The Next Chapter
Kevin transitions from pro athlete to relentless job seeker.
by Kevin Owens /@Waiting4Godunk
So now that I have officially retired from professional basketball, I imagine I should probably move down to Florida…maybe buy a Cadillac. Start complaining about cold weather and hit up the early bird special.
Unfortunately, I don’t have what you would call a “pension.” My pension currently stands at negative $103,000. That is how much money I am still owed by some of the swindlers who signed my checks overseas. (Just for the record, a contract means nothing over there. I might as well have pinky swore instead of signing any documents…Technically it is the same thing.)
Since I am no longer collecting checks, I will need to begin a new career.
Boy, did I pick a good time to retire. With unemployment rates soaring I now find myself “behind the eight ball,” as they say. I am currently in the same position I was in when I graduated college. Only now I have seven years of “life experience.”
I attempted to explain life experience to a job placement expert from Ladders.com. (I figured I was worth six figures in my old job, why should retirement be any different?) She informed me that I would be wasting my money subscribing to their site. I lacked the experience and “know-how” needed for a six-figure job.
I told her that I have been working for seven years in a pressure filled and competitive field. She was not impressed. I told her how I possess strong leadership personality traits which made me an asset during my playing career. Still unimpressed. I then told her that I once posed shirtless in a foreign advertisement…Dial tone.
What I took from this conversation is even though I have limited business experience, I believe I can be a benefit to any company based on both my competitive drive and work ethic. That is what 30 years of being overly confident does. It makes me believe I will be good at anything.
During the past few years as my knees swelled more and more and my phone rang less and less, I decided to make a plan for myself so that when this day finally came, I would be prepared. I began to narrow my job search down to several preferred careers.
My ideal career would involve coaching basketball at some capacity. I have been applying for collegiate coaching jobs throughout the tri-state area over the past few weeks. I always excelled at the mental aspect of the game more than the physical. I loved outsmarting opponents with a shot fake rather than using my limited athletic ability. It has worked out fairly well for me over the years. Players who excel at the cerebral aspect of the game tend to make better coaches. I’ll let this excerpt from my cover letter explain the rest:
“During my professional career I have studied under several acclaimed coaches, and alongside many successful NBA players, and with each gained a great deal of basketball knowledge. I have used this information to train the best high school basketball players in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area over the past seven years at an elite basketball training group. I also have strong recruiting ties in both Australia and New Zealand.”
The problem with collegiate coaching is if you have no experience and you don’t actually know the coach, landing a job can be extremely difficult.
Since I chose not to put all my eggs into that specific basket, I have also been networking myself to the sports media world. In fact as we speak I am writing this article on a train to New York City where I will be meeting Josh Duhamel and Ali Larter. We will be participating in Reebok’s Stunt School.
I also have been writing for several publications covering basketball. I promised myself that next year I will be at the Final Four, whether it is as a coach or a media personality.
Whichever career path I choose, I know that I am starting this journey late in life. Luckily I am in good company. In 1482, just 10 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a 30-year-old Leonardo Da Vinci was sending his resume to various Lords. Over five centuries later I find myself in a similar situation. Although my painting skills are limited, I believe I can make an impact on this world in other ways.
I am thinking about submitting Da Vinci’s resume for various coaching opportunities. I would sound extremely smart and coaches would feel extra safe at the arena in case an enemy hoard were to attack. Here is Da Vinci’s translated resume.
“Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moments on all those things which, in part, shall be briefly noted below.
1. I have a sort of extremely light and strong bridges, adapted to be most easily carried, and with them you may pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, secure and indestructible by fire and battle, easy and convenient to lift and place. Also methods of burning and destroying those of the enemy.
2. I know how, when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make endless variety of bridges, and covered ways and ladders, and other machines pertaining to such expeditions.
3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.
4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.
5. And if the fight should be at sea I have kinds of many machines most efficient for offense and defense; and vessels which will resist the attack of the largest guns and powder and fumes.
6. I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river.
7. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance.
8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out of the common type.
9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvelous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.
10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another.
11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.
Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.
And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency — to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.”
If Da Vinci can become world famous after 30, then the sky is the limit for Kevin Owens.