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Volume 25 No. 29
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Rockets' Chris Paul Talks NBPA Role, Personal Investment Decisions

Paul said the players' relationship with the league has improved since labor negotiations in '11
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Rockets G CHRIS PAUL, who also serves as NBPA President, said when he started working with the union 13 years ago, the meetings were "just guys sitting in a room, and we would just listen to people come up and talk at us," according to a Q&A with David Gelles as part of the N.Y. TIMES' "Corner Office" feature. Paul said, "Back in 2011 we had like an 18-hour meeting between players and the league. There'd be a lot of posturing, and DAVID STERN wanted drug testing for players. He had his shirt undone and was yelling. It used to get a little heated in those meetings." He added, "When we went into the most recent labor negotiations, it was nothing like that. Now the guys in our league understand the business so much more. We understand what our value is and we are much more involved in the business of the game. It’s been about taking our union back." Paul said, "The thing we're most proud of is the health insurance for retired players. ... Another thing that we’re trying to help guys with is financial literacy." Paul on NBPA Exec Dir MICHELE ROBERTS said, "She never wants any of the credit. Sometimes they say the quietest person in the room may be the one who knows everything that’s going on, and she’s consistent."

DISHING ADVICE: Paul said of his personal investment decisions and sponsorship opportunities, "As I got older, I realized that I can only be in business with things that I believe in. And so that's what happened with investing. And that's why I invested in Wtrmln Wtr. This is something that I actually believe in and it coincides with my lifestyle." On advice for new players in the league, Paul said, "Find your why. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of guys that play professionally, and it may not be for the same reasons that I do it. I play because I couldn’t imagine not playing basketball. ... You may come across a guy who plays professionally and likes the money, who likes the attention or they may like the girls. Our why doesn’t have to be the same, but the work ethic should be" (NYTIMES.com, 5/16).