The hope of a call-up, more than anything, keeps players from leaving the D-League to head overseas. High-level players in the top European leagues can make mid-six-figures. Even imports in mid-tier leagues typically earn enough to join the upper-middle class. By staying in the D-League, players spend years during which they could be earning top salaries instead toiling away for the unlikely goal of a steady NBA career. “You can make more money being a teacher,” Fazekas said. “You can almost make more money flipping burgers.”
“You can have talent, but if you cannot endure, if you cannot learn to work, and to work against your own worst tendencies and prejudices, and you cannot take the criticism of strangers, or the uncertainty, then you will not become a writer. PhD, MFA, self-taught—the only things you must have to become a writer are the stamina to continue and a wily, cagey heart in the face of extremity, failure, and success.”—Alexander Chee in MFA vs NYC
MFA vs NYC seems like it’s fantastic.
In 2008 I sold a book-in-progress for $200,000 ($170,000 after commission, to be paid in four installments), which still seems to me like a lot of money. At the time, though, it seemed infinite. The resulting book—a “paperback original,” as they’re called—has sold around 8,000 copies, which is about a fifth of what it needed to sell not to be considered a flop. This essentially guarantees that no one will ever pay me that kind of money to write a book again.
It took me a while to realize that my book had failed. No one ever told me point-blank that it had.
It was more like the failure occurred in tiny increments over the course of two years, after which it was too late to develop a solid Plan B.