The median salary for an NBA player is $2.3 million a year, yet 60 percent of all players are broke within five years of retirement. Some, like Allen Iverson and Antoine Walker are in serious financial trouble, even though they made hundreds of millions of dollars during their playing days.
But what if there was a way to identify the players who are most likely to go broke ahead of time in an attempt to prevent it?
Well here’s a start: In a study of NBA players drafted between 1990-1996 Toulouse-trained labor economist Ruby Henry found the usual culprits of age and education play a part in the players’ potential financial distress. But it also found shot attempts and shooting percentage also play a big part in determining who will end up strapped for cash at the end of their career.
The study shows every three-point shot attempt a player takes during his career increases their odds of going bankrupt in the future. In fact, every three-pointer a player puts up per 36 minutes of court time increases their odds of going bankrupt by a factor of three ,according to Henry’s study. It’s the lowest percentage shot in basketball and, if you think about, it makes a strange kind of sense.
You need confidence to shoot from furthest out. That confidence can sometimes work against players in the real world because if they’re wiling to take a low percentage shot on the job, they’re also more likely to take low percentage chances outside of the court. These low percentage chances often include business ventures, gambling and/or other “not so smart” investments.
In a nutshell, if you’re a there point shooter, try taking the ball to the hole from time to time. Because, it’s clear that the high percentage shot is the best way to score on and off the court.