Signing an NBA contract is a huge milestone in an athlete’s life – one that often comes with a large paycheck. While the increase in income might not sound like an issue to most, athletes can often find the shift challenging to manage. It becomes far too easy to spend frugally on luxury items while leaving little available for post-career living expenses.
That’s what makes the following six NBA players special: Instead of spending their newfound wealth on yachts and huge entourages, they’re taking advantage of smart money management and investing or storing funds for the future.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs
The 35-year-old NBA center makes millions of dollars each season, but Bonner still likes to use public transportation and less expensive automobiles (like his Chevy Impala). Bonner once chose to wear New Balance sneakers simply because they were less expensive than Nike or Adidas. He eventually signed a contract with Adidas, which means he receives free shoes. What’s more frugal than that?
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
New York’s prized player has an estimated net worth of $85 million as a fixture on one of the country’s most prominent teams. Anthony still cuts coupons from the Sunday newspaper despite his large salary, which he attributes to his humble roots. And while his ride is a customized Jeep Wrangler, it’s relatively less lavish than what a multimillionaire might ordinarily choose.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Matt Bonner’s Spurs teammate, Kawhi Leonard, seems to relish his thrifty lifestyle choices. Leonard was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2014 and captured the Defensive Player of the Year title in 2015. But despite his clear path to stardom, he doesn’t live as glamorously as most would expect. Leonard spends summers in a two-bedroom apartment, where he hangs a mini basketball hoop from the door for fun. He often drives a refurbished 1997 Chevy Malibu with a Blue Book value of about $1,500. And even though he reportedly has a fancier vehicle, he says the Malibu gets better gas mileage.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
Trey Burke might power a Porsche down the streets (a car he bought with his $2.5 million salary), but he regularly sticks to a monthly budget of $5,000. Burke’s family initially hired a management firm to help walk him through the challenges of being newly wealthy. So far, his plans have paid off. He hopes to save most of his salary while living on endorsement deals during his athletic career.
Jeff Foster, (Formerly) Indiana Pacers
In addition to playing basketball, Foster concentrated on academics in high school – which may have served him well in relation to his net worth of $22 million. The former Indiana Pacers athlete worked hard to invest and save nearly three-quarters of his take-home pay. He even sold his Porsche during the NBA lockout.
DeShawn Stevenson, (Formerly) Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz, among others
Boasting a net worth of $10 million, Stevenson set up a pretty unique money-making enterprise right in his home: He installed an ATM machine that allows his friends to withdraw cash at their convenience but charges a $4.50 fee on each transaction.
A Lesson to Learn
New and current NBA players should look up to these six players for inspiration as they manage their wealth. Though it sounds like a fun problem to have, overspending can easily become an issue when experience in money management is lacking.
Channel your favorite frugal NBA star this postseason by shopping sale items via the Fanatics online retail store.