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The good, the bad, and the unknown in athlete investments


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Whenever I hear about the demise of cryptocurrencies, I think about Simpsons episode where the tech bubble bursts and a nerdy young start-up brings the Lisa company stock from a roll of toilet paper. (The joke is that tech stocks are so abundant and worthless that their only specific value is using them to wipe your asshole.) I don’t think we’re there with electricity. death – and I say that largely because the shows I watch are not yet able to mock Bitcoin to that extent – but the supporters of Ether or TerraUSD are sweating profusely as the market has done another one. Again.

When the last sale happened in January, my colleague Grace McDermott wrote about adventurous athletes like Odell Beckham Jr. and hypothetical Aaron Rodgers when they choose to receive compensation in the form of cryptocurrency instead of cash in recent contracts and transactions. At that time, Bitcoin’s low was $36,000, down from its November peak of $96,000.

Now it is hovering just above $30,000, which is an important number Analysts say that could point to a further decline if it can’t keep there. And that’s about how crypto-savvy I am – or at least according to what I’ve read before getting confused.

So as opposed to repeating what Grace wrote in a different way or picking up a joke from a colleague in our Slack channel about “What’s the Bigger Gamble: James Harden Extension or Bitcoin? ” I’ll be looking at three different athlete investments that are either successful, already successful, or still in the works. (I will remove scams because losing money illegally is not really an investment.)

The Good: Al Harrington’s Viola Cannabis Company

The former NBA player is amassing a $100 million group of Black entrepreneurs in the weed industry in an effort to bring more diversity to the $25 billion industry, of which only 2 % of business owners who are people of color. In an interview with ForbesHarrington lays out how his community is negatively, and disproportionately, affected by drug addiction policies, and how Black and Brown people are having a hard time getting their foot in the door. industry – or get out of prison for marijuana-related charges.

Viola’s chairman has many current investors and former NBA players, including DeMarcus Cousins, JR Smith, Kenyon Martin, Ben Gordon and Josh Childress. The future of cannabis is a safer bet than anything I’ve seen from crypto. The weed has come out of the bag (and is now available in child-proof jars), the business has been smoked, and the government is not putting the kibosh in a business that could generate $65 billion in revenue by 2030.

The Bad: Dennis Rodman’s Bad Boy Vodka

Eccentric athlete who was seen drinking Mind Erasers during practice on ESPN Last dance, following in the footsteps of vodka pioneers like P Diddy and 50 Cent with its own spirit. Unlike Ciroq or Effen vodka, Bad Boy Vodka is unlikely to be profitable – or even viable. BadBoyVodka.com is a dead URLand I can’t find a bottle to buy anywhere on the internet.

Perhaps Rodman’s old drinking buddy, Kim Jong-un, has bought up all the supplies and is stocking up on it for the former Detroit Pistons Bad Boy’s next visit. Or Rodman, who has been in rehab for his drinking in the pastkicked Bad Boy Vodka off the wagon when he allegedly jumped into it after a DUI 2018. It’s unclear if he’ll still be sober, but hopefully he’ll leave that lifestyle behind with his failed vodka business.

The Unknown: NBA Players and Wine

This is fascinating to me because everyone is a football fan in the NBA right now. LeBron James pour for a glass of wine after losing to the Trail Blazers this season. Carmelo Anthony get the cover of Wine Spectator. I personally tasted a rose from Dwyane Wade’s Wade Wine Cellar, by the hand-poured Finalist MVP at Food & Wine a few years ago. CJ McCollum enjoyed the vino scene in the Willamette Valley so much during his time in Portland that he bought his own vineyard.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get into the consistently profitable alcohol industry, but it’s hard to achieve legitimacy in alcohol, especially with a predominantly white, completely monopolistic perception of the business. Karma.

Carlton McCoy, one of only three black sommeliers out of 500 master somms in America, succinctly said when he told the New York Times“The wine is marketed as a classy, ​​even entry-level pinot Grigio, but that’s not what people of color are concerned with.”

Maverick Carter, LeBron’s sales manager, was one of McCoy’s mentors, which is why I found this course so interesting. (I shipped shipments of McCoy’s liquor around the hotel during my stay at the pier when we were both at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., and he was one of the most engaging and did the job. hardest worker I’ve ever met, so that also played a part in my curiosity.)

Ideally, McCoy could help NBA players weeds out the snobs that seem to be ingrained in drinkers’ DNA, and if that happens, it will turn an uncertain investment into an imminent return. exploit.



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