Yes, professional athletes make an ungodly amount of money, and shoe deals in the NBA in particular are more lucrative now than ever. But what about all the stories we hear about athletes going broke after their playing days? We’re not suggesting anyone should be shedding tears for professional athletes who couldn’t manage their money, but in today’s NBA, athletes are not only more knowledgeable about how to manage their money, they’re using their salaries and endorsement deals in order to create opportunities for themselves and the community.

A sponsor like adidas will go into an at-risk neighborhood and give away free gear, or host a basketball clinic using a star like D. Rose to create awareness and generate publicity. Bottom line is stars are going to make a lot of money, if they can better themselves and people around them while doing so, the entire basketball community thrives as a result.