Klay Thompson: Too Old for an Allowance?

It’s not a secret that I’m a huge Golden State Warriors (GSW) fan (I blame the BF). So, it’s no surprise that I’m incredibly excited for opening night tonight! Hopefully, the BF and I will be able to attend.

Pro-tip: want to go to an event for a lot cheaper than usual? Take a chance and wait until the day of to purchase your tickets! Last season, the BF and I bought lower level tickets for $8 each the day of the game! Sometimes procrastination works in your favor! 🙂

In honor of opening night, I wanted to start a discussion about one of the Warriors: Klay Thompson.

(Credit) Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is a 23 year old shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors. If you don’t know Klay, you may know his father, Mychal Thompson, who played in the NBA from the late 70’s to the early 90’s, most notably with the Lakers.

Most GSW fans know Klay as 1/2 of the Splash Brothers with teammate Steph Curry. When fans talk about Klay, they talk about his 3-pointers and his resemblence to Cory Matthews from Boy Meets World (okay, maybe that’s just me). But what most fans don’t know is that Klay Thompson receives an allowance from none other than his daddy.

(Credit) “Dad… can I get a dollar?”

That’s right y’all: Klay is 23 years old and he still receives an allowance from Papa Thompson.

Although he makes about $2.3 million a year, the NBA actually writes the checks to Mychal and Julie Thompson, his parents. Klay is then given rent money ($3,000 a month) and “play money” ($300 a week). The rest is put into a bank account saved for Klay’s post-NBA career (source).

Some may argue that Mychal is being too controlling of his son’s situation. For instance, not only was Klay fined $35,000 by the NBA for his involvement in the Warriors/Pacers brawl last season, his allowance was also $35,000 less than what it normally is! Basically, if Klay gets fined, he pays double – once to the NBA, and once to his father.

On the other hand, you can say that Mychal is only looking out for the good of his son. He knows all too well what the post-NBA career looks like. In fact, approximately 60% of NBA players are completely broke within 5 years of retirement from the game (source)! That’s a lot.

So why do so many athletes go broke after they retire? One of the reasons why bankruptcy is so prominent with former NBA and NFL players is because players usually don’t know how to handle such a huge amount of money. Think about it, if you were given millions of dollars suddenly, is your first thought, “Hmm… what investment house I should set up my retirement funds with…”? If the answer is yes, then you’re obviously a pf nerd like me – yay! But most people are probably thinking about buying a huge mansion, or a nice car, or even a luxurious vacation. There are a ton of players who don’t spend responsibly, instead opting to inflate their lifestyles right away, leaving almost nothing for retirement.

Mychal Thompson is trying to prevent his son from living a typical NBA star’s life by helping Klay set up a good future for himself so that he doesn’t end up like most NBA players – broke.

What do you guys think? Do you think Mychal is coddling his son? Or is Mychal doing a good thing for Klay’s future?

AMDG (and let’s go Dubs!)

[Edit 10/30/13 9:30am: Ben at The Wealth Gospel pointed out to me that this was actually all a joke. But I still think it’s fun to imagine :P]


  1. Yes he does look like Corey from Boy Meets World! What a blast from the past! 🙂 I can see why his dad is sorting out his finances like that, although I think he should give Klay a little responsibility to show his dad how wisely he can spend the cash.
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…Monday Funday: My Top 10 Period DramasMy Profile

    • Lisa E. November 4, 2013

      Haha doesn’t he?! I think it’s the hair.

  2. DC @ Young Adult Money November 4, 2013

    Pretty sure it’s ridiculous that his Dad gives him an allowance still, though his intentions are good. It’s too bad so many professional athletes go bankrupt after being done in the league. Someone should really roll out a personal finance course for them…assuming they would actually take it!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Why Zillow’s “Zestimate” can be MisleadingMy Profile

    • Lisa E. November 4, 2013

      Hmm good idea – have professional athletes go through a personal finance course! I think you’ve identified a niche market 😉 Not sure if they’d participate though – no one likes being told to stop spending their money.

  3. femmefrugality November 2, 2013

    It makes a lot more sense that it’s fake, but if it were real I’d say it’s silliness. If he weren’t able to manage his own money when he was 23 how is he going to do it post-retirement? Hopefully by that age Daddy would have taught him well enough to do things like setting aside a retirement fund on his own.
    femmefrugality recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays Tenth EditionMy Profile

    • Lisa E. November 4, 2013

      I totally agree – all of this may be useless if Klay never really learns how to manage his own money.

  4. Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies November 2, 2013

    I am probably in the minority but I think it’s great that they have this sort of arrangement in place! As long as this arrangement works for Klay, then why not. Think of the cash that his Dad is saving for him! WOW! When I was 23 years old, I was spending every single penny of my salary. Nothing went to savings, nada. So I think I know where Klay’s Dad is coming from trying to help his son out! 😛
    Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Brand New Credit ScoreMy Profile

    • Lisa E. November 4, 2013

      I definitely spent every cent when I first started working, too!

  5. jefferson @See Debt Run November 1, 2013

    Why.. that is just plain silly. If I ever hit it big, the first thing that I am going to do is to take care of my mom. Money will certainly not be flowing the other way.
    jefferson @See Debt Run recently posted…Project: Free Play SetMy Profile

    • Lisa E. November 1, 2013

      Yes! I don’t know how I’d feel if I still had my parents taking care of me.

  6. Michelle October 31, 2013

    I think that I would look at this as a business associate helping manage their client’s money. I am sure that there are a lot of actors, etc. who have family helping them out and (if they are ethical) working on behalf of their child. I would say that framing it as an allowance makes it sound a bit ridiculous. Making it sound like a business related situation makes more sense 🙂

    • Lisa E. November 1, 2013

      Hmm, you’re right. Maybe if they didn’t say it was an “allowance”, people would think differently of the situation.

  7. KK @ Student Debt Survivor October 31, 2013

    Very interesting concept (whether it’s a real story or not). I think parents have to protect their kids to a certain extent, but also teach them how to fend for themselves so that they don’t blow through all of their money when they are adults and are on their own. I had heard those stats about pro sports players (and people who won the lottery) in the past. Pretty crazy someone could blow through all that money so fast and then have nothing to show for it.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted…Wishing You All Treats & No Tricks!My Profile

    • Lisa E. November 1, 2013

      Yeah, I can see both sides to it. I understand why Mychal is doing this, but I also think that Klay should have a say in his finances, too. (Assuming this situation is real)

  8. Budget and the Beach October 30, 2013

    So reading through the comments I guess the story is not true. But if it were, I;d say that as long as the son agreed to it because he had a problem with self-control, then I’d say OK, but he is an adult and he should really learn the skills necessary to take care of himself, or hire a professional to help him handle his money. Family and money is sometimes a disastrous mix.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…Spending Money is Worth the Peace of MindMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Yeah, it was a joke, but I still think it brings up an interesting discussion. I’ve always been told never to mix money and family, and this situation would be doing just that.

  9. anna October 30, 2013

    Oh man, he totally looks like the Boy Meets World guy from that profile pic! I do think it’s a bit strange, just because how else is he going to learn how to manage his own money? But, if the situation works out for both parties (maybe he doesn’t want to learn, or maybe he knows himself well enough to know that he’ll just squander it away), then there’s no harm. I do think it’s unfortunate when athletes and celebrities go broke when they used to be so successful (MC Hammer comes to mind, mostly).
    anna recently posted…October Repayment and Half Marathon MusingsMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Right?! My friends don’t think he looks like Cory Matthews, but I totally see it! Haha. As long as the dad has a plan to teach Klay to spend responsibly, then I think this arrangement will work out for the best.

  10. Even though it is a joke, it’s interesting to think about! On one hand, it seems like a smart idea – his dad is essentially being his financial manager and ensuring all that money is not squandered. On the other hand, I think everybody needs to have a basic understanding of how to manage money, including basketball superstars. The story only comes across as kinda crazy because it used words like “dad” and “allowance” – but again, it’s really more like “financial manager”!
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted…How to Have a Fun and Frugal Wedding: Part IIMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Hmm, didn’t think of it that way! I guess his dad is more like his financial manager than anything else in this situation. Except financial managers don’t fine you for getting in a brawl.

  11. Done by Forty October 30, 2013

    I think it’s a great temporary measure. How many 23 year olds can manage any amount of money wisely?

    There just needs to be an exit strategy.
    Done by Forty recently posted…Embracing Either/Or and Opportunity CostsMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Agreed – if there’s no thought to how Klay would handle his money in the future, then this might be more destructive than helpful.

  12. Travis @Debtchronicles October 30, 2013

    I think many athletes go broke after they retire, but cause they are in denial as to the fact that they will not make that kind of money forever. Just as many of us do, they put off saving for retirement because there always seems like there’s time tomorrow to do that. Unfortunately, the shelf life of your average professional athlete is much shorter than the career of the average joe, so once they are done with sports they have a lot of life left in the tank – but “tomorrow” never came for planning for it.
    Travis @Debtchronicles recently posted…Emergency Fund: Time To “Man Up”My Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Exactly! First off, they have a sudden stream of a lot of money, then it’s all gone just as fast!

  13. Michelle October 30, 2013

    I think something like this should be done for more professional athletes. So many of them burn through their money as though it’s never ending.
    Michelle recently posted…What is the American Dream?My Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      They do make a ton of money, which gives them the illusion that they can spend whenever they want. But they need to realize that their careers are shorter than most day-to-day careers, meaning they need to be more conscientious with their spending.

  14. E.M. October 30, 2013

    That’s a little strange, I have to admit. I see his father’s intentions as good, but there comes a time when you should let your child learn on his own. If they can’t trust their grown-up son to make good financial decisions, it seems as though maybe they didn’t place an emphasis on handling money when he was a kid?

    I think athletes do have a propensity to inflate their lifestyles – a lot of them own mansions, fancy cars and expensive clothes. It’s almost like being a Hollywood celebrity in their own world. It’s not surprising they’re a little lost once they retire.

    However, it can be dangerous…if the parents continue to limit him like this, he could grow resentful. Once he does retire, and his parents are possibly not in control of his money anymore, he may decide to spend it all because he was restricted before.
    E.M. recently posted…Moving On from A JobMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Good point! What would happen when Klay finally gets a hold of his money – will he continue to manage it as well as his dad it or will he run free and go crazy with it? Only time will tell.

  15. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel October 30, 2013

    I think I remember reading about this on ESPN or NBA.com. I thought he came out and said it was all a joke, though. Either way, the idea isn’t a bad one and I’m sure the majority of celebrities could use it. Who decided to give these fools all that money anyway?
    Ben @ The Wealth Gospel recently posted…Guest Post: Make Your Home More Energy EfficientMy Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      Wow, just looked into it more – it was a joke! Thanks for bringing that up.

      And seriously – basketball players make SO MUCH MONEY! I would LOVE to manage that much money – I would definitely not go broke.

  16. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply October 30, 2013

    I’m a Knicks fan…but I enjoy the Warriors’ team and I really like Curry from his Davidson days. Anyways, I think a lot of pro athletes lose all their money because they didn’t have parents who taught them to be smart with the money. Klay is a grown man…it’s not even like he came after a year of college and he’s 19 years old. If his father did a good job raising him, then he should be able to handle his money. Sure, he’ll make some mistakes, but he’ll learn from them.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Is NYC Really That Expensive?My Profile

    • Lisa E. October 30, 2013

      I agree – I understand his dad’s intentions, but at some point you have to let go and let Klay make his own mistakes.

Comments are closed.