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"They gave me a check for $25,000 cash, I blew it all in one day" — Stephen Jackson reveals he blew his first NBA paycheck

Former three-point specialist Stephen Jackson reveals how he and Mike Bibby spent his first NBA paycheck in a few hours.
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson

Ball players in the Association are paid handsomely in the modern era, as TV deals and global expansion have allowed player contracts to be as lucrative as they've ever been.

Unfortunately, NBA players are also notorious for going broke after their playing days, and former sharpshooter Stephen Jackson nearly fell into that trap.

The NBA's dark side

Despite banking tens of millions, financial literacy is not commonplace among the players in the league. For this reason, an alarmingly number of pros dwindle away their career earnings and are forced to live a relatively normal life post-retirement.

Throughout the league's history, financial stability post-NBA career has been a topic of conversation. Every generation has seen household names enter into financial hardship despite banking what should be generational wealth.

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By all reports, the combination of unhealthy spending habits, unnecessary purchases, and family members wanting their piece of the pie are the main drivers in these situations.

The first paycheck

Since retiring from the league, former Golden State Warriors standout Stephen Jackson has been open and transparent on the many challenges of being in the league, especially when it comes to finances.

Recently, the now 44-year-old revealed how he blew his very first NBA paycheck after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1997.

"I signed with the Phoenix Suns, and they gave me a check for $25,000.00 cash. I blew it all in one day. Me and Mike Bibby went to the mall and bought everything we could find. I think when I got back to the house, I probably had like maybe $4,000.00 to $5,000.00. That was my first check. When I signed my 6-year deal with the Pacers. First thing I did was buy my grandmother a house. It took me about 6 years in my career to understand how to even think about generational wealth. That word never came around. Nobody in my family ever thought about it," Jackson said.

Education is everything

It's eye-opening to see a multi-millionaire talk freely about his irresponsible spending habits early on. As Jackson mentioned, the majority of his decision-making came from never being exposed to the right financial aid and advisors.

Maturity is an underrated factor in this ongoing NBA issue, as younger players are earning millions through endorsements, sponsorships, and salaries perhaps earlier than they're ready for. As a result, it encourages ill-advised economic choices that hinder their long-term prosperity.

Luckily for Jackson, his decision-making improved over time; otherwise, he may have squandered the $68.6 million he made during his career. 

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