It's no secret that NBA players earn quite a large paycheck. The guys at the top -- like LeBron, Steph, Giannis, etc. -- earn hundreds of millions of dollars during their playing career.
But the real earning opportunities often come after. Magic, Shaq, and Michael Jordan are just a few names who have managed to grow their worth in the business world.
Interestingly enough, the second richest basketball player of All-Time isn't even a name everyone knows right away. He played for about 12 years between the 70s and 80s and averaged a modest 13 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds for his career.
Meet Junior Bridgeman, the ex-basketball player who is now worth over 600 million dollars.
While almost every played in the NBA now is a multi-millionaire, that was not the case during Bridgeman’s time. Money was not as easy to come by in the NBA 40 years ago. Most of the stars made their money through endorsements and commercials.
In 1985, Bridgeman was at his peak salary which was $350,000 during the time that he played for the Los Angeles Clippers. It was enough money to live a good life, but not enough to stop caring about post-career.
That’s why Bridgeman started taking care of his post-career during the off-seasons. Now, here comes the interesting part.
Bridgeman was studying the Wendy’s franchise business, and even spent a lot of time working at a local Wendy’s to learn more about the company. What a sight to see — an NBA player working at your local Wendy’s!
During his active career, Junior built and open up Wendy’s restaurants, and by the end of his career, he had already opened three.
After his NBA retirement, he went all in, and is now Wendy’s largest franchise owner, holding ownership of over 160 restaurants.
He invested in Chili's as well, which is obviously one of the most widely known restaurants in the world.
So, even though not every NBA player can make as much as the top dogs, the money they earn during their playing days gives them a chance (if they make smart moves) to earn even more.
Good on Bridgeman to make smart decisions and be wise with his money. Hopefully, more players take a chapter from his book.