It is no secret that NBA players live extravagant lives and spend fortunes on mansions and luxury cars. One study found that the average NBA player spends $45,500 per month, or $510,000 per year.
Some NBA players are better financial managers than others. It is also not uncommon to hear stories of NBA players going from millionaires to bankrupt. This problem is primarily the result of a lack of sound financial advice or poor management.
It’s a situation that Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is all too familiar with. He made a deal with his mother not to touch his earnings in order to avoid becoming financially illiterate like others before him. Tatum signed a five-year, $195 million contract extension with the Boston Celtics in 2020.
Tatum recently appeared on Graham Bessinger’s podcast to discuss his financial management. He revealed that he made a deal with his mother not to touch his Boston Celtics earnings. He claims he survives on endorsements rather than his salary 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.