Privacy is something NBA players walked away from once they became famous or succeeded. It comes with the territory of winning or becoming champion, but NBA stars are still humans, and they miss the activities that they could freely before without the extra attention.
Jimmy Butler on the aftermath of fame
Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler’s mark of relentless defense and uncompromising leadership has won him millions of fans. Butler also earned millions on his NBA salary and endorsements. However, he admitted that he missed some things he could do before it all happened in an interview with Lane Florsheim of the Wall Street Journal.
“I think one of the hardest things about being a celebrity is that you can’t be a parent every now and then. I hate that I can’t take my daughter to the zoo because everyone wants to talk basketball or take a picture. For my daughter, I’m just her father, she doesn’t know the difference.
Jimmy Butler, WSJ
An NBA star playing on teams in large markets cannot afford such privacy or luxury of leading a daily life. However, the extra attention could also earn potential money through endorsements or business ventures. In JB’s case, it helped market his coffee business, Big Face Coffee, which he started in the Orlando bubble. There are two sides to each coin.
Players who embrace celebrity culture
Not all NBA players shy the spotlight. Some have made films, produced albums, started media companies, and have their own podcasts. Since they can’t really escape the public eye, you might as well make the most of them.
Old school players like Larry Bird absolutely hated the extra attention, while LeBron James and Kobe Bryant used the same influence to initiate positive change in the community. Byrant built his Mamba Academy while James has his school in Akron. Meanwhile, there are retired and current players who own a podcast, such as JJ Redick, Duncan Robinson, Matt Barnes, Quentin Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas, among others.
Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan are examples of past and current NBA stars who avoid the spotlight. They enjoy their lives in their own way and are proof that all the fame that comes with being NBA stars is not worth the privacy that every human being has a right and deserves.