After signing his 1st NBA contract worth $13M, Damian Lillard quickly used his newly found wealth to retire his mom

Abu Mubarik February 28, 2023
Damian Lillard hugs his mom Gina Johnson. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

In 2012, Damian Lillard was drafted sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. His first NBA contract, amounting to $13 million, instantly made him a millionaire. With his new status, Lillard felt it was time to retire his mother.

At the time, his mother was working in a toxic environment. He recalled his mother telling him that her health was failing her and that she was struggling to balance an overly demanding yet underpaid job along with her health condition. That was the period Lillard was finishing his final year of college at Weber State University. He did not specify the job his mother was doing.

“First thing I did, all right, I’m a millionaire now so I went to my mom’s job and was like, ‘Quit,'” Lillard recently told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears for Andscape. “I literally went and helped her pack up her desk, everything. ‘They ain’t been doing you right. They’ve been on your ass about every little thing. We ain’t coming back.’ So that was kind of just my initial thought.”

Lillard said retiring his mother was one of the “best feelings” he’s ever had. Today, he has relocated much of his family to Portland. Also, he said he has built up “generational wealth” to support his family for years to come.

In a 2014 interview, Lillard’s mother Gina Johnson said retiring has been a life-changing moment for her. She noted that her son’s financial security has not only made it possible for her to leave a toxic job but also get the medical treatment that she needed.

“I love the fact that I don’t have to work no more,” Gina Johnson told NBCSports. “I just take the kids to school and handle the bills. Love having my family all together I am truly a blessed individual.”

Today, Gina does not worry about job security nor is she experiencing those health problems. She is focused on being there for her kids and grandchildren.

Meanwhile, Business Insider notes that the NBA star currently has a four-year, $176 million contract. He signed a two-year contract extension with the Blazers, amounting to $122 million. The Insider says it is the richest in NBA history. The platform adds that he has already made $191 million in career earnings. Should he finish his extension, he would have made half a billion in the NBA.

The NBA star grew up in one of the violent areas in Oakland. According to him, one of the reasons he decided to attend the Utah-based school Weber State was to get out of Oakland.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 1, 2023


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