Inside NBA Star Chris Paul’s Business Portfolio

NBA guard Chris Paul aspires to own an NBA franchise, a WNBA franchise—and at least 61 shares of Chevron. He discussed his portfolio at the Nasdaq MarketSite with Forbes senior writer Jabari Young.

After 19 seasons in the National Basketball Association, longer than only a handful of players ever, Chris Paul knows exactly what he wants beyond his Hall of Fame career.

“I’ve been involved with the league for too long—every aspect of it,” Paul tells Forbes. I want to own a team.”

Paul, 39, spoke with Forbes senior writer Jabari Young at Nasdaq MarketSite to discuss his NBA career, business portfolio, and other entrepreneurial aspirations. He also wants to own a WNBA team, to build on a start-up soccer league and to capitalize on the growing athlete media space. And then, Paul wants to honor his grandfather, who ran a Chevron gas station before he was murdered in 2002, by owning at least 61 shares of Chevron stock—one for each year he lived.

Then again, one massive transaction comes first. Paul’s current team, the Golden State Warriors, control a $30 million option for next season that must be exercised by June 26. If they pass, or the two sides can’t agree on an extension, Paul would become an unrestricted free agent—something most NBA insiders expect, and isn’t so bad for Paul given that the once-dynastic Warriors might be entering a rebuild. Says Paul: “I would like to know, but it doesn’t work like that.”

Paul has seen it all since joining the league in 2005—so long ago that Dikembe Mutombo was still playing. Among the highlights (and lowlights):

  • Rookie of the Year in 2005-2006
  • The lockout of 2011
  • A vetoed trade that year that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers to play with Kobe Bryant
  • Twelve all-star selections and two Olympic medals
  • Eight years of leading NBA players’ labor interests from 2013 to 2021, which included the removal of racist team owner Donald Sterling and the negotiation of two Collective Bargaining Agreements.
  • Navigating a pandemic and social unrest in 2020.

Paul has earned more than $350 million in salary as a player, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports deals. Then there are the millions he has made in endorsement deals with billionaire Michael Jordan’s brand and insurance giant State Farm.

Additionally, Paul is an equity partner in Slutty Vegan, a restaurant franchise based in Atlanta. He has stakes in WatchBox, an online luxury watch marketplace that includes Jordan as an investor, and The Soccer Tournament, or TST, a $1 million winner-take-all men’s and women’s league. Also, Paul is an investor in the streaming platform PlayersTV and plans to develop content for the channel through his production company, Oh Dipp!!!.

He credits his time in the NBA for preparing him for the business world, including his tense tenure as NBPA president, when he helped players negotiate new labor deals with shrewd NBA team owners and their CEO Adam Silver. It taught him about collaboration, and patience.

“A lot of times people think that when you invest it’s going to be paid off in six months,” Paul says. “People don’t understand the patience.”

“You’re not investing in an idea,” he adds. “You’re investing in the people. You have to actually want to be involved with these people. It can be the greatest idea, but if this person is out there partying and going crazy spending what you just invested, you’re going to be mad for a long time.”

Capital Gains: Watch the video to hear how Chris Paul spent his first $1 million, his perspective on NBA rising star Anthony Edwards, and Paul’s take on what makes a great point guard.


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