SPECIAL
Tips for NBA Players
November 12, 1998

Shoot!It's mid-November and basketball fans across America should be knee-deep in hoops. Instead, they're knee-deep in an NBA lockout, pondering the current color of Dennis Rodman's hair, and wondering if there will be a season at all. These fans are suffering from a bad case of hoops withdrawal. But just think of what the players are going through. The average player is losing $500,000 of income in the month of November alone. Yikes! That could really put a kink in their holiday gift budgets.

Enter the Motley Fool. We've got help for fans and players alike. For fans looking for some high-spirited competition, they may soon get it. ESPN 2 has shown interest in carrying our annual World's Strongest Fool competition. For cash-strapped players, we've got tips on how to Foolishly survive the lockout. David Gardner and Erik Rydholm will be sharing their ideas on this Saturday's Motley Fool Radio Show. Until then, see what frugal Fools on the Living Below Your Means board have come up with:

Top 10 Ways NBA Players Can Cut Back During the Lockout

10. Cut back on the housekeeping staff. Have the downstairs maid do the upstairs, too. -- Raggmopp

9. Go to your neighborhood COSTCO store with your other teammates and buy food in bulk. For example, buy big blocks of cheese and divide it up amongst yourselves when you get home. -- VFOOL99

8. Use regular unleaded fuel in the private plane instead of premium unleaded fuel. -- wooooo

7. Fire the inexperienced posse members and cut back on the perks that are doled out to the deserving, productive members. -- MLam

6. Kick pesky photographers in the shins instead of the groin until you can afford the big settlements again. -- Elkins

5. Plan vacations around WWF events. Make an appearance, kick some butt... free vacation!!! -- jdub151

4. Make it a Blockbuster night. Rent a few new releases instead of renting out an entire theater. --TMFJedi

3. Save a few pennies by having your personal shopper buy the large, economy size Hamburger Helper, instead of spending all that money on "Pate Helper" from the tony gourmet shop. -- JFOM

2. Reduce tattooing costs to practically zero by using water-based decals instead of making costly visits to the parlor. -- soccerref

1. Cut down ego-stroking sessions with Tony Robbins to three a week. -- TMF Knave

And let's not forget the owners who may also be experiencing cash-flow problems during the lockout. TMF Knave suggests gathering all the owners together to record a benefit single entitled "We Own the World."

Now, it's easy to have a little fun at the expense of NBA players and owners, but there are serious financial consequences to this lockout. Fortunately for the players, 300 of them will be receiving $20,000 checks from their union. Another 20K will be on the way next month. Unfortunately, not everyone that is affected by this lockout will be receiving a check to hold them over. I doubt Sally the ticket-taker, Joe the hotdog vendor, or Sam the sports bar bartender will be receiving anything from their respective unions. Let's hope they've read the 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, paid off their credit card debt, and have an emergency fund at their disposal.

**If you've got money saving tips for players, owners, or John Q. Fool,
visit our Living Below Your Means message board and post them.
Oh yeah, and don't miss this Saturday's Radio Show.**


-- TMF NoClue


Posts used in this feature have been edited and reworded by the Fool.
The original idea has been attributed to the actual poster.