While Shaun Livingston prepares for the 2013-14 NBA season as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, he too is thinking about "life after basketball" when the time comes, as USA Today's Sam Amick writes, by taking steps in learning just how the business of basketball works these days.
Amick spoke with Livingston who attended a three-day leadership program on "team building" in Las Vegas this past July. Along with 19 other players, Livingston wanted to learn the ins-and-outs of how "things" work in the front office. Things like the salary cap, trade exceptions and luxury thresholds.
"The cap is like an algorithm, you know what I mean?" said Livingston, who signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets in July. "Once you really pick up and you understand that stuff, then you're creating ways that you can put together a team and structure it. What can (each team) do? Where's the (salary) room? How much room do they have? The tax situation, exceptions, how you use all the exceptions."
As Amick notes, Livingston has long thought what life after basketball would be like, even since he suffered a near career-crippling knee injury six-plus years ago.
The new hurdle, though, as Amick points out is that just two of the last 15 major front office hires went to former NBA players, and only 11 former NBA players currently hold "prominent front office positions."
Still, that shouldn't stop players like Livingston from educating themselves in the system, how it works and now, more so than anything else, how it will effect their current standing in the league. Knowing the cap and tax situations in the NBA can only help players as they try to navigate their way through the league.
Livingston, to his credit, is taking advantage of the opportunities the NBA is allowing him, both on and off the court. This three-day seminar won't guarantee a front office future for Livingston, but it can really only help his case.
- NBA players face tough path to front-office positions - Sam Amick - USA Today