NBA draft picks learned from earlier jobs
The players chosen during Thursday night's NBA draft finally are going to join the ranks of the full-time working world -- and, of course, earn very large paychecks. On draft night, some of the first-round picks reminisced about their more humble employment beginnings and the lessons those early jobs taught them. They also talked about what they might do with their newfound wealth as they prepared to get that Scrooge McDuck money.
Anthony Davis, No. 1 pick, New Orleans Hornets: I've never had a job, but I plan on buying my mom a house with my first paycheck.
Bradley Beal, No. 3, Washington Wizards: I used to cut grass and worked at basketball camps. I never really had an official job. Going from that to NBA money will be crazy when you just look at the numbers. I've never even thought about that much money in my life. It will be a big change for me. I'm just going to enjoy it.
Dion Waiters, No. 4 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers: I had chores when I was growing up and got an allowance of $20 every Friday. I used that money for junk food and roller skating. Getting that allowance taught me you have to be smart with your money, do all the right things and take care of your responsibilities.
Damian Lillard, No. 6, Portland Trail Blazers: I worked at a local recreation center by my grandparents' house when I was about 15. That was something I did because I didn't always want to be sitting around. I always had to have something to do. If I wasn't playing sports, I was working at the rec center. I think it shaped how I am today to just see how those kids looked up to me, and I was nobody. I was just a kid from the neighborhood. It taught me that you could impact people's lives and you don't even know. Now I see people out here wanting my autograph and I appreciate it more. So I sign every autograph and take every picture.
Harrison Barnes, No. 7, Golden State Warriors: I had a paper route and shoveling service and I was working year round. I think I got paid about $200 a month, and at the time that was a lot of money. My mom always said, if you want to go shopping you can use that money. Doing those jobs gives me greater appreciation for the money I'm about to make, and it taught me to be frugal.
Andre Drummond, No. 9, Detroit Pistons: When I was about 12, I did some manual labor helping my AAU coach build his house. We tore it down and then built it up again. I didn't get paid; it was more of a charity thing. Doing that kind of work just showed me how much hard work people put into the jobs they do every day. I don't know how people do that every single day and get the job done in months. It would have taken me forever if I did it myself.
Meyers Leonard, No. 11, Portland Trail Blazers: I used to mow yards all the time. Also, my best friend's grandpa and dad owned a pretty big chain of companies called Bradford Supply Company. I had to wake up at 6 a.m. every day and work in the hot sun where we really just did all the dirty work like stacking pipes on trucks, weeding, mowing and working forklifts. You name it, we did it. I think we were paid minimum wage. It didn't really interfere with basketball except for AAU basketball at times. Doing that type of work really made me appreciate being able to play the sport I love and do something most people don't have a chance to do.
Jeremy Lamb, No. 12, Houston Rockets: I've always worked at basketball camps and I also worked at a baseball field in the concession stand. I have no idea what I was being paid, but back then I thought it was a lot of money. Maybe it was $5 an hour. Work like that teaches you discipline. You have to get there on time and once you get a little bit of money, you have to learn how to manage your money. Now that I'm going to get a little more money, I have to be disciplined and that job helped me learn that.
John Henson, No. 14, Milwaukee Bucks: When I was 11, I ran the cash register in my grandmother's store, Country Boys Market in Danville, Va., during the summer. She would slip me 20 bucks every day and say good job. To this day she still owns it and works hard. Working in the store taught me the value of work. Watching how hard she works for what she makes is amazing, and I think people don't understand that life until they actually do it. Going from $20 a day to an NBA salary feels great. But even with all that money I still have to perform on the court, 'cause at the end of my rookie contract I'm only going to be 25 and I have a whole lot of living ahead of me.
Tyler Zeller, No. 17, Dallas Mavericks, traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers: I had an internship [in college] at Morgan Creek Capital Management in Chapel Hill, N.C., my sophomore year. I did it because I found it interesting and fascinating. I think I got paid about $15 an hour. It really taught me time management. I worked from 8 a.m. to noon every day, did workouts in the afternoon, then had to it all over again the next day. Getting up that early is almost unheard for a college student.