You already know that pro athletes aren’t like us in lots of ways. But just like regular folks, they need a place to live during the season, and when they get traded or sign with a new team, they face the same headaches we do when we move to a different city: how do I sell my old place? Where can I find a new home? How do I move all my stuff? And what about those five cars in my garage? (Okay, maybe you don’t have that last problem, but you get the drift.)
Now consider the recent NBA trade deadline in February, when a record 37 players (or approximately 10 percent of the league) changed teams, or last week’s NFL free agency frenzy, when it appeared as though everyone was either being traded, signing with a new team, or retiring. For sports junkies, it’s a thrilling few days of conversation. But for a guy like Chris Dingman, who runs an athlete relocation company named The Dingman Group it’s a big business opportunity. Dingman is sort of like The Wolf in Pulp Fiction, only instead of getting called in to clean up violent messes, he’s the guy you call when you’re a rich athlete who needs to move fast. His company has moved dozens of all stars and hall-of-famers in every major sport. (Right now, he says, is prime season for NFL players on the move to new teams.) GQ spoke with Dingman about how his company works, how he got into this line of work, and why athletes are often much harder to move than the rest of us.