[MUSIC - JAY Z, "DEAD PRESIDENTS III"] High school graduates, straight to the league. I ain't waitin' for my knee to blow. Yesterday I was needin' this dough. Get it? I was kneadin' this dough.
Dray, what up?
As an athlete, you guys' life is flipped. You guys make the most money you're ever going to make at a very young age. The fact is, most people are going through college at that time. But you at 23 are making decisions of how to manage hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. What was that like when you first got to the NBA?
Man, coming out of college, I was the second round pick. So my first year salary was $850,000. Now, in the grand scheme of things, that's a lot of money. To make $850,000, you're still in the top what, 1% of America? And so it's a lot of money. My first year, I didn't hire a financial adviser. I said, I'm going to do this on my own. I want to learn how to pay bills. I want to learn how money works. And if I screw it up, I screw it up. Because at the end of the day, I'm 22 years old. I can't live the rest of my life off this $400,000 I'm going to take home anyway. But I can teach myself about money.
Were there people and financial advisers and money managers coming after you when you got in the NBA?
Absolutely, there were a ton of people coming at me. And the one thing I didn't want to do, and it may be frowned upon, maybe not. I didn't want to go with a guy who had a bunch of league guys. I wanted to go with someone who thought bigger picture than just how to manage this NBA player's money. I wanted to go with someone who's managing the billionaire's money. Because maybe they're doing something a little bit different than I am.
Exactly. As an athlete, you have to have a lot of ego, a lot of toughness, because you're going to go on the floor every night and compete with Anthony Davis and Big Cuz and LeBron and Russell Westbrook. That takes a lot of fire and ego to do that. But then when you step off the court, is it hard to put that ego down and come off as unknowledgeable or ask questions about things you don't know about?
Well, not for me, and there's a couple of reasons why. One reason is I don't ever want to go back to where I came from. As much as my mom and my dad did to make sure I had a great life, and to make sure every need that I had was met, times were still hard. So I never want to experience that again. I never want my kids to experience that again. And my dad used to always tell me growing up, "Ask questions." Well, in order to not be afraid to ask those questions, you have to be comfortable with yourself, comfortable with your own skin.
In the locker room, is there conversation about money, investments, and I bought this? Maybe within your locker room, but also as you guys look at other athletes and other basketball players specifically.
The biggest competition in our locker room when it comes to that type of stuff is the investments.
Of course, because you guys are in Silicon Valley. And you guys are all meeting the VCs of the world. They're in the front row of all your games, those people in the tech business.
Absolutely. So that's big in our locker room, and I'm fortunate enough to play on a team, not only are we good in basketball, but some smart guys. We all talk about the investments that we have and how they're doing. Some of the startups you're trying to get into, or you're looking at. And you kind of just ask a guy like, hey man. Deal you in. Obviously it's known that KD's in Postmates.
He's doing very well. Congratulations to KD.
And he kind of flexes his muscles on Postmates right now. And it's good, fun competition, friendly competition. And I think it's great to keep pushing guys in the right direction.
As a man thing in business, I think about it. I've talked to other men. I talk to guys who are billionaires who think about it, who go oh yeah, I got a number. I got a number I want to hit. It was like an ego thing, because for a man, we live off ego, and that's kind of our scoreboard in life, like what's your net worth? Do you think about that now? Is your new number like, what I want to get to?
Absolutely. Obviously the goal is always to get a million dollars. Like man, if I could get a million dollars.
Yeah, and when you're coming from nothing, if you're like, it's over. If I get a million it's over. I don't got to do nothing else. I might just quit life and just stay home.
A million dollars. Now for me, I want to be a billionaire. That's my thing. So I want to be a multibillionaire. I don't have an exact number. But I just want to be a billionaire first and that's my goal, and I want to do that by the time I'm 40. Tough task for sure. But I think I can reach it. And so every day, every decision I make, is how is this helping me become a billionaire?
So along the way, getting there, you're going to have to make some really good decisions, right? You're going to think things through the people you trust, the things you invest in. Is there something to this date that's a business decision that sticks out to you that's like, that was a great decision I made to this point?
A couple of investments that I've made are like, all right, those were great decisions. I think the most important decision I've made is just surrounding myself with the team that I have.
On the flip side, is there a purchase or something you bought that you look back and go like, that was stupid, why the hell did I buy that?
A $21,000 night in a club. I woke up the next morning like--
Did you have a blast?
Yeah, I had a blast for sure. I could've had a blast for $4,000, though. So yeah, I woke up the next day, like what? That's $21,000 I can never get back. And one thing people don't realize is, they say, that ain't nothing to you. $20,000 is still $20,000. I don't care how much money you have, it's still $20,000.
But there's a chance you drink too much and the memories get erased.
I still remember, I remember that bill, I remember everything like it was yesterday.