury.
So, what should he do?
He signs a one-year, veteran mid-level exemption contract for $5.4 million. Which sounds like a lot, but in reality, he’s probably worth $20 million+ per year for 4 or 5 years if he’s not injured. He signs this contract with the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, who already have the best roster on the planet!
This is about rehabbing his career and rehabbing his image.
Boogie hasn’t been known as the best player you want to play with or coach. Golden State is known to be the best “team” in the NBA, in that they have mega-stars who take on roles and play within the system, and they win, and they have fun doing it. Boogie needs a place that will let him come back slowly, and not have huge pressure on him to carry a team. He also needs some of that Golden State shine on his personality to show other teams he can play with other stars and be coached.
Most people would not have done what Boogie is doing!
Boogie could have gotten more money and probably multiple years, at a discount, from some teams that are struggling and willing to take a risk on a potential superstar if he comes back strong.
Most people would have taken the longer contract and more money, but that’s not how you rehab your career!
If your career is at a bad spot there is really only one great way to rehab yourself. You got to work for the best brand/organization that you can, at whatever position they’ll hire you in for, even if that means you take a huge pay cut to do it! In a great organization, you’ll be able to move up quickly, or move to another organization and continue your path back up.
Boogie going to Golden State isn’t about winning a championship or signing a long-term deal with them. They don’t have the room for the level of deal he’ll sign. It’s about a short-term stop to rehab his body and his image, so he can sign a mega-deal next season. Be willing to put yourself into the best organization for less money, and long-term it will pay off for your exponentially!