Millions Off the Court

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Who is the Second Wealthiest Man to Have Played in the NBA?

The second wealthiest NBA player is Junior Bridgeman.

Now, take a few minutes to google who the hell this dude even is – believe me, I had to as well.

A lottery pick out of Louisville, Bridgeman put together a solid career spanning over a decade. Upon retiring following the 1987 season, Bridgeman averaged 13.6 points per game across his career while also spending time as the president of the Players Union. A solid career that is otherwise forgettable by the fact that he is one of many players who have put together similar careers only to fade away in memory.

For Bridgeman, his biggest accomplishment came off the court as today, he is worth a whopping $600 million after making no more than $350,000 in any of his 12 NBA season. Bridgeman is a business mogul – an entrepreneur – who was able to separate himself from basketball and still find financial success.

“I sat across from NBA owners during the collective bargaining agreement [Junior served as president of the NBPA while playing] and I noticed how happy they were and what excited them extended beyond basketball,” Junior says on how he first found a passion for business. “They weren’t getting a fulfillment necessarily out of the team winning and losing, and I had to figure out what that was. There was a fulfilment beyond hitting the game-winning shot. They got their self-fulfillment out of making and creating something successful. I said to myself, that will last longer than basketball.”

Junior began franchising fast-food restaurants.

He first purchased five Wendy’s stores (three while still in the league) and soon-after expanded to over 20 locations. At first, he barely broke even while learning the ins and out of the business game, but 30 years later, he now owns over 450 franchises, including Wendy’s, Chili’s, and more!

I bet you thought LeBron James was the second wealthiest player to ever play in the NBA, didn’t you?

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