Retired basketball star Charles Barkley is advising younger NBA players to spend their earnings wisely and not splurge them on needless and expensive cars. In an interview with PEOPLE, the Hall of Famer said he does not need to drive an expensive car because he’s already a popular person.
“I got a Kia,” the 60-year-old said. “People know who I am. I don’t have to drive an expensive car. They know me.” The former Phoenix Suns star also revealed he got that advice from former NBA star Julius Erving.
“Dr. J taught me that a long time ago. He said, ‘Son, don’t waste all your money on cars. Everybody knows who you are,'” he said. Barkley also said he has realized NBA players pay as much as $300,000 for a car. “I’m like, ‘Yo man, everybody knows who you are. You don’t have to show them,'” he said, adding that young athletes should rather save their earnings and “invest it well.”
The retired basketball star urged young athletes to financially support people in need. “I think it’s really important to give back to your community,” he stated. “That doesn’t mean give all your freeloading friends and family members money, but that means you should really try to do important things in your community. That’s significant.”
He said NBA players receiving big paydays gives them the chance “to change not just your family,” but anybody they want to financially support. But he also touched on the negative side of being wealthy.
“You have to really, really be careful,” he warned. “It’s interesting, I always sit back and I saw that… Money’s a great thing to have, but it causes a lot of problems in your life. Anytime money’s involved, crazy stuff is going to happen.”
Barkley also used his experience to shed some light on how to avoid going down the drain. He said the “number one thing you have to do” is to “learn to say no.” “Everybody’s coming for it. You have to learn to say no,” he added.