Two-time NBA all-star, Baron Davis talks about his investing and how he encourages people to put their money where their mouth is.
Oh my gosh. Am I on the wrong meeting?
No, no, no, no. You’re great. , stay hang out in the personal meeting room. I just started recording.
Why am I being re
oh, the bencher podcast? got it. I’m ready.
I got no notes, All right. a two time NBA, all star Baron Davis just showed up in my zoom personal meeting room. He also comes up all the time in the ecosystem because he has a really impressive portfolio of investments. And I keep crossing paths with entrepreneurs and investors who say he’s helping them out.
Barren. Thanks for being here
Thank you for having me.
Let’s jump in. Let’s talk about investing. I’m super curious. What. Inspires you, what makes you say yes to a meeting?
I think curiositybeing curious about a subject , you know, I like to use my social media platforms to, you know, have conversation do research and so if I’m feeling something like I want to say. earlier last year I was like, HeyI love gaming.
I play video games, I want to start investing in a video game space. Then people start reaching out and telling me to follow this person, wherever this person. So in this group, and , , it becomes a deep dive, , for me to understand this space. . So when I do understand the entrepreneurs, I know what I’m talking about and I have experts.
So rely on and make sure they got my back.
Yeah. I talked with your chief of staff soul and she was like, Baron is super approachable, responds to DMS on Twitter. She was funny. She said she tries to tell you not to give out your cell phone to get a company pitch.
Yeah. I usually let people pitch their company to me, you know, one supporter on Twitter and they DM me and, I look at it and look at the deck and some of them make the cut. but sometimes I DM companies and say, Hey, I want to get involved. and it works. that’s my little hidden strategy.
That would be an awesome DM to get, uh, do you hang with any lav CS or do you have any frequent Cohen masters?
I amI hang with everybody. I get along with him body.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I hang in a certain circle. but I, I connect with so many different people. I would call it a big bubble, and a lot of it really is involving , cultural equity, people of color women, LGBQT, like I’m going for the opposite of what I see so when and someone tells me I’m a minority.
I go figure out all the people that are just like me, and then we become the majority. And start to invest that way, start to look that way, start to hire that way, start to partner that way. and really build. An ecosystem Of trust around us, instead of, always relying on a system that is, always minimized is underestimated is treated as like underdogs undervalue this, For me, it’s really about, put your money where your mouth is, , I think that is the most precious point. And we’re in the most precious time.
Yeah, and we’ve been on a pretty dangerous path of inequality, but, uh, I see entrepreneurship in particular as a big opportunity.
Yeah. the way we look at it is, when we are in this early stage investing these young entrepreneurs they need help. Any connections, they need partners. They need people to think with them. and a lot of times they are heads down, buried in a tunnel, and I think for what we’ve built at big is we allow them, to come up, have some fun, Talk about what they’re doing.
Okay, so you just referenced big, which is business inside the game and organization that you founded to bring together sports tech, media people. Um, and that’s where you were saying you bring in entrepreneurs to rub elbows, have fun.
Yeah, for big is, management so they manage me and a bunch of other, entrepreneurs, athletes, and. C-suites right. So it’s really a collective pool . And, I found it that company because I want it to be able to share.
the opportunities that I was having, as an investor, as an athlete, but also, I know it takes a village, to raise a child. And a lot of times these startups are babies. we started as a collected and now we’re really just working as not an incubator, not an accelerator, just a.
Uh, do or Bader sounds funny to me.Whatever, get it done, Bader,
skip the line Vayner. and really that’s big. And then for band Davis, enterprise us, you know, family office really looking at bigger opportunities to follow that narrative about people of color, Owning, big positions in some of these companies that are getting billion dollar valuations or IPO, and a lot of times, it’s really, the people who are young and new that don’t know it, that don’t have an opportunity.
But they are the builders. And that’s where Baron Davis enterprise, uh, take place.
Talking about billion dollar valuations, you and master P made a huge headlines over talks to buy Reebok for almost two and a half billion that could have a huge impact, uh, because I didn’t think we were recording today. Uh, w what’s going on with that?
I think masterpiece made the statement that, we want to go after Reebok to show our people that we can have a seat at the table and position ourselves to be able to go shape big deals like this. And, I love that statement because it got me fired up and motivated.
They did because there are companies and, there are opportunities and, the more and more we strive for, opportunities like these and looking at ourselves, as the reason, And not the consumer, then we’ll have better opportunities to take care of the things.
That are most important to us and that’s our community, right? So if these big corporations are not putting money in the community, but the community is buying other products . , then, that’s unfair. and so I think for us to start having that seat at the table, it allows us to.
No, I have the pressure and the responsibility to take care of her. Okay.
Yeah. Do you think people are understanding that do you think people are getting the message
, we are the generation, right. Many it’s like we are, the generation would have, you know, I don’t know if I can cuss on this podcast.
What the fuck are we going to do, Honestly, like what are we going to do? Are we really, what the fuck are we going to do?
What are we going to be known for? Are we going to be known? And right now we’re not known for anything. we complain, we fight, we argue bigger, And we just fucking up our planet or we’re fucking up our legacy and we’re not preserving anything.
And so for me, it’s we have the power because we have the wherewithal. and I really look at, this generation of, I don’t know what generations they are, what generation I’m in gen Z 1215,
like we know what time it is and, it’s time to figure out what kind of legacy and what kind of narrative we’re going to leave on this planning more importantly. And then, you know what we’re trying to do. individually,
Yeah. One of my girlfriends wrote a post that was titled why don’t you care? But it was really like, why aren’t you paying attention? Do you have thoughts on why everyone doesn’t care or everyone isn’t part of the movement already?
Uh, I don’t care about people who don’t care about me.
So I can’t force you to care about right. But I just got to care about the people that care about me. I got to do for the people that want to do for me and to build with the people that I want to build for me. And guess what if I don’t care about you, you can’t be involved. And so that’s the mentality we have to have .
We don’t need to be crying about why don’t they care. I don’t give a shit cares. Let’s all get together and load up in a van with our math, social distance. And let us go out across the country and let’s start a campaign about who cares is find the people who care, who gives a fuck. That’s what the campaign should be about. You know what I mean?
Yeah. Any really good organizations in LA that you’d give a shout out to.
Yeah, I would saythere was a ton I waste the rest of the podcast rather than, than, uh, names, but. when you look from a sports perspective, what the real run is doing in Watts and, every weekend out there, feed and families. Anda smaller foundation like city ballers, which is helping getting kids off the streets like me and turning them into, basketball players and , Community leaders in college graduates there’s so many things that are happening. That’s great. and there’s so many people that. need help, there are some more companies here in LA that we’ve invested in. glow up games. also path water and I say for me, and for us, you know, we’re always looking for partners, other investors, other people who are looking to, really be a part of the ecosystem that we’re building.
Great. I’d love to talk more about your investing. I think there’s a lot of parallels in sports and in investing, you know, VCs are always saying that they’re investing into great people.
They’re investing into teams. How do you evaluate people? How do you know that someone’s going to be able to really scale up and cut it in the big leagues? If you will.
I think it’s in, their discipline, their talent being able to, see them in action, so to speak their preparation their knowledge base. and I would say there. It factor.
And what’s the it factor for you?
It’s just are you a peep? are you building something? Are you a people person? Are you highly strategic? And this is just a space that you’re an expert in. , one specific element or one thing, right? It’s I say that it factors like what is your clear cut advantage?
And as a person , we call it back there. what is your business inside the game? if you were transferring a job, If you were getting traded to a team if you were just getting drafted, if you were just getting high, right? what do you bring to the table?
That you can play on any team in any industry. You know what I mean, for any coach and you may have to adjust this or that, this is what I bring, And this is who I am, and I know that this is going to translate across verticals.
What was the it factor for you? I mean, obviously you’ve got skills, but what else got you to the level that, that you got to
I just say a sponge, a sponge, and just Looking at things different, even from a basketball standpoint, I just wanted to like want to make my teammates better. And they felt that, and too, I want it to entertain which fans felt that other players felt that.
And I think that was like, that was like my thing is, being able to uplift people.
And so that translates off the court. And do you have tips or techniques for that?
There are great coaches that helped you develop that
Yeah. I play for , um, some great coaches, Don Nelson, Paul Silas Myra Scott I play for Mike was in, he was a great coach. The great thing about those guys were that they were, they would figure out a way to challenge me
and have conversations. You know what I mean?
That were challenging conversations. and then some of the, you learn a lot from plan for terrible owners and plan for terrible coaches or plan for coaches that, are not the best coaches for that team. So you learn a lot, from the good ones, but you also learn a whole lot from the bad ones, because a lot of times you have to figure out how to pull a team together that is, beat up, physically, mentally.
And how do you get people to, want to be a part of something that is inevitably a losing train, and then How do you get through it? How do you get through the dog days and get people to try and see that there can be some success on the other side?
And do you have advice for getting through the dog days? I mean, it’s not the same public stage, but we certainly see startup founders that are just being put through the ringer
Yeah. Think, it’s a part of the business and part of the game. and then I think you’d have to individually, just as a leader, figure out, how do you breathe, organize, and how do you re help everybody? You need to get the best out of them, To give yourself an opportunity and a chance to land.
And so sometimes you have to. really going create relationships with people you may not like, or teammates you may not like, or don’t respect, But it’s important that, you humble yourself and allow yourself to do that because ultimately you just want success for yourself and it’s success for the team.
So I think that’s how you get through that. And then you come up with stuff. Games fun things, you just, you try and you try. And then when you’ll eventually realize that, you can start bringing in the right people. Right. Sorry to interrupt. you had an emergency call. Okay. Sorry
Can I ask one more question and then, and then we can cut it
Um, what, who is the right sort of entrepreneur to reach out to you?
purpose driven, people who are building things with intent and people who are building things with an inclusive , uh, we are the. I would say we are the the cultural disruptors,
All right. Let’s catch up All right.