The $56,000 Wardrobe: Why NBA Players Aren’t Wearing out Their Wallets

According to Forbes, the “average” NBA player made $5,000,000 per year during the 2013-2014 NBA season. Additionally, Time Magazine stated in an article published this year that the “average” NBA player spent about $42,500 a month with 11 percent of that going toward their wardrobe. Broken down further, this equates to $56,100 of their annual budget attributed to their wardrobe assuming they made $5,000,000.

John Doe and NBA Player ‘X’

Let’s say you, John or Jane Doe, made $40,000 and this same 1 percent (roughly) of wardrobe expenses was attributed to your budget. This figure would only equate to $400 per year spent on your wardrobe. I could easily spend $400 on gear from my favorite retailers like Forever 21H&Mand ASOS and not break the bank. It is definitely rare to hear of a player spending money at the aforementioned fast-fashion retailers. Instead, they opt for higher-end retailers that sell brands like Saint Laurent, Common Projects and Balenciaga. Despite players opting to shop at higher-end stores, the ballpark $56,000 total does not seem like frivolous spending whatsoever. Obviously to the common person this figure seems astronomical, but everything is relative. It would take two Saint Laurent Classic Stand-Up Collar Chesterfield Coats in Black Cashmere, three pairs ofCommon Projects Suede Chelsea Boots, and four pairs of Balenciaga Sneakers to even reach a sum slightly above $11,000. Not to mention, this is assuming the NBA player is even interested in “high-fashion.” He may opt to shop at fast-fashion retailers, or not shop at all.

NBA Players Salaries Serves Justice

The aforementioned “average” NBA player makes far more than $5,000,000 in this day and age with the NBA’s salary cap rising because of new sponsorship and TV deals. So all-stars like Russell Westbrook, who could potentially ink a new deal this summer totaling $219,000,000 for the next five years, would have to spend $481,800 per year on his wardrobe to reach roughly 1 percent of his annual budget. Would you rather hear about players cultivating their style while spending only $481,800 or ex-players like Latrell Sprewell spending $1.5 million on luxury yachts only to have them seized by U.S. Marshals? Oh, that’s what I thought. So whether someone is at the end of an NBA bench on a non-guaranteed contract making $500,000 or an all-star like Westbrook who is slated to make a quarter of $1,000,000,000 in the next few years, these players are not wearing out their wallets when it comes to their wardrobe. Shop ‘til you get dropped by your team. Peace, love and style.

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