E’Twaun Moore is building his post-NBA life with his hometown project as inspiration

E’Twaun Moore is building his post-NBA life with his hometown project as inspiration

E’Twaun Moore has aspirations to be Bridgeman Jr.

It’s not just because of what they have in common: Both men are from East Chicago, Ind., played in the same school district and have had N.B.A careers spanning more than a decade, but also what Moore hopes to share with him.

After Bridgeman left the NBA, he had a lucrative business career. What started with several Wendy’s and Chili’s franchises, which it sold for $400 million in 2016, according to Reuters — has become a family business that owns Coca-Cola bottling plants and Ebony and Jet magazines. He is worth an estimated $600 million and he is one of the richest men on the planet to have played in the NBA.

Moore heard stories of Bridgeman’s success after his playing career and saw a role model in the 69-year-old executive. He wants to do just as well.

Bridgeman was contacted but was unable to reach him. Still, Bridgeman is a motivation for Moore.

“I want this to be my trajectory,” Moore said The Athletic. “And my goal.”

Moore was in his sixth NBA season, just 28 years old and in the prime of his career, when he really started thinking about his life after basketball. The thought came to him almost casually. OKAY, he said to himself, you can’t do this forever.

He hadn’t really considered it before. His life was almost entirely consumed by sport. He ended up at East Chicago and Purdue, then stayed in the NBA as a 6-foot-3 combo guard, even though he was only the 55th pick in the 2011 draft. Twenty-seven players from the their draft class never reached a sixth season; six never played in a match.

Time was a limited resource for Moore, and he spent it with only one thing in mind.

“You’re just thinking about basketball, basketball,” he said. “How can you make basketball work?”

But that season in New Orleans, he realized what all NBA players come to sooner or later: His basketball career had an end date. He opened his eyes.

His relatives had always asked him what he would do after the NBA. They told him to take care of his money. Moore was thinking so too.

Now 33, Moore said the realization was a turning point for him. After 11 seasons, five team stints and more than $42 million in earnings, Moore is out of the NBA. Those hypotheticals have come true, and Moore believes he’s thriving.

Moore has not been on the roster since last February, when he waived it magic, but continues to work and prepare in case a team calls. Still, it’s realistic. While many players talk about life after the league, Moore prepared for it.

Today, Moore said his business interests are valued at about $40 million, after he invested $6 million to acquire them. He said he owns two McAlister’s Deli restaurants, has an executive transportation company in Orlando and rents single-family homes in Indiana and New Orleans, and last year, invested in a 600-unit multifamily real estate business in Denton, Texas, near . the University of North Texas. Its most prominent business is in Texas, where it is located an investor in development from Dallas Executive Airport. Moore was involved in this project by his cousin and developer, Rodney Burchfield.

“This is just getting started,” said Moore, who graduated from Purdue with a degree in organizational leadership. “I want to try to get nine figures. I want to get out a lot more off the court than just playing basketball.”

It was Burchfield and Moore’s brother, he said, who pushed Moore to figure out his post-NBA plans. During the last six years of his career, Moore received information about real estate or business ideas from Burchfield and began to learn how that world worked. He was also assisted by his agent, Mark Bartelstein, and his financial advisor, Paragon Sports, who he said helped facilitate his business dealings.

I knew networking would be important. Fortunately, he said, playing in the NBA offers some benefits. Even having a blue check mark on Twitter made it easier to communicate with others. They knew it was really him. He reached out to Marco’s Pizza on social media while still playing Pelicans and was able to start a conversation thanks to their platform.

“When you’re in the NBA, it’s definitely easier to connect with people,” he said. “Obviously you have a name and the credibility is a lot higher. To make it to the NBA and be successful, you have to be disciplined. You have to work hard. I think that translates into any work environment or anything you want to do do in life. … It’s definitely easier to network being an athlete”.

Fame can also be a double-edged sword. Moore said people have been reaching out asking for money for a business, an immediate red flag for him. He has tried to get to know all the people he associates with on a personal level in order to build some trust.

Moore is also wary of what he calls “Jews at home.” Try to be patient with your investments and the opportunities you pursue and aware of your own limits. If something seems too good to be true, he said, it probably is.

The day after the Magic released Moore last February, Burchfield called and told him there was a trade opportunity. It was the Dallas airport deal.

“That might have been a blessing in disguise because I have to devote all my time to business,” Moore said. “If I was traveling and (playing in the NBA), I would never have made this deal. … I made $44 million; I’m going to get more out of the airport development project than out of the game.”

Moore tried to use his final years in the NBA to be a sounding board for younger players. On his last three teams, he talked to his teammates about being careful with their money and being quick to trust. He speaks publicly about his work off the court because he wants to be an example. She said she grew up in public housing with little money. Now, he wants to bring generational wealth to his family.

It was advice he hadn’t heard early in his career. Gen Z players already have more entrepreneurs, and many of them have reached wealth earlier in life, with NILs and bigger salaries in their early years in the league. Moore believes that this new generation is already more thoughtful and business-minded.

“It’s starting as a business before you get to the NBA, so you have to protect what you’ve got,” he said. “The sooner you can understand how to pay your bills, what the interest rates are, the better off you’ll be.”

Although Moore is not on an NBA roster, he is not yet considered a retired player. He still loves sports. He still watches games and works out and believes he can help a team that needs his knowledge and skills (he’s hit 38.8 percent from 3 in his career).

He thinks he can play another five years, but knows he probably won’t.

“I have to be ready if a team doesn’t want to pick me up,” he said. “So what am I going to do?”

When he officially retires, Moore plans to finally invent some business cards. He’s been holding on until he knows it’s over.

He already knows what the cards will say: that he is a former NBA player, he devoted most of his life to this pursuit, and he will not ignore it.

But they will also say that he is an entrepreneur. In fact, he wants to correct it. Your business card will say “successful businessman”.

(E’Twaun Moore Photo: Barry Gossage / NBAE via Getty Images)

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