Professional basketball is on hiatus as the NBA lockout continues, with sputtering negotiations between the players and owners. The players are demanding what they see as a fair share of the revenues generated by their talents and hard work, while the owners are asking players to take a pay cut in order to correct what they feel are structural problems with the NBA business model.
Even though the NBA lockout is a dispute between millionaires and billionaires, whether or not you’re a basketball fan, there are several personal finance lessons here for all of us:
- Maximize your peak earning years. The average NBA career lasts only a few years, and most players will never make this much money again in their lives. If the 2011 season gets cancelled and the NBA players miss out on a full season of basketball, those are millions of dollars that they’re never getting back. Most “regular” people who are not professional athletes hit their peak earning years during their 50s. This is when you’re at the peak of your career; you’re experienced, you might be a manager or supervisor, and you’re more valuable to your company than ever before. So if you’re in your peak earning years, it might not be the best time to lose a job or quit your job to start a business – the risks and opportunity costs are greater than ever before.
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