It is no secret that NBA players live extravagant lifestyles and splash fortunes to acquire mansions and luxurious cars. According to one study, the average NBA player spends $45,500 per month or $510,000 per year.
Some NBA players are better managers of their money while others are not. And it is not also uncommon to hear stories of NBA players literally going from millions to being bankrupt. This challenge is largely due to a lack of sound financial advice or poor management.
It is a challenge Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is too familiar with. To avoid being financially indisciplined like others before him, he struck a deal with his mother not to touch his earnings. In 2020, Tatum signed a five-year, $195 million max contract extension from the Boston Celtics.
Tatum recently appeared on Graham Bessinger’s podcast to discuss how he manages his finances. He revealed that he struck a deal with his mother not to touch his earnings from the Boston Celtics. He said he lives off endorsements rather than his earnings as a Celtics player.
“We had a deal before I got drafted that I couldn’t spend the money I make from the Celtics, that I have to live off my endorsements,” Tatum told Bessinger. “Her and my accountant agreed. They didn’t know that I’d make as much as I did off the court. So in my mind, I gotta spend that money.”
Speaking on her son’s spending habits, Brandy Cole said Tatum, like any other NBA player, likes nice things like watches, and sometimes she can’t say no. However, she ensures his spending is no way out of budget.
“Jason likes nice things. He likes nice watches. Technically, I can’t say no right? But, I’m the one that processes all the wires and gets receipts and then ensures everything and stuff like that. So he’s always coming.
“I can tell on his face when he walks in my office that there’s about to be a wire. It’s just this expression on his face and I know exactly what it means that I need to send someone some money. He’s already picked something out. When [Jayson] tells me sometime the price, I’m like, What does this watch do? And he’s like, ‘But it’s not the Celtic money.’ And that’s his little running joke,” Cole explained.
Cole’s approach to Tatum’s finances is informed by the fact that she was financially challenged while raising her son. According to her, she never had even $100 to put away as savings.
“So, in some ways, we had to learn a lot. But I think, for the most part, just we’re not that far removed from living check to check and he knows what he never wants to go back to,” she said.