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NBA rookies suffering financially through lockout: Fan reaction
One thing that reporters asked the NCAA coaches about at the Final Four basketball tournament was whether they felt the possibility of the NBA lockout would affect whether or not their players returned to college. None of the coaches felt they had enough information to give a definitive answer.
A number of NCAA players took the gamble to jump to the NBA and now, with the NBA season possibility going up in flames, they find themselves drafted but without a contract and without a source of income after leaving college.
Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Reggie Jackson(notes) is one of these players. He left Boston College after three seasons and now finds himself in the midst of the NBA lockout. While NBA players are no longer getting paychecks, most have money in the bank account from past seasons to live on. Reggie Jackson, and other rookies who came out in the 2011 NBA Draft, have never received an NBA paycheck. They made no money for playing in college. These players have no job and nothing to fall back on.
People think of Kobe Bryant(notes) and LeBron James(notes), who live the life of luxury thanks to the NBA. They won't miss much in the way of money during the lockout. But what about Jackson? What about Kemba Walker(notes), Derrick Williams(notes), Brandon Knight(notes) and Jimmer Freddette. Ok, maybe Freddette has money thanks to his reality show leading to the draft and the higher picks probably have endorsement deals already in place. But Reggie Jackson doesn't.
Reggie Jackson had to take out a loan to survive. He no longer has dorm living as he did in college and the occupation that he expected to make his living with is on hold for now. He is driving a rental car and is using the loan to try to survive until the NBA lockout eventually ends.
But, what if the NBA lockout cancels the 2011-12 NBA season? What happens to the rookies then? I suppose they will have to use whatever college education they received to find a temporary job. I am sure that some have businesses in their former college towns who might be willing to throw them a bone. They are out of school, so there is no NCAA violation there.
The NBA players and owners are considered millionaires fighting for more money. However, there are also a few players that do not fall into that category. Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Reggie Jackson is one of them and the lockout is keeping him from moving forward in his life. Not everyone in an NBA millionaire.
Author Shawn S. Lealos in an avid sports fan who has lived in Oklahoma for 40 years.
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