The Meaning of a Baller’s Pricey Possessions
By: Kyle Forbes
There was a scene in the film, “Limitless,” featuring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. De Niro was offering Cooper a promotion and told him that he’ll be wanting a few toys.
After watching the two wealthy businessman in a discussion, a question arose. The question was—why do ballers view their possessions as toys?
“More than mere tools, luxuries or junk, our possessions become extensions of the self. We use them to signal to ourselves, and others, who we want to be and where we want to belong.”
Ballers who have possessions of their own artwork could view themselves as creative athletic dunkers in a basketball game. Their sights could be focused on dunking creatively at their next family basketball game in the summer.
The player could want to belong in friendships amongst other players who come up with new innovative dunks. So, the ballers artwork could be a possession viewed as a toy that comes with other rewards, such as new dunking tricks.
Christian Jarrett reported that Lan Chaplin and her colleagues interviewed participants aged between 8 and 18 and found that ‘materialism’ peaked at middle adolescence, just when self-esteem tended to be lowest.
In the same way a toy could make a child happy, ballers could view their material goods such as their drawing pad of 70 sheets as something fun. Such a materialistic item could be the toy that satisfies a baller after a long work-out practice.
A self-esteem boost could come from owning a leisure art item that could be considered pricey for less fortunate people in their community. An example could be two sets of four-pack Micron pens.
Throughout adolescence, possessions increasingly reflect who people are, or at least how they would like to see themselves.
A baller doesn’t necessarily have to own toys that focus only on basketball. A baller could own a sketch pad and still see themselves as a person who views their art object as their leisure item.
There are actual professional artist who live a baller’s lifestyle and make a good living as an artist. A good example could is Damien Hirst.
Hirst is known for having a dead shark placed in a rectangular prism container-like tank. The name of the exhibit is, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” Hirst’s possessions could be something as simple as fancy glasses. The installation artist is worth $300 million.
“My house is not ‘just a thing,’” wrote Karen Lollar in 2010. “The house is not merely a possession or a structure of unfeeling walls. It is an extension of my physical body and my sense of self that reflects who I was, am, and want to be.”
A baller who has their own room or home could reflect on how their room or home contains many of their achievements such as college awards, retired professional basketball players jerseys, etc. As a result, the baller could view their room or home as a way to reflect on their self-satisfaction and sense of worth.
Their room or home not only holds their toys but also holds their moments to reflect on being the person they “was, am, and want to be.”
Research by Derek Rucker and Adam Galinsky at the Kellogg School of Management reports that participants who felt less powerful after remembering a time when someone had control over them were more willing to purchase a silk tie and other high-status products.
Based on this information, ballers could view their possessions as toys because their material goods cause them to feel independent.
In 2010, Kyungmi Kim and Marcia Johnson found that,“extra activity was observed in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPC) in response to the sight of ‘owned’ items, compared with control items allocated to others.”
Kim reports that parts of the brain that are known to be mentally active in thinking about the self also appear to be active when we make connections to external things and ourselves by owning something.
To have your own possessions could provide personal happiness because you could treat the object the way you want.