We all idolize NBA players for their on-court performance. But what many don’t know is that a lot our favorite ballers have entrepreneurial skills that match their all-star performance on the basketball court. We have selected our starting five entrepreneurs that have excelled in the boardroom as well as in the game.
What takes an NBA player from Madison Sq. Garden to Jerusalem? His ability to see the world as his canvas for which he can make his imagination come to life. Stoudemire is a philanthropist, art collector and true 3000Disrupter who believes that the world is one connected generation, one global race. His charity Each 1 Teach 1 helps at risk youth in areas abroad, including Sierra Leone where he was named Good Will Ambassador. In collaboration with Rachel Roy, Stoudemire also launched his own clothing line which was carried by Macy’s. And just when we didn’t think he could get any more entrepreneurial, we found out that Amar’e also created his very own record label, Hypocalypto, which has signed musical groups such as Pheonix and Atlanta. This is the true definition of a serial entrepreneur.
This Knick-turned-venture-captalist launched Melo7 Tech Partners which has invested in startups ranging from The Orange Chef to Lyft. Not only does he mingle with all-star basketball players, but he frequently partners with the all-stars of Silicon Valley like a little-ol’ company called Google and the venture capitalist company behind Facebook and Drop Box, Accel Partners. Melo also has his very own startup, Thisismelo.com. The site provides a comprehensive news database about any and all things pop culture. It is super sleek, and almost as fun as watching the all-star game. Can anyone say, Disrupter?
This Clipper star scores points in the tech world as well as on the court. His app InnoVision aims to increase brain processing speed by training users to recognize images more quickly. That is true innovation. Sticking with that avant-garde theme, Game Vision, another product of Paul’s, aims to optimize athletic performance so that users can share the same court-vision that made him an all-star. He expanded his entrepreneurial wings with his strategic investment in the smart headphone company, Muzik which is the first smart headphones to integrate Spotify. The same vision that won him the title of general in the basketball world is driving his entrepreneurial endeavors as well.
It’s no news that this player is a powerhouse on the court, but he is also a powerhouse in the business world. His vision of becoming a billionaire is coming true through one startup at a time. Like a true Disrupter, Lebron returned to his home zip code in Ohio with his new show, Cleveland Hustles. The show reinvigorates Cleveland by connecting local entrepreneurs with investors for their businesses. His entrepreneurial side extends beyond his hometown pride and into the fashion world. In collaboration with Royal Oak Offshore, James’ designed his own watch which retailed for $50,000. In exchange for promoting the headphones, LeBron has owned company share in Beats by Dre since their launch.
His minority steak in the English Premier League, Liverpool FC has taken him into a new genre of sports. In addition, his video company, Uninterrupted, features athlete-created content and has investors such as Warner Brothers Entertainment and Turner Sports. In 2003, James’ launched his own brand of Nike sneakers which have been continuously prosperous. His tunnel vision and relentless quest for greatness will keep him a household name beyond his basketball days.
This Warrior is another player with a ton of hometown pride. He is a venture capitalist, he is a philanthropist, and he is a champion of hope for at risk youth. His first investment, Twice.com, was acquired by Ebay in 2015. Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt 2015, Iguodala discussed his plans to take advantage of his proximity to Silicon Valley. That’s the mindset of an entrepreneur thinking out of the box. Iguodala is an investor in Thrive Global, which was founded by fellow Disrupter, Arianna Huffington. He’s a true warrior both on and off the court.
These men are living proof that working hard gives you a platform to use your voice, and when your voice is loud enough, real change can be made. Leave your dream, think out of the box, be a Disrupter, join us at Plan3000.com.