I have a good friend who spent most of her adult life as a freelance artist. Months ago, however, she got her first real "full-time" job. A job she was ecstatic about getting. Two weeks into her new job she called me up and asked, "what happened to my money?" Huh? "They took like thirty-three percent of my money! Is that normal?"
Enter NBA rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who is a newly-minted, 20-year-old millionaire playing for the Brooklyn Nets. With a $1.3 million guarantee in this his rookie season, Hollis-Jefferson is learning a fast lesson in life: there's nothing fun about paying taxes.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Alex Raskin, Hollis-Jefferson was refreshingly honest and opened up about money, but not in a Latrell Spreewell "I have a family to feed" kind of way, but more in a, "welcome to the real world" kind of way.
"People know they can talk to me about anything," he said. "But when it comes to money, I’m like, ‘I don’t have it.’ That’s my go-to line."
To some extent, that is true. His first paycheck, while larger than any he had ever received, still fell short of expectations.
"When I saw the check, I saw half of the money was gone," Hollis-Jefferson said, referring to the taxes and other dues extracted from his paycheck. "And being in New York, more than half was gone. I was like, ‘Who do I call here? What’s going on?’ "
Hollis-Jefferson also talked about growing up with his grandfather as his role model, how he doesn't drink or do drugs, how he wants to get his college degree and, yes, how he wants to live in Brooklyn.
If he does move to Brooklyn he will be the first Nets player to actually live in Brooklyn.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Seeks a Smooth Transition to the NBA - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Despite NBA payday, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson keeps a tight budget - Caroline Sikes - The Sporting News
- Nets' Hollis-Jefferson doesn't plan to pay Manhattan rent - Eric Freeman - Yahoo! Sports