From an outsider's perspective, it seems like NBA rookies have a lot of on-court issues to worry about during their adjustment to the professional ranks: The style of play, the schedule, new teammates, etc. But recently, several high-profile NBA rookies have opened up about one surprising factor that can derail a successful career: Conniving women.
Top pick Anthony Davis got the earliest lesson in the possible perils of certain females. The New Orleans Hornets rookie spent the summer playing with the league's top talent on Team USA, and he says some of the most salient guidance he received was about dealing with suspicious women. Davis told Sports Illustrated that the best advice he got from LeBron James was, "watch your money, and watch out for women."
Last week the NBA convened the NBA Rookie Transition Program, and the newcomers attended an informative sex talk that drew rave reviews. The league commissioned motivational speaker Tony Gaskins to speak to the rookies about pre-marital sex, cheating and relationships in general. Gaskins, a former college basketball player, is familiar with the thinking of certain NBA players.
"The mindset with a lot of guys is, 'I'm the man, I make all the money, she knows I'm going to cheat and that's that,'" Gaskins told ESPN.com. "If she's letting you cheat, nine times out of ten she's cheating too. You're out of town and she's spending your money on another man, who is scheming to take her from you."
After the session, Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall tweeted that he was "turning my playa card in" and espoused his new knowledge.
"The female species are a lot smarter than us so we have to realize maybe it's not always that we're the best-looking guy they've ever seen," Marshall told the Arizona Republic. "Maybe there is some incentive behind it."
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton recently expressed similar concerns about superficial women and friends.
"It's a cliché for people to say you have to be on alert," Newton said. "But sometimes, that is the case. You may see a particular female who's attractive, but you already sense it. I pray for discretion every single night, that I can see through people, see what their greater good is. Sometimes that individual 'wows' you by the eye, but when it come to heart to heart, that person's not there for you."
But "gold-diggers" only represent a tiny fraction of the women that these athletes will be dealing with, so it is refreshing to know that the NBA rookies also heard the other side of the story.
"At the same time, there are great cases where guys have happy marriages," Marshall said. "They've shown us both cases. We just have to be smart (and realize) that people don't always have our best interests in mind."