Issue 39: NBA Players Helping Others in Need

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In a statement that should shock no one, NBA players earn a ton of money. Per ESPN, 131 players will make at least $10 million next season.

Now, to be fair, NBA players get taxed a ton of money, too. Every player will lose about 37% of his salary to federal taxes, and most athletes live in states with state income taxes. There’s also the “jock tax,” which calculates specific state tax based on how many road games a player suits up for in a given state, plus agent and legal fees.

A player on, say, the Los Angeles Lakers loses more than half of his salary on federal and state taxes alone. California’s highest income bracket charges 13.3% for state income tax. It’s wild stuff.

Even with all those taxes and fees, many NBA players are still walking away with millions of dollars every year. Some of them invest in businesses or gifts for their family. Others may just invest the money in a savings account.

But the really great ones put their money toward helping others. Let’s take a look at NBA players who are doing good in 2020.

Donovan Mitchell Starts a Scholarship Fund and Builds a Gym for His School

When Donovan Mitchell signed a five-year deal worth a potential $196 million this offseason, he called the money “life-changing.” It’s barely been a week since he inked that deal, and already he’s putting some life-changing moments into action for kids at his old school.

Mitchell and his family announced a $12 million pledge to Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut. Donovan and his sister Jordan both attended, and his mother Nicole taught at the school for more than a decade.

The donation will go toward a scholarship fund enabling low-income students to attend the private school, an annual support fund for faculty, and to build a new gymnasium. Mitchell is, understandably, pumped about the donation.

Michael Jordan is Feeding America and Fighting Racism

By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, Michael Jordan has probably made about $100, if not significantly more. So, yes, he has plenty of money to spare.

Still, it’s super cool to see him giving back. Jordan donated $2 million to Feeding America during the Thanksgiving holiday, which will go toward helping hungry people in need.

That comes on the heels of Jordan donating $100 million earlier this year to help combat racism. That money went toward the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted Peoples and Families Movement, and Black Voters Matter.

Despite his cutthroat attitude as a player, Jordan has a long history of philanthropy. He’s also helped build medical clinics for at-risk communities in Charlotte and has supported rebuilding efforts for areas devastated by hurricanes.

Jordan had lots of sweet moves on the court but is showing even better ones off of it.

Dwight Powell

Every other player on this list has signed a massive contract at one point or another. Dwight Powell has not, earning a modest $38.6 million over six seasons.

Yet that didn’t stop him from making a lovely contribution to the Dallas community this year. The move earned Powell a co-spot on the league’s Community Assist Award.

Powell organized pandemic support for families and frontline workers in Dallas. Alongside his teammate Luka Dončić, Mavs owner Mark Cuban, and the Dallas Mavericks Foundation, Powell donated $500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital.

The donation provided childcare for frontline workers and meals from local restaurants for more than 11,000 health care workers and first responders. Powell also made plenty of virtual appearances, from hospital room visits to delivering congratulatory messages for graduates.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond and More Contributing to COVID-19 Research

Powell isn’t the only one that’s acted quickly in the face of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic shut down the NBA season on March 11 — a moment that, for many of us, hammered home how serious this virus is. Like Powell, other players immediately began contributing to research and recovery efforts.

By May 1, 97 NBA players and the NBPA Foundation had donated a combined $5.5 million for coronavirus relief.

Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother died from coronavirus complications, donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Andre Drummond contributed an additional $100,000 to the Middlesex Health’s Emergency Response Fund.

Reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers Thanasis and Kostas have provided financial relief to hospitals in Athens, Greece (their hometown) and paid for equipment for frontline workers and donated food to people in need.

The coronavirus has been a terrible disease that’s ripped families and cities apart. NBA players are doing their part to offer some comfort however they can.

The Crisp Bounce Pass Holiday Corner

Perhaps you’re like me and didn’t quite realize we’re already a week into December. And maybe, also like me, you’re scrambling for some last-minute gift ideas.

Well, I’ve got you covered. For the rest of the month, this section will provide a pair of hoops-themed gift ideas for your enjoyment.

Grab them as a gift for someone else or snag ’em for yourself. And if you have any must-have suggestions, send them my way!

This Was Always About Basketball by Craig Leener

Craig Leener This Was Always About Basketball Book

I’m a big fan of books you can really escape into, and the third installment of Craig Leener’s trilogy certainly fits the bill. Even if you’re not a die-hard basketball fanatic, there’s still plenty to dig here.

In this thrilling conclusion to the bestselling trilogy, teen hoops star Zeke Archer is ready to fulfill a lifelong dream: running point for the best college basketball team in the country! But on what should be the best day of his life, things take a horrible turn. Zeke’s truck has been completely dismantled, leaving him with no way to drive to a university 1,600 miles away. His on-again, off-again girlfriend has written him a letter that can only be heart-crushing. And Zeke’s father is in critical condition, hanging on by a thread in the VA hospital.

To make matters absolutely worse, Zeke’s nemesis and archrival Brock Decker is suddenly rich and famous–and appears responsible for a most insidious plan to alter the future of basketball’s history. With barely any time to fix things, Zeke, together with his best friend Lawrence, will somehow have to break interdimensional barriers of time and space to return to the very spot where the game he loves was invented, all in an attempt to undo everything. But if the clock runs out, Zeke Archer and everything he loves will be gone!

This is the third installment of a trilogy, though it’s just as enjoyable as a standalone book. You can also check out the first two books in the series, This Was Never About Basketball and All Roads Lead to Lawrence.

Nothin’ But Beard T-Shirt

Nothin' But Beard Gray T-Shirt

This shirt is comfy as all getup, in more ways than one. For the first four months of quarantine life, I didn’t cut my hair or shave my beard. Both got COMICALLY long.

I finally gave in and gave my face some sunshine, but the quarantine beard is real. This shirt pays homage to that while also letting people know you have a fondness for a smooth jump shot.

Bonus points: snap a selfie of you wearing the shirt while sporting a beard.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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