The Money Man to the Filthy Rich of the NBA

Getty Images

NBA players are the best paid athletes in sports — making tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars over a single contract. Heck, the league average salary is $10 million per season. But all that scratch won’t last a lifetime if you don’t manage it well. At the New York Times, Devin Gordon profiles Joe McLean, a guy who almost made the NBA and has since made his living offering white glove concierge services and financial counseling to some of the wealthiest players on the court.

Mr. McLean doesn’t negotiate his clients’ deals — he’s not an agent. His job is to grow every dollar that comes in and track every dollar that goes out. He’s part investor, part butler, a C.F.O. and a golf buddy, a sports therapist and, when necessary, the disapproving dad. When the explosive power forward Aaron Gordon got his first big contract last summer ($84 million), Mr. McLean warned him that “with great abundance comes great discipline.”

Last summer, after Mr. Gordon signed his $84 million deal, he bought a house and was immediately confronted with all kinds of mundane homeowner questions for which he had no answers. Such as: How much should it cost to mow my lawn?

“The first couple people that came to the property were sending these invoices trying to charge $4,000 to $5,000 a week to cut grass and do some power washing,” Mr. McLean said. Mr. Gordon has a big house, but not that big — it should have cost around $500. “So I’ve got to go back to Orlando and get people that we trust on the property. I’ve got to speak to everyone that goes near it, because they’re all signing N.D.A.s.

Read the story