NBA Players Who Started New Jobs After Retiring From The League

The average NBA retirement age ranges from 36-39 years old. That means NBA players have barely reached middle age by the time they leave the game behind that they trained for and played their entire lives. For most players, a second career begins. From a job at Starbucks, leading a camp for underprivileged children, and starting multi-million dollar businesses, these players found new careers of various kinds after retiring from the NBA.

Scottie Pippen Is Working In The Livestock Business With His Brother

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Cassy Athena / Getty Images
Cassy Athena / Getty Images

Scottie Pippen is the proud owner of six NBA championship rings that he earned during the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls era. Pippen retired in 2004 and then tried to stage a comeback that never paid off. Don’t feel too bad for him, the superstar earned $107 million during his playing time.

Instead of chasing his NBA dreams further, Pippen joined his brother in running a livestock farm in Arkansas. Pippen is still pretty active with public appearances but his professional playing days have been replaced with cattle and daily chores.

Greg Oden Went Back To School Then Became A Sports Adviser

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Stacy Revere / BIG3 via Getty Images
Stacy Revere / BIG3 via Getty Images

Greg Oden was prone to injury during his time in the NBA but that didn’t stop him from earning $23 million during his NBA career.

With that type of money, Oden could have comfortably retired. Instead, he went back to school at Ohio State, where he served as student manager of the men’s basketball team. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in the sports industry, he joined Edyoucore Sports and Entertainment where his 9-5 job is focused on being an athlete adviser.

Vin Baker Became A Manager At Starbucks

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Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Vin Baker earned approximately $100 million while playing in the NBA. Unfortunately, once his days in the NBA were behind him, Baker failed to adjust to a new lifestyle that didn’t include an NBA salary. Within a few years, Baker had burned through his fortune.

After depleting his cash reserves, Baker turned to a job as a manager at Starbucks. In 2019, Baker was able to return to the NBA, this time as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Karl Malone Is A Truck Driver And Invested In The Company He Drives For Part-Time

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Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Alika Jenner / Getty Images)

With NBA earnings of $104 million, Karl Malone never has to work another day in his life. Still, the NBA legend has taken a job driving trucks.

Malone has invested in various businesses but it was his passion for the trucking industry that led him to invest in a timber hauler. He drives trucks for the company part-time and people close to Malone say he’s super passionate about the industry.

Tim Duncan Opened An Auto Shop And Then Returned To Coaching In The NBA

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Jason Miller / Getty Images

San Antonio Spur all-star Tim Duncan left the NBA behind after 19 seasons and more than $130 million in earnings. His next career move will likely surprise his fans.

Duncan started training to become an MMA fighter. While it’s not a full-time job, it’s something he has been very serious about pursuing. His “9-to-5” job started when Duncan founded BlackJack Speed Shop in 2013. In 2019 Duncan returned to the Spurs as an assistant coach. He has no plans to sell his auto body business.

Shawn Kemp Opened A Sports Bar

Shawn Kemp #4
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Shawn Kemp was a household name during his time in the NBA. During his 14-seasons in the league, Kemp was named to the all-star team six times. Kemp retired in 2003 and opened Oskar’s Kitchen in Seattle.

The business wasn’t able to turn a profit and in 2015 Kemp closed down his company. These days he’s still in the hospitality game where he co-owns Amber Restaurant & Lounge. His newest endeavor has favorable reviews.

Mark Blount Went Into Real Estate And Became A Franchise Owner

Fox and Blount
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Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Mark Blount retired from the NBA in 2009 and immediately scooped up two Auntie Anne’s Pretzel franchises. He paid $700,000 for the initial locations and sold them for $2 million.

Blount used the money from his wise investment to continue building his real estate business. Moving from the NBA to real estate development might sound like a big jump but Blount isn’t the only person on our list to make this move successfully.

Dan Dickau Opened A Barbershop And Worked For ESPN

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G Fiume/Getty Images

Dan Dickau played in the NBA for just six seasons before he retired from the game he loves. It wasn’t long after his NBA exit that he founded The Barbers in Washington. The barbershop soon became a local favorite.

When he’s not working his new 9-5 job, Dickau also serves as an on-air personality for the PAC-12 Network and ESPN. Many of the former players on our list have found some way to return to the NBA, usually in a coaching or analyst role.

Adrian Dantley Retired And Became A Crossing Guard And High School Referee

Adrian Dantley - 161066557
Karl Gehring / The Denver Post via Getty Images
Karl Gehring / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Adrian Dantley played in the NBA for 15 seasons, racked up 23,000 points, and earned $3.5 million. While he was never a superstar in the league, he made enough money to take care of himself and his family. After he retired from playing he coached in the league until 2010.

After leaving the NBA for good, Dandtley started earning $14,000 per year serving as a crossing guard. Dantley says he took the job because he legitimately loves helping other people.

Detlef Schrempf Became A Business Analyst, Putting His International Business Degree To Good Use

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Sporting News via Getty Images

Detlef Schrempf entered the NBA after completing his bachelor’s degree in international business. His aspirations for his degree were sidelined for 16 years while he played in the NBA.

Following his retirement, Schrempf proved that his degree was also part of his passion. Schrempf joined the team at Coldstream Capital Management where he serves as a business development officer. He also has another passion, acting, which led him to appear on several episodes of Parks and Recreation.

Bryant Reeves Went Into The Cattle Business

Bryant Reeves
Jason Wise / Allsport
Jason Wise / Allsport

Bryant Reeves played in the NBA for just six seasons that earned him an impressive $55 million. His career in the spotlight was cut short due to injuries and he soon turned to a very different kind of business venture.

Reeves purchased and currently operates a 300-acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma. He’s pretty much stayed out of the spotlight since his retirement which we assume is exactly what a guy who buys a cattle ranch wants to do.

Brandon Roy Became An Impressive High School Basketball Coach

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Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

After Brandon Roy suffered multiple knee injuries he submitted to an early retirement from his NBA career which earned him $82 million. He was only 36 when he retired so there was little doubt he would find other work at some point in his life.

Instead of jumping into the analyst or coaching roles we often see NBA stars take, he became a high school basketball coach and a pretty good coach at that! As the head boys basketball coach at Nathan High School, he took the team to a 29-0 effort in his first year as head coach. He has served as the head coach at Garfield High School since 2017.

Charlie Ward Started Coaching At The High School Level Then Jumped To Collegiate Coaching

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G Fiume / Getty Images

Charlie Ward became an NBA player almost as an afterthought. Despite winning a Heisman Trophy playing college football, the NFL ignored his talents so he turned to the NBA. After his NBA career ended in 2005, Ward decided to move down a few levels and coach a different age group of athletes.

Ward took at job coaching at the high school level where he serves as the head coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida. Ward eventually moved up to the college level in 2018 where his 9-5 job is acting as the head basketball coach for Florida State University’s Developmental Research School.

Gilbert Arenas Became A Sports Analyst For Various Types Of Platforms

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Visual China Group via Getty Images

Gilbert Arenas earned at least $163 million during his time in the NBA. That’s some nice cash for a guy who was picked 31st overall in the 2001 draft. With that type of money in the bank, Arenas never had to work again but he isn’t the type of guy to sit around and do nothing.

After retiring, Arenas started working as a sports analyst for Complex and started hosting a sports show for the trendy publication.

Darko Milicic Started An Apple Farm

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Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Darko Milicic was picked second overall in the 2003 NBA draft and then floated around the league until retiring in 2012. His career was disappointing but he still pulled in $18.5 million with his sub-par effort.

After his NBA career came to an end he returned to his native Serbia and started growing apples. You read that right, he now owns and operates a 125-acre farm. Living a quiet life actually sounds amazing after years in the spotlight. With his height, picking the apple also can’t be a hard task for the big man.

LaRue Martin Started Working At UPS And Works With Retired NBA Players

LaRue Martin of the Portland Trailblazers
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Bettman / Getty Images

LaRue Martin was the first overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft. His career didn’t materialize to an all-star level player and he was quickly pushed out of the league just four years after joining the NBA.

After leaving the league he started working for UPS and in 2005 the company named him as a Community Services Manager. While his playing career was cut short, Martin continues to work with the league, serving on the Board of Directors for the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Oscar Robertson Started Creating Affordable Housing In Indianapolis

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Mike Lawrie / Getty Images

Oscar Robertson was a 12-time all-star in the NBA and played in the league for an incredible 14 years. He left the league with the honor of being one of the highest-scoring guards of all time.

While his work on the court was impressive, we’re more impressed with what he has done since retiring. Robertson has worked diligently to provide affordable housing for African Americans in Indianapolis. His work caught the attention of the University of Cincinnati who provided him with an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters. Mr. Roberston is an NBA legend in every sense of the word.

Michael Ray Richardson Became A Teacher And Runs A Youth Camp For Underprivileged Kids

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Focus on Sport / Getty Images

Michael “Sugar” Ray Richardson was a professional basketball player for 24 years. In 1986 he was banned from the NBA by commissioner David Stern. He was caught violating the league’s drug policy. The last 14 years of his professional basketball career were played in Europe.

When he retired in 2002, Richardson found a surprising new love, substitute teaching. He’s now a full-time teacher in Oklahoma and operates a youth camp that provides a fun experience for underprivileged children.

Derrick Coleman Started Delivering Water To Families In Need

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Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

During his 15-year career in the NBA, Derrick Coleman earned more than $3 million. His career was a bit of a surprise to many people in the league because his coaches said he was lazy.

After leaving the NBA, Coleman became a social causes warrior. He has spent much of his free time delivering water to people in Flint, Michigan. He said of his new job, “… I’m seeing people who need help. I’ve seen the rust and everything that’s in their water. Flint is like a ghost town, and it’s sad… How can this happen here in America?”

Birdman Joined A Different League In The Hopes Of Returning To The NBA

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Jason Miller / Getty Images

Following the 2016-2017 NBA season Chris “Birdman” Andersen played his last game in the league. After leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers he spent a year off the court while trying to stay in shape.

These days Birdman is playing in the Big3 league with hopes of returning to the NBA that has left him behind. While he’s still playing basketball we’re calling this a 9-5 job because it’s all about working his way back into the NBA.

Steve Francis Became A Serial Entrepreneur But Ran Into Financial Trouble

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Visual China Group via Getty Images

When you play in the NBA for nine years and your net worth is more than $50 million, you can pursue whatever passions come your way and turn those passions into your 9-5 job.

For Steve Francis his passion was music which led him to form Mazerati Music. When that venture failed he launched We r One, a clothing line that was put on hold when he ran into cash flow issues. Being a serial entrepreneur is hard, even when you have $50 million to work with from the start.

Vinnie Johnson Founded And Is Still The CEO Of A Manufacturing Company

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Jeff Kowalsky / AFP via Getty Images

Vinnie Johnson was part of the “Bad Boys” of Detroit who won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. In 1992, Johnson retired from the NBA and quickly jumped into another passion of his, manufacturing.

Johnson earned $5 million during his time in the NBA but has a net worth of $400 million today. That’s because he founded Piston Group, a manufacturing company he now owns and operates as CEO. The company has an annual net revenue of $2 billion. It’s a 9-5 job but also a very lucrative second act.

Latrell Sprewell Became An Unlikely Pitchman

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Elsa / Getty Images

Latrell Sprewell retired from his NBA career after nine seasons. His controversial career which includes some violent altercations ended with Sprewell earning more than $100 million from the league. In 2005, it was revealed that Sprewell had blown through his cash and had foreclosed on his multi-million dollar homes and then he crashed his yacht.

How do you turn your life around and find new work with a reputation like Sprewell’s? Apparently, you become a spokesperson for Priceline. Sprewell actually admits to his bad life decisions when pitching Priceline. Work hasn’t been easy to come by outside of his Priceline gig.

Wilt Chamberlain Used His Celebrity To Pitch Various Products

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Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Wilt Chamberlain left behind the NBA in 1973. When Chamberlain retired he bounced around to various regular jobs and eventually started working as a pitchman for various products, which was about as close to a normal 9-5 job he accomplished for the rest of his life.

Chamberlain also wrote several autobiographies, including the 1991 book A View From Above which called out athletes and offered his take on gun control and other issues. Chamberlain died from a heart condition in 1999.

Kenny Anderson Got Into Trouble But Then Turned His Life Around As A Camp Director

Johnny Nunez / WireImage
Johnny Nunez / WireImage

Kenny Anderson earned $63 million in the NBA. When he retired he was enjoying his time as a high school basketball coach. Sadly, in 2013 he was arrested and charged with a DUI. Anderson lost his job because of the arrest.

Wanting to continue with a 9-5 job, Anderson started running basketball camps in Florida. Anderson also picked up a job coaching a travel league team. Anderson has expressed interesting in returning to high school basketball if he can find a school that will have him.

Jay Williams Became An Analysts And Spokesman

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Mike Pont / Getty Images

Jay Williams was one of the most hyped draft picks of all-time. Drafted by the Bulls, his career was cut incredibly short because of a motorcycle accident. He walked away with about $4 million.

Williams became a pitchman for Visions Federal Credit Union and he works part-time for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. When all else fails, it’s really amazing to see how many guys return to analyze the game they love, even if their careers were just a blip on the NBA radar.

Antoine Walker Became A Financial Advisor For Morgan Stanley

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Sporting News via Getty Images

Thirteen seasons, $100 million dollars, and then a bankruptcy filing, that’s part of Antoine Walker’s life summed up by his spending habits. Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and then embarked on a new 9-5 job.

Based on his own poor money decisions Walker took a job at Morgan Stanley Global Sports and Entertainment where he started teaching financial literacy to up-and-coming professional athletes. stars. Talk about a great way to put your own poor life choices to good use.

Adam Morrison Finished College And Became A Collegiate Coach

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Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Adam Morrison was supposed to be an NBA superstar. Sadly, in 2007 he tore his ACL. Following surgery to repair the damage, his career never reached expected levels. Still, he stayed in the NBA as a role player on the Los Angeles Lakers. Even then, he earned nearly $17 million.

Following his retirement, Morrison returned to his alma mater, Gonzaga, where he finished his degree in sports management while also serving on the basketball team’s coaching staff. These days he’s spending time with his daughters, serves as an assistant coach for his old high school, and calls Gonzaga games on the radio.

Rony Seikaly Unintentionally Became A Traveling DJ

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David Becker / WireImage

Rony Seikaly spent 11 years in the NBA where he earned more than $27 million. It was a career anyone would be proud to call their own. After leaving the NBA, he turned his focus to a DJ’ing hobby.

That hobby soon turned into a real job for Seikaly. He has played clubs in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, and even Ibiza. The former NBA all-star says the DJ gig was meant to be a hobby but the “opportunity came organically” to build a career as a DJ.

Dennis Rodman Has Dipped His Toes Into Some Odd Political Ambassadorship

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Steve Granitz / WireImage

Dennis Rodman earned $27 million during his 14 seasons in the NBA. He was considered one of the most dominant defensive forces in the league and by far one of its most wild characters both on and off the court.

Following his retirement from the NBA Rodman burned through most of his money. His estimated net worth is now just $500,000. He soon turned his attention to political ambassadorship, leading him to several strange meetings with North Korean dictator and fan, Kim Jong Un. We’re calling his ambassadorship a job but we doubt he’s getting paid for it.

Evan Eschmeyer Went Into Law After Earning His J.D.

Evan Eschmeyer #42
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Robert Laberge / Allsport

Evan Eschmeyer played in the NBA from 1999 to 2004 before a knee injury sidelined his career. He played for just four years with the New Jersey Nets where only 421 points were scored in 153 games.

While his NBA career was cut short, Eschmeyer turned his attention to his return to Northwestern University. Evan enrolled in the school’s grueling JD-MBA program, which earned him both a law degree and an MBA. He has gone on to work successfully in both business and law.

John Stockton Started Coaching Women’s And Youth Basketball

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Matt A. Brown / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

John Stockton is one of the most unselfish players to ever grace the hardwood. During his time with the Utah Jazz, he served as one half of a duo that included Karl Malone. After earning nearly $50 million during his NBA career, Stockton didn’t have to work again but that’s not the direction he chose.

Stockton retired in 2003 but he didn’t leave basketball behind. He soon became an assistant coach for the Montana State University Women’s Basketball team and he’s jumped in as a coach for various youth basketball programs. It’s hard to leave behind the game you love.

Shawn Bradley Joined The Ranks Of Retired NBA Cattle Ranch Owners

Shawn Bradley #44
Ronald Martinez / Allsport
Ronald Martinez / Allsport

Standing at 7′ 6″ Shawn Bradley is one of the tallest players to ever run up and down the hardwood. Bradley earned more than $70 million playing professional basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers and then the New Jersey Nets.

After retiring from the sport in 2005, Bradley went in a very different direction, becoming a full-time cattle rancher. To be honest, that type of time away from the spotlight is probably a dream for someone who lived such a hectic life as an athlete.

Bill Walton Overcame A Stutter And Became A Respected Sports Broadcaster

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Denis Poroy / Getty Images

Bill Walton had an amazing NBA career for the Portland Trailblazers. During his time in the league, he won an MVP title and two NBA Championships. It almost seems like Walton was in the league another lift ago, having retired in 1987.

In a complete change from his basketball days, Walton overcame a stutter which transitioned him into a long and storied career as an NBA announcer. Walton has served as a commentator for CBS, NBC, ABC, and ESPN.

Michael Jordan Grew His Business Empire, Making More Than He Ever Did In The NBA

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Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images

Michael Jordan earned less than $100 million in the NBA but his net worth is now an astounding $1.6 billion. Jordan picked up a lot of cash for his endorsements, specifically his ownership stake in the incredibly popular Nike Air Jordan lineup.

His “9-to-5” job includes working with Nike on every new pair of Air Jordans, along with various deals with Gatorade, Hanes, and more. Jordan is truly a business powerhouse, even more than he was back during his playing days.

Hakeem Olajuwon Became A Real Estate Dealer To Keep The Money Rolling In

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Matt A. Brown / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hakeem Olajuwon played in the NBA from 1984 until 2002. His time in the league included back-to-back championships. He’s often credited with mentoring other superstars including LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant.

Olajuwon used some of his NBA earnings, which totaled over $100 million, to invest in real estate. His net worth has since grown to more than $200 million. A $100 million increase in pay hardly seems like a 9-5 job but he’s still busy putting in the work every single day.

Maceo Baston Founded A Cupcake Store That Won An Episode Of Cupcake Wars

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Scott Legato / Getty Images for Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Maceo Baston played for the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers where he earned more than $5 million from his NBA salary. After leaving the NBA, Baston traveled around the world and played in various leagues before calling it quits.

Baston’s next journey was a bit different when he founded a cupcake shop with his wife. The business, called Taste Love Cupcakes, is located in Michigan. They appeared on the popular TV show Cupcake Wars and won the $10,000 prize for the episode.

Tom Chambers Became A Sports Broadcaster But He Calls It A Hobby, Not A Job

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Focus on Sport / Getty Images

Tom Chambers is a four-time NBA all-star who spent 16 years in the league with a total of six different teams. While he bounced around a lot he still managed to earn nearly $10 million.

After a storied career in the NBA, he became a broadcaster for Fox Sports Arizona. These days, Chambers covers the Phoenix Suns. When he’s not working his 9-5 job he breeds horses in Utah but he calls it a hobby and not a part-time job.

Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman Became A Mega-Franchise Owner And Coca Cola Distributor

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Johnny Nunez / WireImage

Junior Bridgeman played in the NBA from 1975 until 1987. His time with the Lakers and the Bucks was a means to an end for Bridgeman who parlayed his cash into a massive empire.

Bridgeman’s NBA earnings led to the purchase of 450 franchises, mostly from Wendy’s and Chili’s. Recently he sold most of his franchise operations and became a distributor for Coca-Cola. Bridgeman’s net worth is now estimated at $600 million.

Chris Washburn Went Into The Mortgage Business

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Getty Images

Chris Washburn could have been one of the greatest big men in NBA history. In 1986 he joined the Golden State Warriors as the third overall pick in the draft. Sadly, drugs curtailed his career and he was issued a lifetime ban from the league after failing three drug tests in three years.

In 2000, Washburn and his girlfriend tried to launch a fried chicken business that failed. These days he’s working a 9-5 at a home mortgage business.