On this episode of Yahoo Finance Presents, Former NBA Stars Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson sat down with Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi to discuss their podcast "Knuckleheads" as well as a range of topics such as social justice and the upcoming NBA season.
BRIAN SOZZI: I'm joined by NBA greats Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. Good to see both of you, gents. It feels like yesterday I was just watching you both on the court. But now you're in the podcasting game. Why's that?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: Well, for both of us, man, we were-- you know, we were at a time in our lives where we were trying to do something different. I had just left from working with the Detroit Pistons. And we both put out our stories. I did a "Letter to My Younger Self" for "The Players' Tribune." And then Darius Miles, D-Miles, did an article about where he had been.
And they both received a lot of great reviews, and a lot of people were talking. And then I got to see the chemistry we had. And the guys over at "The Players' Tribune," they wanted to see if we had any interest in doing anything. And we kind of talked about things, and we stumbled into this idea of doing a podcast.
Prior to that, me and D-Miles really had no experience and no knowledge of what it really was about. And obviously, you know, now we're at this point. So I mean, it's been pretty exciting.
BRIAN SOZZI: Darius, what are you hoping to achieve out of the podcast?
DARIUS MILES: Just good, innocent, positive things. [INAUDIBLE]. Lot of good laughs.
BRIAN SOZZI: You know, talking a little about the chemistry, obviously you both go back to the LA Clippers, but you go back before that in many respects. Both of you grew up together, right, Quentin?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I wouldn't say we grew up together, but we absolutely knew each other prior to making it to the Clippers. We played on a AAU team with Illinois Warriors, coached by Larry Butler, back in Chicago. D being from East St. Louis, when he would come and play with us or whatever, he would obviously have to stay the weekend or something like that, 'cause it's a four-hour difference, you know, from him back and forth to home and being in Chicago. So we obviously got close, and never could have dreamed that we would come out the same year because, obviously, he was two years younger.
He came out of high school. I went after two years of college. And we wound up getting drafted to the same team.
So I mean, like you say, the story obviously goes well beyond that. And that's the 25 years of the relationship and the friendship and the way our families are each other's families and things like that. That's where the chemistry and everything comes from.
It's just-- what you see is 24/7 and 365. And it's not just a act for the cameras or nothing like that. We like this all the time.
BRIAN SOZZI: Darius, what is it like going from high school right to the NBA?
DARIUS MILES: It's exciting and it's hard. It's hard to do, but this feels very exciting. I enjoyed it. Everything was like, new. And it was a exciting time.
BRIAN SOZZI: Darius, I came across a very powerful piece by you a couple years ago on "The Players' Tribune." You really talked about your career. Take us through that career. You really talked about, I think, getting out of where you were and where you grew up from and then your rise to the NBA. For those not familiar with that story, take us through that a little bit.
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: Just coming from East St. Louis-- it's a rough town, East St. Louis, one of the murder capitals of the world. And a lot of us don't make it out. I seen a lot of people play basketball and beat the odds there. [INAUDIBLE] right but [INAUDIBLE] or around the corner from [? my house. ?] So I really wanted to do something [? that-- ?] something [? bigger, ?] [? try to ?] lead the way for other generations to follow. [INAUDIBLE]. I was definitely blessed to be able to come straight out of [? high ?] [? school ?] and do that.
BRIAN SOZZI: And, Quentin, you also too-- you, in many respects, came from the same-- I would say streets, or the same situation as Darius. What was it like for you to get out and really make it big at the NBA?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: Like anybody else, man, dream of mine. Ever since I was big enough to start playing basketball, I wanted to make it to the NBA. So me, coming from the inner city of Chicago, growing up watching Michael Jordan build his empire and become who he has become, he was a great inspiration for me and for a lot of kids.
For us, man, the basketball was-- it was a vehicle. It was a way for us to get out of the hood. And you know, you look at the little round orange basketball, we look back and see what it's done for us.
I mean, it's taken us all around the world. We've been to countries we probably never even heard of, we never would've known about it it wasn't for basketball. And just the life it's been able to give us-- I mean, obviously everybody and all of the players that's come before us have led the way and paved the way for us to be able to make the money and the lives that we lead. So I mean, it's just been an unbelievable thing.
BRIAN SOZZI: Quentin, I'll ask you both this. We're coming up on the NBA draft, definitely a big day for a lot of players that are going to get drafted. What would you-- what's your best advice to them? They're going to have a lot of things coming right at them all at once.
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: D?
DARIUS MILES: Oh, I think it's a different draft than we had [INAUDIBLE] with the pandemic and the-- and all of that. But I [AUDIO OUT] to try to [? enjoy ?] it with their families as much as possible, try to make [? that ?] the moment 'cause they have to have experience of actually going to the draft. So I think [? it's ?] just [INAUDIBLE] try to enjoy it [INAUDIBLE] [? their ?] family. [? Try to make it ?] a big moment for them, because [? it has been ?] a big moment for everybody who's ever been [? drafted ?] in the history of the [? NBA. ?]
BRIAN SOZZI: Quentin, how about you?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I would assume-- I would agree with D. Just say, you know, enjoy this process. This is one of the most fun, one of the happiest, best times of your lives. This is a-- you know, you embarking on a new journey, becoming a young man going into a man's world.
And you're going to be making a lot of money. So I would say definitely enjoy everything, keep your family around, but I would say also, you know, when you're going into this with your finances, be smart, man. This is-- like D said, it's a whole new world. And when we came in in the draft in 2000, it's so much-- so many different things that your-- you know, the knowledge these days at the player's fingertips to be-- to better themselves with the finances and things, so many different things [? to put ?] in place.
So I mean, those are the biggest things for me with this new generation of guys coming in. They're making so much money. And there's so much information, so much knowledge out there, for them to be able to protect their money and walk away from the game with the bulk of the money that they make.
BRIAN SOZZI: Quentin, how do you know who to trust?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I mean, that's the funny thing, man, in the beginning. I mean, you have to have people-- you start with your family and the people around you that you trust, and you use them and lean on them to vet people and to try and establish those relationships. And trust is something that's earned. It's not given. You don't get it right out of the gate.
It's something that you have to build and you have to earn and you have to gain. So it's not something that's just a sure thing right away. But I think if you use the vetting process and you go and you trying to be very thorough and intense throughout that, you can weed out a lot of the obvious situations. But I mean, even with that being said, it's still-- trust is a very, very funny thing, and it has to be earned and gained and not just given away.
BRIAN SOZZI: You know, Darius, you've been very open about finances through the years and how you've managed your finances. What advice would you give to the players coming to the league?
DARIUS MILES: It's about choice. It's not about [INAUDIBLE]. Gonna be out here with the [? fans. ?] When you wake up every day, it's about the choices you make. So if you're making the right choices, sometimes you make mistakes with only-- but you try to make right choices every [? day, ?] and that's the [INAUDIBLE].
BRIAN SOZZI: Quentin, a little-- interesting in the podcast. How much are you going to explore, really, racial injustice issues?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: We've talked about that with a lot of our guests. And-- because, I mean, our guests are-- a lot of our guests have come from the African-American communities, and they've dealt with a lot of the same injustices and some of the racism that's gone on. So we definitely touched on that one some of our episodes and with some of our guests.
BRIAN SOZZI: And what are your thoughts? What role do you think the NBA should play in what we're seeing across the country?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I love the role that the NBA is playing. Just like everything else, they are leaders of the pack. They're right out in front doing what they're supposed to do. I couldn't be more proud to be part of this fraternity and these players and what they did and the stands they took and the courage they went out there and displayed to go out there and play in that bubble and be under all of that pressure that they were under, but also be able to go out there and use their platforms and use their voices to shed light on something that they felt passionate about.
And basically, most of the guests that we had on, we all come from the same type of situations. Regardless of the color or ethnicity or background, we're all peers, so we are-- as basketball brothers and sisters, we all have feelings for our peers and our brothers and sisters that are impacted by these things. So everybody could understand and relate and feel those same emotions that most of the world felt when these things were going on.
BRIAN SOZZI: Darius, your thoughts on that too.
DARIUS MILES: Whoa. [LAUGHS] He was [? so long, ?] I forgot the question. You said racism?
BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, Quentin really dropped the mic there, right?
DARIUS MILES: Yeah, he told it all.
I agree. But what was the question?
BRIAN SOZZI: [? Darius, ?] do you think the NBA has really-- you think they've stepped up? You think they've done enough, Darius?
DARIUS MILES: Oh, man. Just I'm proud to be a part of [? the ?] [? fraternity. ?] [INAUDIBLE] like, it's a blessing to be with a fraternity like the NBA and what they do and how they [? support ?] [INAUDIBLE] players, whatever it is, when it comes to anything. So I'm just happy to be a part of that and try to keep on representing that in society.
BRIAN SOZZI: So I'm sure you watched the playoffs. Three months in a bubble. Quentin, what were you thinking when you were watching this play out? LeBron has been very vocal out there, saying, look, this was tough. You're locked in a bubble. You don't really have interaction with other human beings. What did you think of it?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I thought it was-- number one, it was amazing by every single person that had anything to do, you know, putting that thing on for them to go down there and have zero negative-- I mean, zero positive test results. I mean, that was unbelievable. And I think everybody involved, from the players, the staff, the coaches, everybody down here, they should be saluted immensely.
But I thought it was great, man. I thought it was like-- for me, a lot of my peers and players and friends of mine, we said it's the world's greatest AAU tournament. It's the world's greatest AAU tournament ever. It's like, that's what we went through growing up playing basketball. You stay in hotels, you get to cities, you walking past teams, and you seeing teams [? and ?] vans and everything, and everybody got on their gear.
So for me, it was great to see them to be able to give-- lead the way of getting sports back, but also doing it safely and being those guys going out there. And they competed. I mean, that was the biggest thing.
They went out there and played hard and competed for a championship, everybody that was out there. It wasn't like a lackluster product we saw. It wasn't you seeing guys not going hard. You saw guys playing as hard as they could and putting it on the line, I think. I appreciated that as a former player.
BRIAN SOZZI: Would love to get bother of your thoughts on this. [? Darren, ?] let me start with you here. The NBA is talking about coming back in December. What type of toll would that take on a player's body, coming back that quick?
DARIUS MILES: I don't [? think it's ?] going to take [INAUDIBLE]. I think they do it anyway. [INAUDIBLE] play [INAUDIBLE] [? crowd. ?] You know, you may take [INAUDIBLE] months off [INAUDIBLE] the [? moment. ?] [INAUDIBLE] you'll really be back in the gym.
So I don't think it's too much. [INAUDIBLE] I think they all [? make ?] it work. [INAUDIBLE] the NBA is the best ever. When they [INAUDIBLE] [? into ?] your [? face, ?] and their players are very professional.
And they all [INAUDIBLE] [? put ?] in all [? the time, ?] [? and ?] the bubble showed it. You know, the bubble showed [INAUDIBLE] they gonna put the best [INAUDIBLE]. That's what [AUDIO OUT].
BRIAN SOZZI: And Quentin, how about you?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: Yeah.
BRIAN SOZZI: Too quick to come back?
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: I don't think so. I mean, I kind of would agree with what Darius saying to guys, guys, the turnaround is quicker than we would assume anyway. People in the summer start working out a lot sooner. And I think actually, obviously, playing the game and things, it's going to be a little bit more. But I think when you look at the guys, you will be most concerned about Miami and LA because they went the distance and they played the longest.
But I mean, when you look at a guy like LeBron, I think he's the type of dude who keeps his body so physically conditioned all year round that this is probably a better thing for him to get right back to it and to take some time off when he's getting a little long in the tooth. But I mean, for him, I don't see him missing that many games like people are saying he might sit out. I think he'll play 82, because he's chasing greatness. He's chasing history. Every game means something to him, and I think you'll see LeBron go out there and play.
BRIAN SOZZI: Well, whatever diet LeBron is on, clearly, I need to be taking it. All right, we'll leave it there. Quentin Richardson, Darius Miles, good to see you both. Good luck on the podcast, and we'll talk to you soon.
QUENTIN RICHARDSON: Thanks for that.
DARIUS MILES: Thanks.