* ETA: Special Welcome to Miami Heat Fans! Let's Go Heat!!
My sons and I are big fans of Dwyane Wade, the All-Star guard for the Miami Heat. I learned a lot about personal finance from tracking D-Wade's total eclipse of the Phoenix Suns earlier this week. The Heat won 117 to 113 ("Scintillating finish") and the game provides a good playbook for financial management.
Here's what I learned:
Recovery requires hard work and rehap: D-Wade aka "the Flash" had knee and shoulder surgeries over the summer, following devastating injuries during the 2006-2007 season. With hard work and rehab, Wade plays better with each game and has had a string of 30-point-plus games. The Lesson: Even if I have serious setbacks (financial, professional or personal), I can rally back with proper exercise, good judgement and discipline. Credit scores can be improved; accounts can be balanced. Tomorrow, I will write a piece about sports, money & rehabilitation.) In the meantime, here is a helpful article about sports injuries.
- Adversity is an excellent teacher: Quite frankly, the Miami Heat b-ball team was off to a horrible start this season. I cringed when I listened to the games on the radio. My sons and I averted our eyes when we glanced at the sports sections. But the Heat have finally put together a two-game winning streak. "We found out a lot about ourselves in these last two games," said Udonis Haslem, who plays forward. The Lesson: I've made some stupid mistakes (personal, professional and financial) in my life. I've had some horrible starts. But being stupid taught me how to be smart. Sometimes from a pit, I have a great view of the world and the motivation to climb forward.
- Consistency is important: Now that they have won a few games, the Heat need to keep the drive going. Here's what Shaq (#32 Shaquille O'Neal ) said in the Miami Herald: "This was a good game for us...Now, we just need some consistency." The Lesson: Consistency and strong performances (financial and otherwise) are a daily struggle. Saving money is a daily drill.
- Assist others: Phoenix guard Steve Nash is not one of my favorite players, but I admire him. I sort of understand why he has been named MVP in past years. He moves the ball well; he manages the floor and he gets his team involved in the action. For instance, over the last 7th games (as of December 11), Nash has earned at least 14 assists per game. He feeds the ball to his teammates. (He had one great behind-the-back pass, that was one of the Top 10 Plays of the night on NBA.com.) The Lesson: It's not enough to just score points. You have to play defense and you have to help other people score. Likewise, I've really made an effort to get my children involved in frugal living. From Nash, I see the importance of assisting others and giving back.
- Seize the moment: "You have to take opportunities," said Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, according to a quote in the Miami Herald. "When you have an open shot, take it and make it."
By the way JLP at AllFinancialMatters recently ran a great post (The Top Ten Endorsement Income Athletes for 2007) that mentioned LeBron James and money. LeBron -- a good friend of D-Wade -- is also very smart about money and about giving back to others.Frugal sports tip: NBA.com has terrific game highlights, post-game shows and other video clips that are excellent. We don't have standard or cable TV in my house, but through the Internet we watch many entertainment and sports programs.
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