Draymond Green says NBA players aren’t set up to be wealthy in the long run due to taxes and fines

Jonathan Sherman
4 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has been known to do and say certain things that NBA fans don’t react to particularly well. He’s also been known to not display the greatest self-control on the court.

As a result of that, Green has dealt with suspensions and heavy fines from the NBA at times during his career. According to him, those fines are a sign that NBA players aren’t set up to be wealthy long after their playing days are over.

He said as much while talking with NBA legend and media personality Shaquille O’Neal on O’Neal’s podcast.

“As hard as we work to accumulate wealth, coming from situations that most people never make it out and then you get fined the way we get fined, it’s actually not set up for us to be wealthy after we’re done playing,” Green said. “This job is not set up, the way we’re taxed, the way we’re fined. This job ain’t never been set up for us to be wealthy after we’re done playing.

“And you know, you hear about all these programs. This program this, this program, that is to cover everybody a–. This program this, teach this guy this, but if I do something wrong, I lose $100,000.”

A lot of fans who work typical day jobs are likely not going to respond to this message from Green very positively. In a lot of ways, Green comes off as an out-of-touch and extremely wealthy individual who feels he is being treated unfairly because he has to play by someone else’s rules.

It’s true that Green is far from the only person in the world who feels that taxes are too high, but it’s also true that taxes impact everyone, not just millionaire athletes.

As for fines in the league, there are many players who avoid fines from the league almost entirely. It’s only players like Green, who often bend or break the rules, who face heavy fines from one season to the next.

Green has faced a lot of punishments throughout his NBA career, and one of the heaviest came in the 2023-24 season. In an early-season matchup between the Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves, Green grabbed big man Rudy Gobert around his neck.

As a result, he was suspended for five games and forced to forfeit $769,704 of salary for those missed games. There is no doubt that it was a heavy price.

All in all, it might be hard for many fans to side with Green. That’s especially true considering the fact that he’s currently playing on a contract worth $100 million in total. Surely, some may think that anyone complaining about an inability to sustain wealth with that kind of paycheck might need a bit of a reality check.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.