September 22, 2010
Regardless of the outcome, basketball players' post-NBA lives are usually fascinating. Whether it be Allen Iverson(notes) giving China a shot, Derrick Coleman's business deals going bad or Kenny Anderson finally getting his degree, whatever happens is typically interesting. Unfortunately, the sad tales seem to outnumber the happy ones but those good stories make it worth paying attention even when things go bad. Case in point: Nate Archibald.
As FanHouse's Tim Povtak found out, he's had a pretty nice go of things after retiring in 1984.
At age 62, Archibald continues to reinvent himself through a slow but startling transformation, from a Hall of Fame player who retired in 1984 into one of the most educated, most academically driven ex-athletes in America today. [...]
From a youngster who almost dropped out of his South Bronx high school -- whose grades were beyond bad -- Archibald is honing plans to add a Ph.D in Education to the Bachelor's, Master's and Professional degrees he already holds. [...]
"It might not be a big deal to some people, but to me, getting the Ph.D. will be my greatest accomplishment,'' he said during a lunch interview with FanHouse. "I'm no Einstein, that's for sure, and I'm not smarter than anyone else, but maybe I've been more persistent. And I understand the value of education.''
While kids at the schools asked about Michael Jordan, he wanted to talk about Dr. Dick Barnett, another New York-raised former NBA player, already with a Ph.D. Archibald, when he gets his doctorate, would be the only one on the NBA's all-time list of 50 Greatest Players to hold such a distinction.
Yes, very cool. Very, very great to hear. And pretty surprising, if you ask me. Not that a guy nicknamed "Tiny" would get a Ph.D, but that he'd be the first of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players to have one. With the politicians, coaches and executives that came from that list, you'd think a Ph.D would slip in somewhere.
Even better than the Ph.D — which is obviously top-drawer awesome — is that Archibald is using his status as an NBA great to encourage kids to work at their education like he did. As he told Povtak, "You better have something more than a jump shot or a dunk to fall back on, even if you make it to the NBA, because when you leave it's a different world out there." Sound advice, and something that would be beneficial to a lot of current and former players.
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