Suppose you were a pro sports player, how would you behave differently than others?

Suppose you suddenly had the athletic ability of LeBron, Gretzky, Jeter, Tiger or Messi in their prime (or whichever sport/position you want.) You’re an instant starter on any pro team you choose.

Now, since you have not been steeped in pro-sports culture, and never grew up under those expectations, how would you behave differently than most other pro athletes?

Would you be a “lunch-pail” type of player, living a comparatively humble lifestyle, avoid excess and the limelight?

Or, maybe, you would splurge and get that 16-bedroom mansion, a garage of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, seek the limelight?

Would you use different tactics or strategies than other athletes while on the field?

Would you avoid the sports media and dodge them, or engage them and go back and forth in a volley of verbal wit or insults?

Etc. etc.

I imagine I’d be a greedy attention whore right up there with the rest of them.

I would definitely try to buy the Indians baseball team so I could rename them the Cleveland Spiders.

I think I would see my sports career as essentially a windfall. Something I should use now while I have it to set myself up for the rest of my life after sports.

I feel a lot of athletes don’t have that perspective. They played sports from childhood and grew up in sports. Their entire life has included sports as a central factor. So they don’t put enough thought into what they will do after sports. They retire from sports in their mid-thirties and suddenly realize they have no idea what to do.

I agree. I’d earn my 8 figure salary, invest it wisely, and retire after about 5 years or so (unless it’s football, then I’m retiring after 1 year due to the risk of CTE). I would use my celebrity to try to make some contacts in areas of interest that I would pursue after my retirement, but I have no interest in any kind of general fame. You won’t see me at the trendy nightclubs. As far as my lifestyle goes, I’d hire a personal assistant for things like shopping when I don’t feel like going to the store, and a chauffeur that would be on call for longer road trips, but not any kind of live in help. I’d live in a wealthy neighborhood, the type of place where I could buy a small mansion, but not a Michael Jackson style compound.

And of course, if it’s a team sport I’m playing I would play for my favorite team.

The idea of becoming an odious Schilling/Ditka type, post-career, gets me kinda amped.
Lots and lots of sponsorships, so that they eventually comprise about 92% of my entire income.
Twitter wars.
Oh my.
I would just slay.
Consuming vast amounts of cocaine.
Hosting many-a bocce ball tournament (yet to try it)

I’m an introvert, so I would not court fame, and I wouldn’t look for advertising either. That could leave a bunch of money on the table, so be it. No social media; why attract haters?

I would save up most of the money, not partying or anything like that. I would only buy modest stuff, like a single car. I might not even buy a house until I retired, since there’s little point if I spend a lot of time on the road. (Does the team pay for my hotel? Something to think about!)

And most importantly, do not have a large entourage. I would probably have to have staff (so an entourage of a certain size), but people get into the entourage by being hired, not because I knew them in grade three, or are related to me, or are recommended to me by someone in the preceding two categories. While some athletes get very wealthy, most don’t have that high a net worth, and are “only” paid a few million a year at best. That’s not enough to support a large entourage. I would not trust any accountant, and would probably hire more than one just to make them watch each other. They don’t need signing authority for most things, either (only access to a single account whose transactions I can watch).

Even though advanced statistics have been around for a while now, long enough for the current generation of athletes to have grown up with them, it still doesn’t seem like there are any who are interested in talking about them, so I guess I could be the first. Defend a slumping teammate by pointing out that his bat exit velocity has still been pretty good lately… argue that another guy is underrated because he doesn’t lead in any flashy stats but he has a high WAR… answer a question about my great clutch performance in that last game by responding that clutch performance has never been conclusively demonstrated to be a repeatable skill to any significant degree… that sort of thing.

I’d like to give entertaining sports interviews after the game. “If you’d ever taken a rudimentary math class…”

I would throw the knuckleball. According to Wikipedia, the MLB has no active knuckleballers at the moment. (In fact, the only time the pitch has been thrown this season was when Todd Frazier, a position player drafted to take the mound at the end of a blowout, busted it out.) The knuckleball deserves to have another practitioner take up that lonely mantle.

I think most financial planners are generally reliable. I think the problem athletes experience is the one you mentioned; they put a guy they feel they can trust (because he’s a cousin or a high school friend) in charge of their finances rather than a professional. Even if the trust is justified (and that’s not always the case) they’re still putting all their money in the hands of somebody who is essentially an amateur.

This right here. It’s the same attitude that has served me well in life so far.

It’s an interesting question and I’d IMAGINE this is how I would conduct myself, but I doubt would:

-Spend my big money on a modest house with a pool, nice SUV or pickup and put the rest in a bank (maybe a nice car or house for my Mom)

-Only date women that have been very carefully vetted by a PI agency.

-Spend my nightlife at select bars that are recommended by other athletes as being “safe”

I hope I’d be reasonably responsible with my money, but I would splurge in a few things. I’d go for luxury and style over bling. Instead of a garage full of new Lamborghinis, I’d have a vintage Ferrari, and original GT40, and a few other all-time classics. Have a decent house with some fruit trees in the garden, so I could have apples and cherries when they’re in season.

So, maybe not all that different from other suddenly-rich athletes, but I would indulge in different whims.