From left to right: 50 Cent, Jackie Long and Floyd Mayweather (Photo: Courtesy Kush Boys Studio via Instagram)
Sticky hands swiped the parachute pants of MC Hammer and left his side just as the rapper showed up for bankruptcy court, a cautionary tale for any celebrity who enjoys the company of his entourage.
But when your family members are former professional athletes, your childhood friend doubles as the CEO of your record label, your business associate has a catalog full of platinum records and there are no opportunists, your entourage deserves a special name. Floyd Mayweather calls his the Money Team.
Being a part of the Money Team is a full-time job of training alongside and supporting Mayweather, 35, but it comes with the perk of partying and gambling in Las Vegas with the one and only Mr. 24/7.
Perhaps an unexpected side effect of membership in the Money Team is the genuine love and respect from the top down, explained the actor Jackie Long in an interview with BET.com:
“He’s been like a brother, a father — a lot of things. I appreciate him. I love him as a friend more than anything in the world,” he said.
Long speaks of Mayweather with the same adoration that’s often heard during spring wedding receptions or toasts to former playground pals. But the Pasadena, California, native has only known Mayweather for a few years, and he explains their introduction as a simple party invitation.
“Floyd used to have these big parties where he would just ball out, and one year he invited me,” Long said.
But invitations to Mayweather’s legendary bashes aren’t quite as easy to secure as the pay-per-view order for his bout with Miguel Cotto this past Saturday. It was Mayweather’s appreciation for Long’s acting that prompted the boxer to extend the invite.
The actor says, “Floyd is a big movie fanatic. He’s a big fan of ATL,” which happens to be one of Long’s most successful films. “He tells me, ‘That was your movie,’ and I think his kids are big fans of it.”
Long said he and Mayweather have “been tight ever since” their introductory party and have grown so close these past years that Mayweather would like Long to portray him on the silver screen.
“If you ask Floyd, Floyd always says if we do that movie, I have to play him,” says the actor, who has a guest-starring role on BET’s Let’s Stay Together. “I know that day will definitely come, and I appreciate it.”
Long and 50 Cent are strong enough to stand on their own, while still supporting Mayweather; they are teamed with Mayweather’s uncle Roger Mayweather and close friend P-Reala. The Money Team core stands out as a collaboration of super-friends, à la The Avengers. (Mayweather rented an entire Las Vegas theater for his Money Team to watch the movie one recent Thursday night.)
The true test of the Money Team’s loyalty will be on June 1 when Mayweather reports for a 90-day jail sentence and the private movie screenings go away with him.
So would now be the time for people like MC Hammer, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield to sit down with Mayweather and advise the welterweight champion to tighten his circle?
“When you’re 42-0, there’s not much you can say about somebody,” Long says. “He knows what he’s doing.”
Well said, Jackie.
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