By Frederick H. Lowe
Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has enrolled in “Crossover into Business,” a program in which professional athletes are mentored by Harvard MBA students about how to make the correct business decisions during their playing days and after they retire.
There have been plenty of sad stories about star NBA players who earned millions while playing only to end up broke shortly after their careers end because of bad investments, reckless lavish spending or because they loaned money to hangers on or relatives who had no intention of repaying them. This class intends to change that.
Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat, and Caron Butler, of the Sacramento Kings, recently completed the one semester course that includes 10 current and former players and 20 second year MBA students. Bosh’s 2018 net worth was $80 million and his 2017 annual salary was $25.29 million. Bosh has stopped playing for a while because of a blood clot affected his health.
The latest class began September 3 and will end either December 3rd or December 4th.
The 2017-2018 minimum salary for an NBA player was $1.31 million. The minimum annual salary for a rookie was $815,615, the Harvard Gazette reported.
Bosh explained why he enrolled in the class. “I stepped back and said, ‘Why don’t I just take this time to educate myself and really, really learn about and get at the core of what business is, how business works, and see what it is I like. Let me try to connect the dots and educate myself first,” he said.
The program is free but the school does not pay the athletes travel expenses.
The program was launched in 2017 in a partnership between Harvard and the National Basketball Association. Anita Elberse, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, teaches the course.
The players go through a number of case studies, pondering pivotal issues in the careers of stars such as Beyonce or Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson. The mentors track down faculty or experts who can provide guidance, the Harvard Gazette reported.
Dwayne Wade, formerly of the Chicago Bulls, came up with the idea for Crossover into Business after participating in the executive education program taught by Elberse.
Irving’s net worth is $50 million and in 2017, he earned $18.87 million.