As I watch the young men hustle on the basketball court during March Madness, and make what seem like impossible three-point shots, part of me is thinking, “Ka-ching!”

And just as quickly, I wonder how many of those young men, a few of whom eventually make it to the NBA, will leave the league broke after having earned millions.

In 2009, Sports Illustrated examined the finances of former NFL and NBA players in a report that still stands as one of the most in-depth looks at athletes and their money.

The magazine found that, after just two years of retirement, 78 percent of former NFL players were stressed financially or had gone bankrupt. Sixty percent of former NBA players were broke within five years.

I ran an online search for stories about athletes and their finances, and here are some of the headlines that came up:

 “Pro Athletes and Their Bad Money Habits”

 “10 Pro Athletes Who’ve Hit Financial Rock Bottom”

 “How Pro Athletes Lose Everything”

Then there’s ESPN’s documentary “Broke,” which is often cited as evidence that athletes are financially reckless.

“Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and naturally prone to showing off, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life,” the film’s summary readS. “Director Billy Corben paints a complex picture of the many forces that drain athletes’ bank accounts, placing some of the blame on the culture at large while still holding these giants accountable for their own hubris.”

We think we know the story. A pro athlete makes a lot of money. He spends wildly on cars, homes, booze, vacations, watches, women, family and his entourage. We shake our heads at the conspicuous consumption and bad business deals. We judge the athletes harshly for their haughty lifestyle.

You may think, “If I had that kind of money …”

But here’s where the judgment lacks context.

If you came into the millions like some pro athletes do in their late teens or early 20s, would you really do things differently than you did – or are currently doing – with your thousands?

Probably not, insists Maverick Carter, childhood friend and now business partner of basketball superstar LeBron James. In 2015, the two launched Uninterrupted, a digital multimedia network focusing on sports. Its new interview series “Kneading Dough,” in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, aims to change the dialogue around the money misadventures of athletes.

The debut episode, which you can view at uninterrupted.com, features Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. Carter hosts.

A second-round draft pick, Green says he made $850,000 in his first year in the NBA. He didn’t hire a financial manager, as many players do. Instead, he wanted to learn how to manage money on his own. Although he concedes that he earns more than the average American household, he has dreams of becoming mega-wealthy.

“Every day, every decision I make, (I ask:) How is this helping me to be a billionaire?” Green says.

When Carter asks him about a purchase or decision he made that he later realized was stupid, Green doesn’t have to think long.

“A $21,000 night at the (night) club,” he says. “I had a blast for sure, but I could have had a blast for $4,000.” (I wanted to shout: “Or $40!”)

And what did he learn?

Green tells Carter he was “hot” because, even considering the millions he makes now, it was wasteful. “That is $21,000 I can never get back,” he says.

Most of the athletes we are judging make the vast majority of their income in their early 20s, Carter points out when I interview him. They are just out of high school or college and have had little to no time to develop good money-management skills.

For its part in the venture, Chase says it sees highlighting athletes and their money-management successes and struggles as a different way to reach people and encourage them to save and invest.

“Financial fitness and literacy can feel so condescending,” said Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer for Chase. “We wanted to do something that was more than a bank wagging their finger at people telling them to save.”

I look forward to peeking into the financial lives of the next athletes profiled because, as Carter and Chase envision the series, it will show what my grandmother always told me: It’s not how much money you make that matters. It’s how you make do with what you have.

Michelle Singletary can be contacted at:

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Twitter: SingletaryM