By Ashanti C. Bradshaw
In a post-“Entourage” world, many people were left with a void so big that only Drama’s ego could fill it.
Enter Ricky Jarrett.
Ricky is the young, hungry WR whose off-the-field antics leave him to be a less-than desired acquisition for any NFL team which is a story as old as time:player’s highly talented but is his rep worth the risk long-term?
Welcome to “Ballers”, HBO’s new Saturday night dramedy from “Entourage” creator Mark Wahlberg (whom the show’s premise was also loosely based upon). This is a program whose premise isn’t all that new to viewers, the characters as well as their storylines all mirror what plays out in the NFL on a daily basis:from newly drafted players yet to realize how, if done smartly, spending wisely benefits them greatly (meaning keep everyone except only the best accountant out of your wallet, Vernon) down to how not investing wisely will leave you scrambling for financial security and relevance post-football(Sorry it had to be you, Charlie).
Sensing a theme here?
Right. Wu-Tang Financial said it best “Diversity Yo Bonds!” Truer words have never been spoken……seriously.
What I do find interesting is that “Ballers” only has black players in the main cast, which sadly is no different than what we’ve come to know about players entering/currently playing in/retired from the NFL but a part of me thought that Wahlberg and his writing ta would’ve thought outside the box just a bit on this one. Why players aren’t taught early on about how to properly handle their finances to avoid the pitfalls of poverty is beyond me, it’s a pattern with black players and I had hoped we’d get a little bit of variety with this primary cast.
I will say that I like Johnson’s character (Spencer) deciding to take initiative on shouldering responsibilty as Vernon’s agent and Ricky’s consultant, though I can’t quite pinpoint just yet which of the two needs the most help from him. His intents and motives show that his concern comes from a genuine place, definitely not something you see or often hear about in the NFL regarding retired players helping current ones. It’d be great if life imitated art but for now all we can do is sit back and let fiction unfold as the season goes on.