A Legendary NBA Insider on the Power of Hustling

By: Keith Wagstaff · June 06, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Scoop King

Shams Charania, the reporter famous for breaking NBA news, has been hustling since he was in high school. He started covering the game for sports website RealGM as a teenager, cold-texting agents of NBA stars for information. He once said he sends around 500 texts and emails every day.

So how much money would it take for him to give up his phone for a month? “There isn’t a number,” Charania said on SoFi’s YouTube series Richer Lives. “I think I would lose my mind.” (He later backtracked, admitting $500 million would do the trick. But you get the idea: this guy is constantly working on his phone.)

That dedication earned him the title of Senior NBA Insider for The Athletic, which is owned by the New York Times (NYT). He sat down with financial literacy advocate Vivian Tu, aka Your Rich BFF, and SoFi’s Head of Advice and Planning, Brian Walsh, to talk about hustling and sacrificing to achieve your dreams.

Hustle Culture

When he was in high school, driving hours to games, working late, and waking up early for school, there were moments when Charania questioned his choices.

“You don’t know if what you’re doing is the right thing,” he said. “But you just keep pushing, you keep grinding, and you just hope that it works out.” By the time was a sophomore in college, he had a full-time job reporting on the NBA.

His dedication made up for his inexperience, he said. When he was only 19 or 20 years old, he didn’t know reporters were supposed to wait until after NBA players showered to talk to them in the locker room. He went up to Dwyane Wade, who was just wearing a towel, and scored the biggest interview of his young career. That relentless drive to get the story still animates him, and he’s determined not to take his foot off the pedal.

“If you’re doing what you love to do and what you’re passionate about, the day you get complacent… that’s the day you’re going to be replaced,” he said.

Sacrifices and Lifestyle Creep

Despite being a high profile sports journalist, Charania lived with his parents until recently. He’s always been focused on his professional goals, which meant forgoing parties and socializing in high school and college, as well as luxuries as an adult. In some ways, this may have protected him from the lifestyle creep that sometimes comes with professional success – especially if that success catapults you into another world, such as that of sports stars.

“When I was growing up, I never was thinking about money,” he said. “I always was just about working.” Aside from a laptop, phone, and a way to get to games, he said he doesn’t need much. He was never distracted by cars, watches, or other fancy things, which let him focus on doing what he loves, instead of chasing money to spend on things he didn’t need.

Even now, he rarely thinks about money. “My job is solely to work and to keep my head down and keep grinding,” he said.

Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!

Check it out

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.

The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.

Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor

SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender