Thursday , Sep , 20 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Chicago Bull Ben Gordon Another Victim Of Fraud & An Interesting Reaction From NBA.com?

See the juxtaposition. One the one hand, Ben Gordon, a young player, has unfortunately been the victim of a scam. His adviser has taken advantage of him. On the other hand, the NBA, presumably after the Gordon story broke, went out of it’s way to mention the Rookie Transition Program and how their mentoring young players …

This evening, I’ve been surfing basketball websites, looking for interesting and unique stories to write about. Something struck me. One website, CNNSI, picked up a Chicago Tribune story on Ben Gordon suing his financial advisers:

Ben Gordon sued his former financial advisers Wednesday, alleging they charged him excessive fees and improperly borrowed $1 million of his money to invest in a real estate deal for themselves. The Bulls guard said in the lawsuit that he signed a deal with California-based Larry Harmon & Associates in 2004 that called for him to pay a fee of $4,000 to $6,000 per month for financial consulting. Gordon alleges that when he hired new financial advisers, it was discovered Harmon and his company had been charging Gordon a fee of 1.5 percent of his total income.

However, another website, NBA.com, mentioned how the league offers young players a program on transitioning to the NBA:

Sixty rookies took a break from the Rookie Transition Program – a week-long education in the way of NBA life run in conjunction by the league and the Players Association – to head up to Public School 83 in Harlem and hang out with youngsters who were learning the ins and outs of the ABC’s rather than the C.B.A. (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

See the juxtaposition. One the one hand, , a young player, has unfortunately been the victim of a scam. His adviser has taken advantage of him. On the other hand, the NBA, presumably after the Gordon story broke, went out of it’s way to mention the Rookie Transition Program and how their mentoring young players.

Is this a coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. The NBA is very aware of all the negative publicity surrounding the league. Look at the way Commissioner Stern swept the Tim Donaghy scandal under the rug. Just an observation.

Best wishes to Gordon. He’s not alone. Other professional athletes have gotten bad advice. I used to work in an industry related to financial advising-dishonest practices happen more than you think.

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