On the lives of the supersuccessful/talented/famous/rich

Allow me to quote an exchange between Rick Reilly and one of his readers:

What was so exhausting about the day? All he did was wake up, work out for one hour, go to a light shooting practice for two hours, stay in a high-end, downtown LA hotel suite for free where he had catered food, a nap, and DVDs playing, then went to the game and shot 33%. Oh and he probably earned over $80K pro-rated for this one day’s work. Bless me with his talent and I’m doing the same thing. You want to know a hard day’s work? Follow around some poor bastard working two jobs for crap money and no perks while trying to support a young family in a poor neighborhood. Let me tell you something Reilly, you’ll never catch me marveling at Kobe’s drive and work ethic in comparison to a guy like that. It’s insulting.

— Joe (San Diego)

Joe,
Let me get this straight. The guy is up at six, isn’t home until 11, puts in a 17-hour day (not subtracting the nap) and somehow you’re insulted because he makes big money? Don’t you see that’s the point? He makes ridonkulous money, more than enough to retire on long ago, and yet he’s still busting his butt because he feels an obligation to his legacy, his teammates and his fans. This is a guy who’s already won three rings. Do you know how many supremely talented athletes sleep in until the shootaround, play Madden after and go through the motions during the game? Gobs of them. I feel for somebody working two jobs, too, but what do you want Bryant to do, mop the floors at Sears at night so you feel better? Grow up.

Any thoughts? Here’s the original piece if you’re interested.

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15 Responses to “On the lives of the supersuccessful/talented/famous/rich”

  1. yorkroberts Says:

    Have to say, if you offered to pay me $80,000 a day, I would work those 17 hours and do exactly what Kobe does every day (minus the rape).

    /zing

  2. yorkroberts Says:

    But in all seriousness people always talk about how dedicated and hardworking athletes are. That’s true. They do work hard and clearly you need a lot of drive to be a professional athlete.

    But if someone were to offer me the salary I currently make (not like a ridiculous amount of money by any means, probably similar to a a single A baseball player’s salary if not lower) to work out and practice ANY sport for around 8-17 hours a day (depending), I would be MORE than happy to accept.

    I feel like most people would probably concur that even just being able to work out hard each day and get paid their current would be preferable to their mundane job.

    But that isn’t an option.

    And having worked 2 shitty horrible jobs for shit pay 80 hours a week (summer of 2006, I don’t remember you fondly) I can attest to the fact that all though Kobe clearly works hard he is absolutely not as deserving of his salary as someone working their ass off doing two full time jobs to support their family. That whole “well lots of other players are lazy” thing is a stupid defense by Reilly. It may be true but it is irrelevant.

    And I’m also not saying that players shouldn’t be paid millions of dollars because, frankly, if they weren’t, most of the scumbag owners would just be using them as slaves and making billions of dollars off of them and giving them nothing in return.

    I can understand that guy’s gripe (especially considering how fucking hard it is to keep a job these days even when you are a hard worker). It would be nice if sportswriters would, instead of fawning over athlete’s beign hard workers who work so hard, just write things like “Kobe Bryant is one of the hardest working players in the NBA.” That qualification alludes to the fact that, yes, he works his ass off, but he still plays a game for a living and anyone on earth would trade places with him and being willing to work just as hard if not harder for his salary (not that they would be even a 10,000th as talented).

  3. yorkroberts Says:

    I just re-read that and I should clarify that I didn’t work 2 jobs to feed my family. I worked 2 jobs to put out records that would never sell any copies. Huge difference. Main point being that working 2 40 hour jobs, even though mine were both relatively easy in scope, is fucking horrible.

  4. indeedindeed Says:

    I work two jobs to feed myself. Chinese takeout ain’t free.

    Reilly definitely seemed oversensitive about the money thing. In terms of salary he’s probably the Kobe Bryant of sportswriters.

  5. yorkroberts Says:

    Agree. I just feel like Reilly is a giant piece of shit for the most part.

    I really don’t care for his writing. Don’t feel like he ever has anything really interesting to say. And everytime I see him on TV or even just listening to him on the Simmons podcast, he just comes across as the most arrogant POS in sports writing.

  6. matt Says:

    I concur with york. on all his points. Kobe’s work is something I get the occassional chance to do for “fun”. It’s one thing I actually want to do. I know it’s grueling, and playing a season and playoffs isn’t easy, but reilly has it the same way. He probably works really hard at spraying his shit on a page, but again, he’s a sportswriter, something I would probably do for fun if I had the opportunity.

  7. Meghan Says:

    Their argument is just dumb all around. Joe from San Diego is complaining about a relative statement. The NBA is fantasy – it has super humans, big salaries, and a different definition of hard work. And I think Reilly is being a condescending ass with his comments back (and trying lessen the blow by saying “ridonkulous,” really?). York’s right, throw a qualifier in there and calm down.

  8. Pat Says:

    I think its funny that Reilly gets so upset about the response and i think its due to the fact that he feels like joe didn’t “get” his point. That is very condescending and stupid since Reilly really doesn’t get joe’s point either. Sports journalism in general can become a little vomit inducing when they parade these athletes as heroes. Tim Tebow = Jesus, Kobe is the greatest because he works the hardest, these things are offensive to people especially when said people aren’t all that interested in sports.

    I don’t know York, but this is one of the few times i agree with his boston sports loving ass.

    That seemed weird…Rondo is a bitch.

  9. matt Says:

    oh the life of the nba player.

    http://withleather.uproxx.com/2009/05/joakim-noah-suddenly-more-likable

  10. matt Says:

    probably not safe for work

  11. yorkroberts Says:

    Thanks for the love.

    Pat, I’ll see you in the Stanley Cup Finals.

  12. Pat Says:

    Oh man i hope so York. Game 7’s are such a crapshoot in hockey so i’m nervous for tonight as well as for playing the blackhawks in the conference finals. Not so much their talent or anything, just that losing to a chicago team is the only thing worse than losing to a boston team. And it’s amplified by living in the city.

  13. indeedindeed Says:

    We own the Blackhawks, I’m not worried about that whatsoever if we get there.

  14. indeedindeed Says:

    Right, the guy wasn’t saying that Kobe should have to suffer or be poor, just that working out and playing hoops isn’t saving lives in the ER or giving comfort to lepers or something. He wasn’t making a class statement. Which makes Reilly’s Sears comment look stupid.

    My problem with Reilly’s argument is: Kobe doesn’t HAVE to be away from his kids on the day of a home game for 17 hours. He could make his life more normal if he wanted. And he’s not doing it for his fans and teammates, he’s driven by his own ego and his desire to win a title without Shaq. Which is fine, everyone needs motivation, or you leave and become Barry Sanders (which is another perfectly justifiable way to live as a human being, but you don’t want to build a team around someone who doesn’t care about his legacy.)

  15. matt Says:

    oh no, reilly won. A sportswriter made a stupid argument and then got everyone to take him seriously and then we argued about it for no good reason. Dead (stan) van gundy would be proud.

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