Blazers news: CJ McCollum clarifies 'paycheck to paycheck' comment
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CJ McCollum clarifies comment about NBA players living paycheck to paycheck

CJ McCollum, Blazers

One day after estimating that about 150 current NBA players are living “paycheck to paycheck,” Portland Trail Blazers point guard CJ McCollum clarified how he got to that figure and why he said that.

“I think there’s a lot of players—based on what I’ve seen, what I’ve experienced, the research I’ve done—that either mismanage money or aren’t in a position to make the right decisions financially because they’re the first generation wealth. It’s hard to manage money when you’ve never had it before and everyone around you has never had it before,” the Blazers guard shared, per NBC Sports.

McCollum also pointed out that he is not asking for sympathy or begging for understanding with his comment. However, the Blazers star wants people to understand that they are also affected by the coronavirus pandemic, especially with the NBA season suspended and the future of the league and players facing a lot of uncertainties.

“It’s not like me saying ‘feel sorry for us.’ We make millions of dollars. It’s not saying that I’m struggling. It’s saying that a lot of players —especially years two through four — are still trying to figure themselves out. They’ve either hired a financial adviser or are in the process of hiring someone. They’re figuring out their budget. And I think a work stoppage affects everybody—whether you have money or not—it affects people around you and it affects you directly,” CJ McCollum furthered.

Furthermore, the 28-year-old noted that several players are worried about free agency and when they will be stopped getting paid. With that said, a lot of players are forced to budget accordingly and avoid excessive spending to protect their future

“I would say that it was just an estimate, but I think it was an accurate estimate, honestly. I think players — and not just players in the basketball realm, but athletes and people all across the world — have to really take advantage of resources outside of what they’re doing in their day-to-day life and really budget correctly,” McCollum shared.

“I think there’s a lot of players and athletes who are first generations that just aren’t educated properly on how to manage money, how to manage wealth, and how to continue to make the money grow. And I think a lot of poor investments — and as we’ve seen before with the 30 for 30 — it’s cost people. So, I just cautiously advise people to really save, to really plan accordingly, because at some point, if we don’t continue to play, pay is definitely going to change or come to a halt.”

The current median salary for an NBA player is $2.9 million, while the average salary is just under $7 million and the league’s minimum runs about $893,000. McCollum signed a five year, $100 million extension last summer.

See McCollum’s initial comments to Jay Williams via The Boardroom: