Every so often, the projected lottery earnings get so high that people contemplate what they would do if their numbers hit. From quitting their jobs to spending an insane amount of the winnings on big purchases, most people have an idea of how they would spend that first big check.
Although playing the lottery is quite different from earning money as a professional athlete, the concept of how some people ideate spending the first big check is pretty aligned. Former NBA player Stephen Jackson understands this concept.
On an episode of the Iced Coffee Hour podcast, the Texas native revealed that he nearly spent his entire first check in just one day.
Jackson was drafted to the Phoenix Suns in 1997 as the 43rd pick. Like many young NBA players entering the league, Jackson’s first check — worth $25,000 — was the first big payday he received. Once it reached his hands, the small forward admitted it burnt a proverbial hole in his pocket.
“I signed with the Phoenix Suns. They gave me a check for $25,000 cash. I blew it all in one day,” Jackson stated on the Iced Coffee Hour podcast.
And for Jackson, spending the money was not a solo effort. He took fellow NBA colleague Mike Bibby to the mall, and the two athletes balled out.
“Me and Mike Bibby went to the mall and bought everything we could find,” Jackson stated.
By the time Jackson returned from his shopping spree, the NBA champion shared that he only had $4,000 to $5,000 left.
Things changed slightly when he signed his second deal with the Indiana Pacers. That six-year contract led to Jackson purchasing a home for his mother and grandmother.
And while Jackson can look back on some of the early financial moments of his career as lessons and not losses, he notes that after about six years in the league, he had a better understanding of generational wealth and financial responsibility.
A part of that wisdom came from surrounding himself with others who were financially astute and tapping into the expertise of financial advisors to help him be more economically responsible.