It’s easy to envy professional athletes. They seem to have it all. Who wouldn’t want to make a living playing a game you love and get well compensated for it? Athletes often make more in a year than the rest of us do in a lifetime. But it isn’t all peaches and cream. Many of them suffer through the indignities of life that prove that money does not buy happiness.
Think about it. Many professional athletes grow up poor and don’t know how to handle money when they suddenly have millions heaped upon them. They have hangers-on who are either friends or family who think they deserve a piece of the pie. If these “buddies” aren’t bad enough there are plenty of unscrupulous agents and financial vultures trying to screw the athletes out of their money. The number of professionals that sign multi-million dollar contracts and end up bankrupt is staggering.
Add to that the groupies that follow the pros from city to city and the fans that harass them whenever they appear in public. It makes you wonder if all the fame and fortune is really worth it. Maybe we mere mortals should count our blessings that we live relatively quiet, sedate lives.
With all the stories we hear about professional athletes going bankrupt, becoming drug addicts, ending up in jail, or fathering multiple children out of wedlock, it’s inspiring to find one that appears to stay on the straight and narrow. For better or worse we would like to think of our athletes as “heroes” and we can’t help but feel good when one of them lives up to expectations.
One of these is Julius Erving, better known as Dr. J, one of the most gifted basketball players of all-time.