NBA players live pretty extravagant lifestyles, with a rookie contract more than enough to have just about any young man living his wildest dreams. But we’ve likely never come across a rookie as loaded as LaMelo Ball.
A study from 2016 concluded that the average NBA player spends $42,000 every month, with 11 percent going into clothing and sneakers. LaMelo, though, is not your typical rookie. He was already rich before getting drafted by the Charlotte Hornets last year.
The teenage point guard is set to make around $8 million a season on his four-year, $35 million deal with the Hornets but he doesn’t need to touch his NBA salary as he already had money coming into the league and signed a rumored $100 million shoe deal with sportswear giants Puma.
So just how is potential Rookie of the Year LaMelo living? We’ll delve into that right below.
A Luxurious Charlotte Condo
LaMelo Ball lives in a lavish condo he purchased from New England Patriots star Cam Newton. The 3,400 square foot living space sits on the entire top floor of “The Trust,” a building owned by none other than Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets.
It’s not clear as to how much LaMelo paid for the condo but it was listed at $3 million when it was posted.
The condo was originally seven condos, one of which used to be owned by Chris Daughtry. Jordan bought the entire floor and had it converted into one huge condo before selling it to Newton, who put it up for sale after he was released by the Carolina Panthers.
Melo is now the proud owner.
Like many basketball players, LaMelo is a sneakerhead and spends thousands of dollars on his sneaker collection. While he’s very keen on Nikes, he can’t play or train with them as he’s a Puma athlete.
The 19-year-old was the first rookie to earn himself a shoe deal ahead of the 2020/21 season and certainly lived up to the hype, impressing as a starter before fracturing his wrist back in March. He returned to the court in early May, having missed 21 games, but is still the bookmakers’ favorite for the Rookie of the Year. The Hornets did not make it to the playoffs but bettors will have plenty to choose from when it comes to NBA scores and odds this postseason.
There’s no telling how big of a chance they’d have had if LaMelo didn’t go down injured but they did have a shot through the novel play-in tournament that took place between the regular season and the playoffs.
14K Diamond Grill
LaMelo did not hold back on the ice when he treated himself to a very luminous diamond grill ahead of his first season in the NBA. Getting selected by a pro basketball team is one thing – going third in the first round, however, calls for special celebration.
Ball got Atlanta jeweler AP The Jeweler to make him a custom grill with 14k white gold and VVS diamonds. AP confessed it was the most diamonds he ever put in a grill, having flown to Charlotte to personally deliver the shiny mouthpiece.
Melo showed it off on social media, leading to criticism from fans over being wasteful with his salary but, asked about it by a journalist in an interview, he revealed he didn’t use his NBA money to pay for the jewelry. “I don’t spend my NBA money,” he said. “I’m smarter than that.”
A Basketball Team
Pro players don’t get to be part of team ownership until long after their playing days. Jordan is still the only former NBA player with a majority ownership stake in a team and is only one of four ex-players, with Dwyane Wade becoming the newest when he purchased a minority stake in the Utah Jazz earlier this year.
Lamelo, though, already owns a team. The Charlotte star purchased the Illawarra Hawks, the Australian team he played for before he was drafted. The Hawks were facing financial ruin before Ball stepped in along with his manager Jermaine Jackson.
Ball played 13 games for the Hawks before suffering a season-ending injury. It’s not clear as to how much he paid for the team but NBL outfits have been known to go for sums between $5-$10 million.
A Private Jet
Lamelo Ball’s deal with Puma also landed him access to a private jet. The aircraft isn’t exclusive to the player but he can pretty much use it whenever he likes as part of his deal with the brand. While Puma’s Global Director of Brand and Marketing Adam Petrick refused to be drawn into discussing the financial details of the contract during an interview last October, he did confirm the bit about the private jet.
“Puma does have a jet that we use for many of our players and, of course, he’ll have access to that jet,” he said. “The value of our contracts sometimes comes down to agents inflating dollars, and that’s okay. It is what it is and it’s part of the culture.”
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