“I still remember what it’s like to fight” – NBC Chicago

Jayson Tatum just signed the most lucrative contract in NBA history, but don't expect the reigning champion to spend a single cent of the $314 million.

The 26-year-old told Graham Bensinger last year that he has a long-standing agreement with his mother Brandy Cole, who also manages his finances, that he will only spend the money he earns from endorsement deals.

“They and my accountant agreed,” he said of the deal they made before he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2017. “They didn't know I would make as much as I did off the court.”

The All-Star's sponsors include Nike, Gatorade, Google and Subway, and according to Forbes, he earned an estimated $13 million in endorsement deals in 2024.

The mother-son duo said that due to the financial uncertainty they experienced before Tatum entered the NBA, they were very keen to preserve his basketball earnings.

“For most of my life, I had no money,” Tatum said. “I had no investment account, no checking account, no credit card. I remember what it was like to struggle and have nothing.”

“We don't live so far from check to check anymore,” Cole added in the interview. “He knows what he never wants to do again.”

Cole handles the transfers for Tatum's big purchases. She knows her son “likes nice things, he likes nice watches” and that she “technically can't say no” to anything he wants to buy. But sometimes, when she sees what he's spending his money on, she can't help but react.

“When he tells me the price, I ask, 'What can this watch do?'” said Cole. “And then he says, 'But it's not the Celtic money!' That's his little running joke.”

Nevertheless, Cole tries to discipline her son whenever possible.

“Sometimes I go on trips with my friends,” Tatum said. “We go to LA, Vegas or Miami and she calls me in the morning and asks, 'Who is Mr. Jones and why did you give him $12,000?'”

Tatum, who says he's mostly “moderated” in his spending now, enjoys his wealth in part because he remembers what it was like not to have much. As long as he sticks to the terms of the deal he made when he was 19, Tatum gives himself a little wiggle room to have fun.

“I have to spend all this money,” he said. “It has to come out, I have to enjoy it.”

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