Shawn Kemp – Sports Bar Owner
Shawn Kemp had a successful 14-year career in the NBA. He was a six-time all-star and was named All-NBA Second Team three times. After he retired in 2003, he stepped away from the court, but couldn’t leave his love of the game behind, and opened Oskar’s Kitchen in Seattle.
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The sports bar located in the Pacific Northwest was a daring endeavor for the NBA star. He ran the business for as long as he could afford rent. In 2015, Kemp was forced to close the bar’s doors. Today, Kemp still works in hospitality as a part owner of Amber’s Kitchen in Seattle.
LaRue Martin – Community Services Manager For UPS
LaRue Martin was full of potential when he was taken with the first overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft. Four years into his career, however, his potential dried up and Martin was out of the league. Needing a way to make a living, Martin took an entry-level job at UPS.
Patience and perseverance paid off for Martin, who was named Community Services Manager in 2005. On top of his 9-5 job, Martin also works on the Board of Directors for the National Basketball Retired Players Association.
Coming up, a player who now makes his living in fast food!
Mark Blount – Auntie Anne’s Franchisee
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Mark Blount entered the NBA in 1997 and made his long awaited debut with the Celtics in 2001. In 2009, he retired, ending an unspectacular career. In retirement, Blount decided to invest his money, buying two Auntie Anne’s Pretzel franchises.
Blount isn’t the only former NBA star who loves Auntie Anne’s. Although you won’t find Shaq on this list, he’s also a proud franchise owner of the mall snack stand staple. Next time you’re at the mall and order a pretzel, make sure to see who’s working. You might be surprised!
Dan Dickau – Barbershop Owner
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Dan Dickau is one of Gonzaga University’s greatest basketball players of all-time. If only his talent had translated to the NBA! Six years into his professional career, it was over and Dickau was forced to find work elsewhere. To make a living, the former college star opened The Barbers in Washington.
The house of hair has become a neighborhood staple since opening. Aside from owning and operating his own barbershop, Dickau has also made appearances on ESPN Radio and the Pac-12 Network.
Still ahead, a player who prefers raising cattle now.
Bryant Reeves – Cattle Farmer
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Bryant Reeves floundered out of the NBA after six seasons. Injuries proved too much for the man nicknamed “Big Country” to handle, and he turned to a quiet life of raising cattle on a farm. He might not have been meant for sports glory, but he knows his way around a farm.
Reeves currently owns and operates a massive 300-acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma. Never has a nickname seemed more appropriate than the one Reeves earned when he played. Some kids dream of growing up to be cowboys. Reeves grew up with NBA dreams but seems just fine living like the rest of us.
Vin Baker – Starbucks Manager
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Vin Baker had an incredible 13-year NBA career. Sadly, he lost his fortune in retirement after a battle with alcoholism. Today, Baker works as a manager at Starbucks and is a minister at his father’s church.
Baker knows how working at a Starbucks might look to people on the outside, but has come to terms with that, saying, “I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces.”
Next, Tim Duncan proves there’s still fight in him!
Tim Duncan – MMA
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Easily the strangest retirement choice on this list, San Antonio Spur legend Tim Duncan has been training as an MMA fighter since retiring. Currently, his training can only be considered a hobby, although his trainer is high on his potential, calling him “a monster” and “a legit contender.”
While he waits for his MMA career to begin, Duncan keeps plenty busy running BlackJack Speed Shop, an auto body shop he opened in 2013. In 2017, the shop helped organize the delivery of needed supplies to Hurricane Harvey victims.
Greg Oden – Student
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The Portland Trailblazers selected Greg Oden with the first overall pick in 2007 hoping they had found the face of their franchise. Over an injury-riddled career, Oden only played more than 23 games once and retired with chronic foot problems.
With his NBA career over, Oden turned back to his academics. He took a job at Ohio State as the student managers of the men’s basketball team. The position allowed him to go back to school and take classes to help him prepare for a second career.
Adrian Dantley – Crossing Guard
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This might be the most surprising post-NBA job on our list. Adrian Dantley had a 15-year NBA career that ended with him scoring 23,000 points and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 2010, Dantley, who had been coaching, left the league for good and became a crossing guard.
The low profile job reportedly pays Dantley $14,000 a year, so we know he’s not in it for the money. According to the big man himself, he enjoys helping other people. It doesn’t hurt the job provides health benefits, too.
Detleft Schrempf – Coldstream Capital Management
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In college, Detlef Schrempf majored in International Business. As soon as his 16-year NBA career was over, he put his degree to good use, signing up to work for Coldstream Capital Management as a business development officer.
On top of his 9-5, Schrempf has also dipped his toe into acting. He had a recurring role on Parks and Recreation while it was on the air, and looked very comfortable in front of the camera.
Coming up, we reveal what Brandon Roy has been keeping busy with since retiring.
Brandon Roy – High School Basketball Coach
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Many analysts believed Brandon Roy was on his way to a Hall of Fame NBA career when knee injuries derailed his future. Roy’s knee never recovered correctly and he was forced to retire young. Initially, he attempted a second career in broadcasting, only to learn he wasn’t a fit.
In 2016, Roy accepted the job as the head boys basketball coach at Nathan High School. In his first season, the team went a perfect 29-0. For his efforts, he was awarded the Naismith High School Basketball Coach of the Year Award.
Shandon Anderson – Vegetarian Restaurant Owner
The highlight of Shandon Anderson’s NBA career was winning an NBA Championship as a role player for the 2006 Miami Heat. When he retired, Anderson literally started over. He went back to school to learn how to be a vegetarian a chef, with plans to one day open his own restaurant.
On his journey, Anderson interned at Candle 79, one of New York most famous vegan restaurants. After that experience, he opened his own joint, Drink Art in Atlanta. The restaurant specialized in Thai vegan cuisine. Unfortunately, after being open less than a year, Drink Art closed.
Scottie Pippen – Livestock Farmer
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It took Scottie Pippen a long time to accept his retirement. One of the greatest Chicago Bulls of all-time, Pippen retired in 2004 and instantly regretted his decision. He spent the next several years trying to make a comeback, desperate to win a seventh ring.
Once Pippen accepted the comeback would never happen, he found a second career with his brother. Together, the two co-own a livestock farm in Arkansas. On the side, Pippen still makes appearances on television multiple times a year.
Charlie Ward – High School Coach
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Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy playing football at Florida State but went undrafted by the NFL and turned to the NBA. Ward played 11 seasons in the league, mostly with the New York Knicks. With his NBA career over in 2005, he turned to another love; coaching.
Ward didn’t get into college or professional coaching, though, he went smaller, taking jobs at the high school level. In 2005, he was named the head coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida.
Just ahead, we check in on Karl Malone and where retirement has “driven” him.
Karl Malone – Truck Driver
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Karl Malone made enough money during his legendary NBA career to never have to work another day in his life. Don’t tell him that, though. Since leaving his first love, Malone invested his money into several businesses and even works as a part -time truck driver.
One of the businesses Malone has given money to is a timber hauler. Malone’s interest in the company, oddly enough, was both for business and pleasure. He drives trucks for the company part time and has become very passionate about the industry according to those close to him.
Vinnie Johnson – CEO Piston Group Manufacturing Company
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Vinnie Johnson is fondly remembered by NBA fans as one of the “Bad Boys” of the league. With the Detroit Pistons, he won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. It was 1992 when he retired and found his true calling.
Johnson started Piston Group, a small manufacturing company that has grown into a multi-million dollar asset. Still working as the CEO, Johnson has proven he’s much more than just an NBA superstar; he’s a life superstar!
Darko Milicic – Apple Grower
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Darko Milicic likes to refer to himself as the biggest NBA Draft bust of all-time. Taken with the second overall pick in 2003, he jumped around the league until calling it quits with the Celtics in 2012. These days, Milicic lives a quiet life in Serbia growing apples.
Before settling into the simple life, Milicic trained to become a kickboxer in his home country. The violent sport wasn’t a fit for the big man, who prefers to wander up and down the rows of apple trees on his 125-acre farm.
Oscar Robertson – Affordable Housing Advocate
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An old school NBA star, Oscar Robertson was ascendant during his 14 year career. He was named an all-star 12 times and retired as one of the league’s highest scoring guards ever. Still, his greatest accomplishment was his work to create affordable housing for African Americans in Indianapolis.
For his amazing efforts to improve his community, the University of Cincinnati honored Robertson with an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters in 2007. When he has a time to himself, the NBA icon also enjoys woodworking.