Longtime NBA guard, controversial Players Association president, and failed Knicks coach Derek Fisher has reportedly joined up with a shady alternative lender that targets professional athletes and other “high-net-worth individuals and families” who find themselves challenged by the “burdensome and invasive” process of traditional money lending.
I’m no banker, but Luxury Asset Capital’s model seems, hmm, a little predatory? The pitch on their website involves lending millions of dollars “when time is a factor,” and promises a process that uses as its sole criterion for lending “the value of the asset(s) we secure as loan collateral.” They seem very clearly to be targeting athletes who’ve fallen on hard times due to reckless spending, and their collateral model involves lending at a portion of the market value of the selected assets, like, you know, a pawnbroker. Like pawnbrokers to the rich and famous!
Fisher, who was just last week named head coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, is described as the Executive Vice President of Luxury Asset Capital’s Sports & Entertainment Group:
“Even individuals with substantial wealth and earnings face situations where easily gaining access to substantial amounts of short-term capital in a few days can be a major challenge, and we specialize in helping athletes and entertainers overcome that challenge,” says Dewey Burke, CEO of Luxury Asset Capital. “Derek Fisher and [attorney and fellow Executive Vice President] Sandy Fox are among the most knowledgeable people in the sports and entertainment world regarding the financial pressure professional athletes and entertainers face, and the most trusted. They are uniquely positioned to deliver the value of Luxury Asset Capital’s short-term liquidity solutions to the community of current and former athletes and entertainers that they know so well.”
It will surprise no one to learn that there’s a buck to be made giving desperation loans to young athletes who’ve spent their money recklessly and find themselves in deep shit. That element of this partnership did not go unnoticed by a couple of Fisher’s former peers:
That second dig, from Baron Davis, is especially sharp. Fisher’s time as union president was marked by union executive director Billy Hunter accusing him of working behind the scenes with David Stern during the 2011 lockout to secure a new CBA that was more favorable to owners. It was a fucked-up, dysfunctional period in NBPA history, with reports at the time indicating that players around the league were divided about which one of them could be trusted to operate in players’ best interests. I think it’s probably safe to guess which of the two camps included Baron Davis, although the union eventually sided against Hunter and voted his corrupt ass all the way out.
Fisher’s newest endeavor could never be confused with something that’s in players’ best interests. By the language of their own website, Luxury Asset Capital turns its profit by capitalizing on the financial hardship of its clients, who, in the scope of Fisher’s department, are wealthy athletes. It’s not a new or especially clever kind of business, but it’s certainly hard to stomach a former player and union president and current head coach climbing aboard.