June 24, 2020

Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams — Creating and Monetizing Intellectual Property as a Retired Player

Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams — Creating and Monetizing Intellectual Property as a Retired Player

JYD! The "Junkyard Dog" Jerome Williams joins The Game Plan to share how the hard work and hustle he demonstrated during his 9-year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks has translated to the many successes he has had off the court.

JYD! The "Junkyard Dog" Jerome Williams joins The Game Plan to share how the hard work and hustle he demonstrated during his 9-year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks has translated to the many successes he has had off the court.

Listeners won't want to miss JYD tell his story about the time NBA Commissioner David Stern told Michael Jordan off in response to Jordan's pushback about the NBA lockout in 1997. We also dig in on the differences between today's game and the NBA of the late 90's and early 2000's.

In this episode, we talk to our guest about his role as President of The Big 3's Youth Development League and what led him to get involved with the Big 3. In addition to his role leading the Young 3, our guest discusses his position with the NBRPA working to ensure retired NBA players are taken care of after their playing career.

Finally, we ask for the Junkyard Dog's can't miss advice for other athletes on how to say "no", we learn about the Champions Basketball Network, and hear how the global pandemic has the opportunity to drive positive change.

Make sure to follow Jerome Williams on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with his latest efforts off the court. Listeners can also visit https://www.championsbasketballnetwork.com/ to learn more about JYD's business ventures.

Follow co-hosts Jay Kapoor (@JayKapoorNYC) and Tim Katt (@Tim_Katt) for all things sports, media, tech, and venture capital.

Follow The Game Plan on Twitter (@thegameplanshow) and Instagram (@gameplanshow) for show news and updates, to recommend guests, and for bonus content!


Transcript

*Please excuse any and all typos, errors and mistakes in the following transcript as an automated service is used to generate this text*

We had meetings in New York, myself, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutumbo you're all in the meetings and this particular meeting, Michael Jordan came. And so we sit down with the owners, David Stern, he's talking we're negotiating. And Mike says, look, I'm willing to come back and sign with the Bulls.

If you end the lockout. Now that was a huge statement because we knew how much revenue he was bringing in by himself so we were all like, Whoa, Mike said, he coming back, you know, this is great for the league.

And I remember David stern, like basically, puffing up his chest saying, look mine, I'm going to tell you something. The league was here before you got here and it's going to be here after you're gone. So we're not locking out just because you say you're coming back. and Mike just walked out of the meeting.

I was like, Oh no, you can't let 23 leave! 

Hey, this is a junk yard dog, Jerome Williams. You're a former NBA player of nine years, but now I'm the president of the young three and the vice chair, the NBRPA. And you're watching the game plan. You know what time it is? Stay with them. Stay tuned. Do it doll count approved.

Tim, a lot of entrepreneurs we know succeed because they do combination of two things. They bring hard work and hustle. Well, our guest today exemplifies these traits in so many ways that his teammates nicknamed him, the junkyard dog. We are incredibly excited to welcome to this show.

Entrepreneur investor, president of the big three's youth development league. Jerome Williams, the one and only junkyard dog. JYD thank you so much for joining us on the game

Hey, thanks for having me guys appreciate it. You know, the game plan you guys are, you guys are world renowned. Guys are doing it. Set, setting the standard for life after the game.

we're working on it. So you played almost 600 games over nine years in the NBA, but how did you first get that nickname? And did you always like it or did it grow on you? 

Oh, you know, the nickname came from some bad boys. You know, I walk in into gym. I see Joe do Mars, Rick Mahorn, grant long, you know, some guys  that I watched growing up  and then two of them had won NBA championships. And then the nickname really came from just working hard in the gym. Willing to listen, to people who had been there longer than I had been, and willing to learn and not ask any questions other than, you know, yes or no, sir.

And can I get that for you type of deal? And that's really what it boiled down to the nickname was just from hustle and really putting your all in you know, willing to show up early for work and stay late. Yeah.

Yeah, that was definitely a different time, especially in terms of what was expected of rookies. And I think a lot of people have been educated in the last month or two by seeing the last dance and understanding that as different. So you were a key part of. Kind of the transition of the MBA.

What do you think of the league now versus that time when you came in and then also the time when you played.

Yeah, I think it was exciting when I was playing. I think that that era of basketball transitioning from the nineties to the two thousands, was a tremendous, tremendous, because you're, you're, you're exiting Michael Jordan and you're coming into LeBron, James. And it was just, to see that transition and be a part of it because, you know, you grow up watching the transition of magic Johnson, Larry Bird, dr.

J. So Michael Jordan, and then the witness Michael Jordan transitioning to LeBron and having the guard, both errors, is as unique. And now the game is still exciting.

so, so JYD, you were part of some pretty big trades in the early two thousands. You know, for those of our listeners that maybe don't understand the athletes experience, how do you prepare for those situations? Are you told ahead of time or do you sort of have to take those punches and kind of roll with them as they come.

Yeah. I mean, you know, the first, the first, my first trade with the Toronto Raptors was. totally off the cuff. I wasn't prepared for it in any way. I knew I was coming up on free agency, but that seemed like a long time, you know, from where I was at. And I felt like, low and I've been traded, like, how did that happen?

and it, it was really shocking, you know, to, to the point where. You know, my wife and I, we didn't know how to react. you know, gotta get the kids or, you know, get the rest of our stuff, I guess. And I hopped in the car and drove and drove to Toronto. 

Yeah, so  we heard this legend and I know we've talked about it off Mike, that you could have waited for the charter plane, but you decided not to because you want it to play that night. So tell us a little bit about that. And what impact did that have on the fans for you to say, you know what, I'm playing here and I gotta be there.

You know what, It was just one of those things. And my mom and dad instilled in me about work and work hard. And, you know, I wasn't going to have a pity party. I was very thankful for the city of Detroit for giving me the opportunity to play. So then I realized, Hey, I'm now part of the Toronto Raptor family.

So they have to get the same level of respect. And they, when they asked me, they said, Hey, you know, We'll send a private plane for you. And I said, is it going to be here tonight? And they said, well, no, it can come tonight. You know, I said, well, I'll be there in the morning. I'm getting in the car tonight.

So I have to be there for practice. And then they were all taken aback. They were just like, what? And I mean, I think I was, they had me on every radio show as I was driving know. Talking about the tray talking about I'm on my way. And, and then, like you said to that end, that night come game time. I'm getting a standing ovation when they announced my name and, you know, I didn't land for any of that.

It was just me just being, being who I was and understanding that, Hey, you know, you go to work, you know, you work hard and, and, and you help your organization try to win.

Yeah. And you roomed with Allen Iverson in college, you came up with the bad boy pistons and then played with the ageless wonder as we call them Vince Carter, who were some of the most memorable guys to play with. And for you personally, like whose energy as a teammate, did you really feed off of and felt like it helped elevate your game as well?

Wow. So many players, that I can, I can think of. I think one of the, one of them, one of my favorites. that I, that I fed off of a little bit was Allen Houston, who I play with a lot of guys that pretty much, they were pretty dominant their positions, but his demeanor, on and off the court, his dedication to, you know, to Christ and Lord and savior and, and, you know, and that, that pure jump, you know, I didn't get a chance to.

Play with them. Very many games, but you didn't get me excited, because of, what you can do on the court.

that's great. And, I know,  you sort of were talking about catching the tail end of the Jordan era into the early days of the LeBron era, but you know, you got to share court with the goat. And now that we're seeing everything with the last dance coming out, Do you have any particular memories of your time playing and seeing sort of MJ and his in his prime and at the top of his game?

 well, one thing I remember in the last dance when he was talking about in 97, after they beat Utah and that he know could have changed back for that seventh title. And that particular year, we went into a lockout with the MBA and the oldest, and I was one of the vice presidents of the union at the time.

And, we had meetings in New York, myself, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo mourning, Kim made my tumble you're all in the meetings and this particular meeting, Michael Jordan came. And so we sit down with the owners, David stern, he's talking we're negotiating. And Mike says, look, I'm willing to come back and sign with the bulls.

If you end the lockout. Now that was a huge statement because we knew how much revenue he was bringing in by himself to the entire league that all the other players and the owners benefited from, from ticket sales to jerseys, to everything. Cause it's a, it's a split. It's not, you know, one player. So, so we were all like, Whoa, Mike said, he coming back, you know, this is great for the league.

And I remember David stern, like Maisie, puffing up his chest saying, look mine, I'm going to tell you something. The league was here before you got here and it's going to be here after you're gone. So we're not locking out just because you say you're coming back. And Mike and Mike just walked out of the meeting.

I was like, Oh no, you can't let 23 lead  

when he said what he said about, Hey, I wanted to play another year, we would have came back. He was serious. Well, people forget that there was a lockout that year. So it was a lot of negotiations going on with w with Ryan's door, being an owner, bulls, you know, the league, it was a lot going on.

So that was one thing that was left out that I remember. Played a significant role because that was the year San Antonio beat New York in the finals. And it was a shortened season. It was shortened playoffs. You know, everybody was talking about the Ashridge because you know, it wasn't a full year. So it was, I mean, we were playing, you had guys playing You know, for four games in a week, you know, three back to back, it was insane. Yeah. 

no, I mean that, that's incredible. And, and coming back to what you mentioned there about being a vice chair of the retired players association and being sort of a part of the, the MBPA we're seeing this shift, especially in the NBA, but across a lot of sports where it's going from being team driven to being talent driven.

Right. And so they I'm sure Jordan was sort of obviously at the pinnacle of that, but now when you are involved with retired players, when you've been around the players association, how have the attitudes of the league changed in terms of their mindset of how they treat players versus maybe how they were treating them when you were an active player?

Yeah, one, one of the major things was the culmination of the health insurance. That was, that was huge, but it took not only the NBA understanding that they were, they were losing a lot of legends because of their health you know, in their fifties, early sixties, you know, guys were, having heart conditions and they had to kind of get on top of that.

And I think that between that and the union, players themselves saying, Hey, we're going to be retired at some point. And if we don't have this health insurance, the league's making all this money and we need to make sure there's something here to take care of our family. So that was huge, but it takes everybody being engaged.

Retired players have to be engaged with current players. And, you know, that's one thing that we I've seen a shift. I've definitely seen a shift and that response and that awareness that, Hey, you only live once, so you gotta be all in together.

I want to go one step further, and then obviously we want to dig in even more to the other things you are doing now. Post-career but what does that dynamic like? Because the PA is led by the veterans of the league, the guys who are on max contracts. So, you know, there's this whole other conversation about like, how could guys in the G league ever have a seat at the table when the, the guys who actually run the PA aren't incentivized to necessarily support those guys.

Cause it's only one pie, right? But I would like to think that as it relates to the retired players association, there's a little bit more respect. There's also an understanding like, Hey, I'm going to be in that position eventually, someday to talk a little bit more about that dynamic specifically, and you know, how you convince or, or get leverage with the PA to really vouch for you guys and go to the table.

Yeah. You know, back in the day. The MBPA used to have meetings with DM, be RPA. And that's where I learned a lot of what I know, from the veterans, people who were retired, they were inquiring about, Hey guys, you should really consider the health insurance health insurance. And I learned that. So when I was in the PA, I would try to do things that would help.

Enhance that moving towards that pendulum of getting health insurance, and it's that those are the same things that need to happen today. Those are the kinds of things that better the relationships and also, You know, allow for growth when you separate yourselves. And everybody's so busy and everybody's doing their own thing.

It makes it tougher and harder for those two, two entities. To really come together cause they add their own unique Things that they have to accomplish a year in and year out. So it's something that slowly we're inching, better towards, because as ours organization, the MBRP is stronger. We are, are showing that strength and we're showing that cohesiveness in that unit.

That the MBPA feels more comfortable, taking steps closer to one another.

Yeah. And certainly it helps to have people like you who've had so much experience in the

Right, right. 

that's right. That's right. Well, beyond just your involvement in the MBPA you've had, you've done quite a few things as an entrepreneur and taken on quite a few, you know, different endeavors. So we want to dig into a little bit of all of it. But before we do that, I'm just curious along that nine year career, you know, you're all about basketball.

You're all about playing for the fans of the place, you know, that you're now at, but when do you start thinking about life after basketball and how do you start planning for next

Wow. You know, you got to start planning for life after basketball. The minute you start you, will you shake David stern, sand or Adam Silver's hand. careers are not guaranteed and knowing where and when You know, your career is gonna, it's going to take off or not is totally not up to you. It's almost like being in the right place at the right time.

And that's one of the things that I learned, coming up. I was planning for my retirement, you know, early, because. I wanted to make sure at the end of the day I had, I had the opportunity two, you know, take care of my family. So there are a lot of different programs within the NBA. I myself took advantage of the internship, learning more about, you know, how the NBA operates and what makes that engine go. And that was huge for me as a player because I learned, you know, that you know, that NISL basically your name, image and likeness is everything. And everything that you build up around your name while you are, you know, you are showcasing this, this logo, man, you know, the Jerry West. You, you, you gotta, you gotta put that in full effect.

So that was something that I learned, early on and I took advantage of it. I took advantage of it.

Yeah. And I guess on along that side, there has been, I think there's historical narrative around players who don't handle their money. Well, or maybe haven't handled their finances properly. In your experience, why do you think that narrative exists and maybe how have you seen those attitudes towards how retired players are managing their finances change in the last decade, even.

Yeah. for the most part really it comes down to, you know, a lot of the family situations and you know, how they've been raised and ultimately what they're dealing with as players, you know, you come out and you're, you know, you have all this wealth at such a young age.

 I'm basically telling myself it's, it's only going to get better from here. All right. Well, that was in 96. It's now 2020. This is 24 years later. I'm not spending 700,000 a year. If I want to live the rest of my life. Right. These things, you, you know, you have to sit down and kind of have a plan. Like, did I know I was going to have four kids, college tuition, you know, sweet 16 parties. Cars and you know, a SUV is for kids. No, I didn't know that, but I had the basically make a plan two. I understand that whatever I'm doing now, it going to impact me later

Yeah. JYD it's so it sounds like you're saying you needed to have a game

plan. 

to have a game plan, man, shout out to the team. You game plan has to be tight. You know, you have to, you have, and you really have to take it that way and you can't too many, people are outside influences in that, you know, it has to be a very, you know, short, short group of advisors that are helping you and reminding you on a daily basis.

Hey, that might not be the right purchase based on. Based on what you're trying to do.

Yeah. And so to that point, you know, your earning potential might not be the same. Post-career certainly not from basketball directly. However, you've done an excellent job of planting seeds for growth, for new sources of income and new ways to create wealth. So tell us a little bit about the Genesis of the champions basketball network, what it is and what your goals are for it.

Sure. so the champions basketball network is, you know, multimedia, place where players and entities come together and, and drop content. we have shows, like the game plan are on. but other players like the knuckleheads. and you also have Gilbert arenas with his show on there and it's constant, basketball 24 hours a day.

So we do college. We do amateur, we do AAU. We do MBA, of course. but it's a place where the basketball fan  see and hear from some of their favorite players. also launching, next month we have who files and who files his fan pages of current players that are actually on, then basically get, get the feeds from their favorite player all over the world.

So whether their stories are on ESPN or the score or Bleacher report, we'll see what everybody's saying about JYD today. 

So that's what hoop files is doing. And that's, that's also a welcome addition to the champions basketball network and not to mention, Champion's basketball network now has and exclusive deal with players TV. So players, TV, as we all know, did the deal with Samsung CB plus they sign, Chris Paul, they signed Carmel Anthony, Dwayne Wade. Kyrie Irving, Deandre, Jordan has shows on there. So the players are getting more savvy and understanding the content that they're able to create. They're basically their IP, their intellectual property is that their highest level while they're playing.

So, the NBA is a part of that, but they are huge part of their IP. You know, they have to take advantage of the technology that they see, and our around and, you know, that's what, that's, what that company was built on. Champion's basketball network was just built on doing just that.

Yeah. So to that point, there are a lot of places out there to get content. Was this really born out of your network? And the fact that you've kind of always been such a connector and just kind of know everyone, and guys really respect you and you've got a lot of energy or was it born out of a specific need that you saw in the market?

Tell us a little bit more about like, Specifically what differentiates it and what your aspiration is for it.

Yeah. Well, what I felt though, that was needed was a place for players to not only, place their content, but also develop it as, you know, everybody is in a TV personality, but everybody thinks they can be. Well, here's a place for you to try it out without, you know, breaking the bank. We try to teach players, you know, how to yeah.

Effectively, be cost effective in their goals and aspiration as far as production. You know, these phones today are very high powered pieces of equipment. Back in the day, we used to have to. You know, by the, the software we used to have to buy the computers for the editing suite, we had to buy the lighting.

We had to buy, you know, the cameras and all these different things nowadays. I mean, they're using this, this same camera that we're on right now is the same camera ESPN has on their show will Steven a and you know, and he's being paid 10 millions of dollars. So.  it's one of those things where we, we were set up to actually educate guys on how to sharpen up their skills in broadcasting, in the media space and let them, you know, basically play with it now, we're moving more into, being able to go on platforms where there are millions of people, you know, At the jump at the launch date, over 40 million viewers, by the end of, 2020, they're going to have over a hundred million subscribers and users.

And that's a game changer because players now has access. That's true to, to that level of, viewership and that's all they need because at the end of the day, it's just me here talking.

Yeah.

I can do that every day.

it's so it's so interesting that you talk about that gives cause something that Tim and I, I think even when we're not talking on the mic, we'll say that, you know, players are becoming bigger than teams, right? You look at how many, you know, followers, I don't know. We'll just take,   I don't know,  Chris, Paul has.

Right. And then you look at when he was on the Clippers, how many followers or Clippers had, or when he's on the rockets and he go, the player is bigger than the team. And yet the teams are the ones that are creating the content, but the player is actually the one that people are showing up for. So how do you empower the player who is now bigger than the team in some ways or bigger than maybe in the league?

Right. We talked about LeBron because even bigger than the league, how do you empower that person to own the distribution? And I think that's a really, really interesting shift that we're in right now, because before, as you just said, It was so hard to own the distribution because you had to put all this money up for production.

Now we're all stuck in our homes. We all have decent enough cameras. And if you watch a couple of YouTube videos, you know how to get them up and now you can be your own network. And so I think that's a really, really interesting revelation that you're sort of at an interesting intersection of you've got the network for these guys.

They can test it out and then they can see, Hey, you know what? I don't think I don't need to be on. The next page. I can be my own page. Yeah.

That's right. You can be on your own page. And, and it's also key that, like, to your point, that intellectual property is larger than a lot of the teams because, you know, Hey. If you're not going to see Chris Paul, right. Or Kyrie Irving, who are you going to see? Are you still going to go support that team?

That's the difference between the Nick's getting Kevin to rent and Kyrie Irving

who they have. I mean, you know, it's a big difference in talent

it's, 

a huge difference when it comes to their IP.

it's very true. And it's interesting because I think it dovetails well into your involvement with the big three and the young three. And I think the realization that, yeah, even if players aren't maybe playing at the top of the NBA, they're still, they got a lot of juice left. They got a lot of, you know, public.

A love that's out there. And how do you capture on that to create really good content? So tell us about how you got involved in the big three and then, most, especially your involvement with the young three, which you're repping right now. So.

You know what it was it, you know, to your point, right? I retired in old five and 2017, get a call from ice cube saying I'm doing this three on three, and we'd love for you to come out and dissipate in place. I get drafted in the first round, the number six, pick 2017, big three by teen pal, Corey McGarry, Latino mobily, captain, and cold cap. They take the dog pound first pick with them first page. It was going down. I'm like, Oh my gosh. I mean, I. I was flabbergasted. I was thinking maybe I made, might make the third round go first round first pick. Oh man. I was like, Oh geez, I better get in shape. And to go and, and, and, and nobody knew how it was going to take off first game in Brooklyn sold out 17,000,

Yeah.

like right.

Whoa. Oh yeah. Junkyard dog posters in the stands. People bark in. I hadn't played since Oh five. It's been 12 years

Yeah.

game is a basically next point wins. Right? So is that similar over time? I go to set a screen for Contino mobily slip the screen it's we would have bounced past, I go down the middle for gorilla dunk. I mean places going crazy place is going crazy. And, I'll never forget that. That was our welcome back moment. 

know, that was the, that was the Michael Jordan dropped the mic. Oh.

totally. And how does that compare towards the amazing memories you had from your NBA playing career? Because. Like you said there was a pretty long gap there and you, you thought it was over at least that you wouldn't be playing in front of thousands and thousands of people again, and here it is. So it's much different.

Cause it's, it wasn't, you know, the NBA playoffs or anything like that. But at the same time it was something, a feeling that you thought you had lost and you would never get against, like, how does that compare to some of your most memorable moments from your NBA career?

Well, it compares in the fact that my son who never saw me play Was able to see me play my daughters too. When I retired, they were three years old and four years old. So they couldn't remember ever seeing me play. So now to have kids who I can understand, you know, crowd's screaming and hollering and cheering you all.

And then. 

When that dad's got it. 

Right. and then like having real conversations about the game, like they were like, dad, you need to shoot more. Yeah. You need to be more aggressive. I'm like, yo look, listen, I know what I'm doing. This is child's play I'm out here. I get a check every week.

Yeah. Or these games. So, dim, like learning and understanding. It was, it was definitely had more value to me then me playing in the NBA only because my kids weren't old enough to understand it.

that's pretty special. And to the point of this is business. So to Jay's question, tell us a little bit more about the business side of it and. You've gotten involved, on that aspect with the big three and young three

Yeah. So as anything, you know, it gets more competitive every year. So the next year Our team, because we made the playoffs, I actually led the team in points, rebounds and assists. In the playoffs. So that does go to show the dog pound was doing what I needed to do. We would have won the championship the first year, but we had too many injuries.

so the next year we had more players coming in more talent. We were getting more retired guys and they said, Hey, we had this opportunity. because Adidas has come on as a full fledged sponsor. And they needed someone to take over and be the president and run, create a business plan for the young three. And they were like, you're our first choice. And I just said to myself, okay, nap play last year acid. I understand business. So you pass this up.

Someone else is going to be in that position and you'll never, you better be relying on. How good your jump shot is looking for the next, however long. So me being a savvy businessman than I am, I took advantage of plaid Drexler's opportunity that he was giving me along with ice cube and Jeff  and said, look, I know enough about new sports and have been around it and made business around it that I can really make this young three take off.

And I mean, we sold out the last two years, every

awesome. 

Adidas was happy. the kids are very happy and you know, it was a new space, you know, three on three indoors, tournaments. Hadn't been done yet. And they, they are, they're just now kind of starting to try to get around to it. I know coven has really made an impact.

and not having a three on three tournaments, but yeah, we were doing it, all summer long and all of our staff, I'm happy to say we're w MBA and NBA legends, Harlem, globe Trotters. And, it was, it was great. It was great to see like James Hollywood Robinson out there. Aaron thorn, Desmond Farmar two.

Smith from the Harlem globe, Trotters, Erin Broadway Jones. They were, they were all on the staff and doing it being in the kids. I mean, you, you, you couldn't have seen so many smiling

Yeah. Yeah, no, it's, it's, it's incredible. And that you're setting such an example for them. Right. It's almost like the most important thing is to be able to see somebody that looks like you, that's got your experience up there as an executive, as you know, part of the ownership or management. It's such a powerful thing for these young kids.

And so I think that's really special and, you know, ties into what I'm always curious about. And we love talking to our guests about, because we hear such a breadth of experiences. We know a lot of retired players, they struggle with finding. Some sense of balance between team routine and competition. They have those things from the six years old to when they stopped playing.

And then all of a sudden you lose those things for you. What's been the hardest part of your transition and leaving the game behind in 2005 and moving into the business world, what's been the most difficult thing, or what's the hardest lesson you've had to learn.

The hardest lesson I had to learn was choosing which path well it's going to be right for me and my family. I was a unique, very unique situation. I retired in Oh five. It was totally unexpected. I didn't retire. Cause I got hurt. I retired because I got cut. You know, Isaiah Thomas pulls me into his office after the 2005 season with the New York Knicks.

And he says, Jerome, I just talked to the owner. Allen Houston has turned down the Allen Houston rule, which is the rule where any player on your team on your roster can get paid their full remaining amount of their contract without it affecting the cat. And it's actually a benefit to the team because then that team can go out and sign other players. Okay. So Alan used  they made the rule for him. Yeah, he's on our team.  E it turns it down and tells you and assay the owner if he can continue to play. So the owner says yes. So that should tell you right there where the ownership's mindset was. It was for the player. So when Allen turned it down, owner, he said, okay, is there anyone else you'd like to offer this to?

He said the only other player on our roster that I would offer this out and use a rule two is Jerome leaves because of his hard work. And everything else. But as with Allen, he offered me front office position, coaching position, or broadcasting position along with the Allen Houston rule. So not only am I going to take home $24 million in a stroke of a pen, but I'm not being kicked out the door. It's a leg up. Shout out to Isaiah Thomas and the New York Knicks organization, because you know, to get back to your question, how hard was it? It was very hard because at that moment I'm still playing and Oh, by the way, for the next three years, I was offered NBA contracts. The largest one was with the Lakers $25 million for five years to play with Colby that I turned down. So these things are, are it makes it difficult for a player to transition knowing he can still play knowing he still has value in the league, but trying to figure out, Hey, what else can I do? Because eventually this body's going to break down and thank God. I didn't have to see it break down. I mean, I still laughed at his day.

Cause what, 12 years later I get back out there. I'm still Duncan crowd still barking and the dog pals still alive.

that's the way you do it. all you naysayers out there. You don't want a dog pound program, right. Be prepared, but also no that you can still do it.

That's right. And certainly a very unique experience. Like you said, through the stroke of a pen, you know, tens of millions of dollars. But with that also comes, some public pressure. And so one of the things we always talk about is athletes are getting hit up for investments all the time, but we've learned that you found a pretty unique way of saying no.

And we'd love to hear exactly 

what that is. 

Oh man.  former Washington wizard, LA clipper. He reminded me of this story because I was one of the MBA, obviously bill one ambassadors, but also I'd go in to talk to the rookies and incoming players to the league every summer league right here in Vegas. I get the call and I go down there and mentor and answer questions and no one questioned.

It's how do I say no? And I said, Hey guys, the number one way to get this done is actually saying yes, and they're all looking at me like what? No, no, no. We're going to, you know, parents, people, you know, family brands are asking us for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I said, listen, let me tell you how to do it. So let's just say. Your friend, brother, sister, your aunt asks you, Hey, I got this great business plan because they all got a plane. And he said, Oh, you do great. Great. I'd love to see it. And let's just say that business plan is for $10,000. I told all the rookies, as I said, what you do is, as you say, look. I'm going to give you, I've read through your business plan. I love it. I love the idea. I think we can make some money together. Can we make money together? And they're like, yeah, we're going to make a lot of money. They start moving everybody. They don't just, aren't getting excited, like jumping around like this, then you say, okay, all I need you to do.

I'm going to put up 90% of the month. I just need one bank put up the other 10%. And they're like one bank. Yeah. So I'm going to give you nine thousands, right? We'll be in business together. I'm going to give, you know, you get $1,000 because you got a great business plan. Tremendous. I love it.

We're gonna, we're gonna, you know, so tee shirts in the back of, you know, you're, you're rolling, man. Right? You're going to deck out and wrap. I get it. I love it. I think we're gonna, we're going to do this. $1,000 from a bank, right. They just approve your business plan and you, all you gotta do is walk in there and say, you got 90% of it, walking in with 90%.

What makes on turn that down? They looking at me,

Yeah.

right? I get that. You come back with the 1000. I got the, now we just shake on it.

how, how often, how often is somebody come back to you with that 10%?

you know, the banks, they, they want me to rewrite the business plan. I thought the business plan, I mean, do or may get to get the writing. Rewrite make those edits, do whatever you gotta do. There's no bank in America that won't give you 10% and you got 90%.

Right, 

I mean, you, we all know that as business people, right?

You got 90%, you walk into the bank. They're like,

yeah, yeah.

do we sign? This is good money right here.

bullet 

But yeah, I think, I think for, for you, it helps you to keep that relationship. Cause obviously that's always, the toughest thing is that it ends up being a relationship loan and you're writing it off. Whereas, you know, you don't have to be the bad guy in this case.

Right.

Yeah. And remember this it's a bank does approval. Well, I eight. They're not putting their money anywhere that they don't feel as though there's going to be a return. And those and those college students go to school for that. So you might even have a good, good opportunity. So, but that's the way to do it. That's the way to save face. That's the way to keep the relationship and Hey, they might have a different plan next week, but they know what you're going to say.

I know where I can get 90% of the money.

No look, that's absolutely right. And I think it's phenomenal advice and something that not a lot of athletes here it's to be in this tough position because everybody can Google how much you've made in your career. So it's always this tough thing for you to say no, cause you know that they know.

What you got going on, which I don't think any other career you don't, you know, unless you're a top executive, you don't really know what some guy that just works at Amazon makes. Right. But everybody can Google how much you've made, which is, which is a tough position for you to be in. What I will say did, is I'm curious, you've got so many different irons in the fire.

You've got so many things that you've been working on. I guess what we'll wrap on is. What are you most excited about as you look out at the next couple of years, you know, even beyond COVID, once we are all out of our houses and back to some new normal, what are you getting excited about?

I'm very excited about, you know, I think Colby was a blessing. Number one, I think Cola was a blessing because a families are spending more time together. It gives you more time to think. It gives you more time to adjust to the environment of this new normal and to see where these opportunities lie.

There's a lot of new businesses that have been created because of Cobra. So what makes me excited tech knowledge technology excites me because we've seen in Kobe that kids, athletes are able to train differently than they ever had before. Lot of it right through this phone, right through this screen.

Whereas before the phone, why am I going to do that now, man, let me go on this live chat. Let me go on this virtual training. Let me go on this virtual, shooting less and let me go. And, and all these people, I was talking to grant Hill the other day, my teammate, and, he was telling me drunk. My daughter comes into my office and asked me, Hey dad.

can you, can you run me through some soccer drills? He was like, I was scared to death. He's like, I don't know anything about it. He said, I went on this virtual class and learn all these different soccer drills. And I got the greatest his dad award because I was able to learn. And he was like, man, I was willing to pay.

I was willing to do whatever I had to do to help my daughter. And that's how it is. You got parents out here who are looking for. Things to keep their kids engaged, to get them out the house, get them moving, get them active. I myself did a junior MBA virtual training. So that's what excites me right now.

That technology being able to, you know, not only do. Like players TV with new content, but also be able to drive that content, create virtual classes, create virtual content, where legends, you can interact with kids all over the globe, not just tied down because everybody's locked down. It's not due to us.

It's all over everywhere.  It's just different things in technology that really can expand your reach. And especially if you have an IP, you have intellectual property and we all do.

if you have ideas, put them to action, put them to work, put pen to paper. 

That's the key. 

Yeah. And we're thankful that it's in one small part, been able to have this episode happen. So it's been our pleasure to have you join us. Today JYD and share all the amazing things you're working on. We really enjoyed having you on the game plan and we're proud to be part of the Dogpound.

Absolutely man. Shout out to the game plan. You guys are all the way live. Keep doing what you're doing. The people need it. The dog pound loves it.

At the end of every episode, Tim and I like to recap what we heard and share our thoughts in the transition and the new careers that our guests are pursuing. We call this segment, our partner meeting a term. We borrow from the meetings we have when evaluating new investments at our respective funds.

So Tim, I love the energy that Jerome Williams brings to every conversation we have with him. What did you take away?

I really liked going deep with him on the, retired players association. And I think that dynamic's really interesting and the players associations continue to evolve. I think it helps a lot that the retired players association has him. As their vice chair, because he was so active when he was an active player.

And now he's also still connected with so many retired players through his work in the big three. So I, you know, I don't think they could have a better person in place to do that work, but it is an interesting dynamic. When you think about it. I mentioned too, like how the NBA is trying to prioritize the G league even more, but the players aren't incentivized at all to help cut out a piece of their pie to support the G league, even though it would in the longterm.

Help the game, because it would help development of players, but retired players, association and benefits is a little different because every active player will be a retired player. At some point. I'm curious from your perspective, having worked for the NFL, where there's been, you know, more controversy or more headlines about retired players and their benefits than any other league and for good reason, just given the physical toll, it takes what your perspective is on all of those kinds of negotiations.

Yeah, there's, there's a lot of work that the NFL has been doing, I think, over the last decade. So I know that it's easy to take pot shots at the fact that the NFL alumni association, the NFL retired players association, hasn't done a very good job, candidly it's it's because. They haven't been empowered to one, two, most people don't know that there were actually four or five different retired players, organizations, you know, they're, they're started by different retired players who maybe felt like their specific need was not being met.

So they started something here and it eventually what ends up happening is they became competing organizations, all charging different dues, but the folks that were part of the organization relied on that org. But none of those orgs could really scale because the NFL only recognized let's say NFL alumni.

Right? So now you've got these other four orgs that are doing good work. Maybe they're not doing it at scale, but they're also not really getting support that they could be getting. So I think at least from what I'm hearing from Jerome and, and, you know, I know a little bit more about the NFL side of it than, than maybe the NBA side of it.

the NFL has consolidated those organizations. They've done a lot more to try to say, Hey, we're going to roll everybody up. We're going to provide the benefits that each org was providing to these retired players. And then for all the new players coming in with the CBA, like those folks are not grandfathered in, right?

Like the folks that are grandfathered in you'll deal with and the NFL is committed to it. So it's always weird because when these CBA negotiations are coming up, there are so many. Different subsets of people with competing interests, 60 let's just use in the NFL is nipple. And I'm sure the NBA has sort of a similar stat, like 65% of an NFL players are on minimum contracts.

So if they're the ones at the seat of the table, they're going to be the ones that actually are saying, Hey, let's increase the minimum, but if you increase the minimum, then the superstars are getting paid a couple million dollars less. Right. And for them, they're saying, listen, I am at the pinnacle of my sport.

And, and, and, Oh, by the way, as, as Jerome mentioned, I am the league, right. People are coming in to see me and you're taking money out of my account for the minimum contract. So

well, 

I think I, yeah.

you have to, you have to have representation, from these different constituent groups, but you also have to realize that they're, they're sort of fighting for very, different things.

yeah. And the NBA more than any other league has become a players first leak. And that's the result of a few different things. I think number one, just how visible they are and the fact that there's only five guys on the court at a time. So a single player has a way bigger impact than any other sport. I mean, even more so than a quarterback on a football field, I think to a certain extent.

and then also the way the CBA has evolved over time. I think the way social media has evolved over time so that fans can have a direct relationship with the players and you brought that up, but, you know, comparing like a players falling to a team's falling. And so that's another thing that I found interesting was just how much he talked about intellectual property and how important that is.

And that's also why he started the champions basketball network. Curious to get your take on that.

Yeah, I think it's fascinating. He touched on two trends that. I know you and I both look at, but I know that there is starting to become more and more understood and recognized in the venture capital community, which is one trend being the dispersion of like production, quality technology.

Right? So now, like these are readily accessible tools. You know, even looking at podcasting like a few years ago, you had to be in studio right now, we're doing this off of a laptop and a phone, right? So the fact that technology is making these tools more readily available means that everybody can be their own studio.

They can be their own network. And if they want to put a little bit of money in there, they can it look

just, no, there's no barrier to entry,

or, or, or very little or very little yeah. Yeah, which is, which is again that the challenge that, that everybody becomes their own network. So the IP piece is the second part of it, which is who actually owns the fans who owns the relationship with the fans.

And that's what we were talking about, which is the players. So if the players own the intellectual property that they are creating and they're able to create it in a pretty high quality way. And the second is that they are who the fans see, they are, who the fans engage with and they own those fan relationships.

Then why do these players need the legacy networks? Why do you need an ESPN when you can be your own ESPN? And we've seen that in some successful ways where, you know, it's Pat McAfee or some folks who are taking their radio shows have turned them into podcasts. These folks are realizing that people are showing up for them.

They no longer need the distributor to make them successful because the internet allows them to distribute to whoever they want to.

Yeah, I think that's an interesting point. And it's also a big question I have as it relates to different content networks or production studios that are popping up. And I think I have this same question for champions basketball network is how are you still ensuring that your. Players are enhancing and building that relationship that they have.

Cause that's the difference maker. Like Pat, McAfee's a great example because he's building his PR everything he's doing, he's building his personality and he's attracting more people to that. People that didn't even know him as a football player, he's attracting via that. Whereas just putting out more content or like, Oh, behind the scenes rather, that's still one way.

And so that kind of. Whether it's ESPN putting that out 10 years ago, or now putting out something through players' TV or just through another OTT or whatever it is, it doesn't have the same effect on its own that social media has or podcasting it. Like it has to be part of a multichannel approach for an athlete.

If you think it's going to significantly build your brand, it can't just, you can't just expect like a single documentary or piece of content. It's going to do that for you.

well, one way that people I think have been doing it is they're being provocative. Right. And, and so why did first take and whatever the first take spinoff was at Fox when skipping and Steve and I split up, why did those shows do so well? And then sports center was on, they were covering basically the exact same topics.

But they were being outlandish. They were being memorable. And we live in this society where, because to the point we were discussing before the barriers to entry for creating quality content, I've come way down the threshold for getting people to give a shit has gone way higher. And the way that you get people to give a shit is you become a meme, right?

Like whether it doesn't matter if you're laughing with Stephen EY or you're laughing at Steven a you're watching him. And you're tuning in. And I think there's a lot of people that are taking that lesson and now applying it to these new content networks that are coming up and seeing, Hey, how do I create my own personality?

And man, sometimes those personalities, they become Teflon, right? Like we, we were seeing this recently with what's going on with Joe Rogan or what's going on with, you know, Barstool and their podcasts. Like these personalities. It starts to not matter what platform they're on.

do you think that's a good thing? Not the part about doesn't matter what platform they're on, but that it's a race to the bottom in terms of being the most outlandish.

I, I think you have to decide if you are the talent. I think you have to decide who your audience is. If you're going after the largest possible audience, then you have to continue to be more and more outlandish. This is nothing new Howard stern was doing this back in the early two thousands. And, you know, it was getting fine and all this stuff.

So, so that itself is not new, but you realize that very, that, that slope starts to get steeper and steeper very quickly. So if you, as the content creator decide, I am, I am happy stopping at a certain point and realizing that like my audience will only go so far. I don't want to approach the slippery slope.

That's a, that's a bargain you have to make, or, or you make the Faust Dean bargain and say, every week I have to be slightly more ridiculous than the week before. And it's going to pull more audience. It's going to pull more eyeballs and whatever that does to you as a human being, that's you.

well, I'm hopeful that it will unlock more creativity. One thing I've enjoyed following that's outlandish, but not necessarily in like a derogatory or kind of. cynical fashion is big cat from Barstool has 

been T he bought like an old PlayStation with and civil college football on it. And he's done like five seasons.

Now with this coach personality, that's taken on a personality of its own and like has its own following. And now even like the schools are, are getting behind it. So like, you just. You know, joint Tennessee and like Tennessee UTS, like actual athletic department, it was like tweeting a welcome to coach Doug's.

And so that's just like more playful and fun, and it is built off of big cats personality for sure. Which has historically been outlandish. But to me, that, that I, I get excited about because it's just like being more creative 

Yeah. 

audience

I don't, I don't 

think provocative 

Yeah 

Yeah. I don't think provocative has to be negative. Right. Like I think there are people who are provocateurs of like shaking the status quo. when people call Roger Goodell at the NFL out for what I think most fans would, would agree is, you know, some level of hypocrisy of how play or punishments or whatever it is are handled.

That's a good kind of provocative, that's a conversation that we should be having, which is, Hey, there isn't transparency around this. Let's have that conversation. Then there is the kind of provocative where, you're up there and you're criticizing a player or you're criticizing an individual and you're pulling a whole bunch of other crap into it that doesn't need to be there.

Right. Again, some people for that that's entertainment for other people that's crossing the line. I don't always think provocative has to be a bad thing, but you do have to realize that. At some level people stop. Like they know that you're just doing it for show and the moment that like emperor has no clothes, mentality hits now, what do you do now?

They realize that you don't actually believe the things you're saying. You're just doing them because. You know, it's outlandish. So again, we don't, I don't have an answer to it. Right. But I do think that there is a little bit of like that curtain getting lifted for some of these provocateurs. Meanwhile, other ones get like, you can, you can be fun and you can be outlandish and you can be playful.

And it doesn't have to be in a way that is, you know, maybe trading on some future value of your brand.

Yeah. And so to bring that full circle, I think J Y D has done an excellent job of cultivating his own brand with the dog pound. We heard the bark. I love it. Cause it's just, it's very clear that it's true to who he is and it's what he's about. And he's all about positive energy. And so I really appreciate that.

So I

think. that's right. So I think that's a great way to close this week's partner meeting. Jay, is there anything else you want to add?

No. It's great, man. I mean, we just had so much fun with JYD. He's got so many great stories. I love that Jordan story, man. That was awesome. Especially coming right off the back of the last dance. Just so grateful that we had that time with him and Tim, thank you so much for joining me on this partner, reading.

 

 

 

 

So that's it for this week's episode of the game plan with Jacob pour and Tim Scott as always. Thanks so much for listening. A big, thank you to Ryan McCumber for the intro to Jerome, as well as to our new game plan producer will Richardson for editing this episode. 

We really loved having the junkyard dog on the show to share everything that he's been up to so make sure you follow J Y D on twitter and instagram as well as check out the champions basketball network for tons of great audio and video content 

Hey, if you made it this far, congratulations, you must really like what we have to say. You can find us on Twitter at the game plan show, or leave us a five star review on iTunes. We'll see you next week on the game plan.