Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson says this is the top financial mistake he made his rookie year

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Toronto Raptors in the first half during Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2019 in Oakland, California.
Ezra Shaw | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star player Klay Thompson is signed to a five-year, $190 million contract with the team.

Since entering the NBA in 2011, he's not only earned millions in his career through contract money and endorsement deals, but he's also won three championship rings and made it to the NBA All-Star game five times. Looking back, the 29-year-old says he remembers making some common financial mistakes at the start of his career.

"I made some mistakes like hoarding, especially with the clothes," he tells host Maverick Carter on a recent episode of the podcast "Kneading Dough." "I mean I would just have a full closet and I would only wear about 5% of the closet, and I'm like, 'What am I going to do with all of these extra clothes?'"

Eventually, Thompson says, he got rid of his hoarding habit and started to make purchases that he knew would outlast the style trends of the NBA.

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors commentates a game against the Chicago Bulls on November 27, 2019 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California.
Noah Graham | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

"It's not like money made me happy," he says, while talking about using his first big paycheck to buy a pool table that he still has to this day. "It was great to see that check, but I lived such a great life in Pullman, [Washington] at the time on my $1,100 a month stipend. That went so far in Pullman. I could get as much Taco Del Mar as I wanted or I could go to Target and have a field day."

Though his NBA career has afforded him a more lavish lifestyle than his upbringing in Portland, Oregon, or his time at Washington State University, Thompson says he's learned that wealth is nothing more than a mindset. "If you have relationships and experiences around you, those are priceless," he says. "You know, it's better than any car you can get or any big house. It's just about those relationships to me."

Thompson, who made Forbes' "World Highest-Paid Athlete" list in 2019 with an earning of $34.3 million for the year, isn't the only NBA player who's admitted to carelessly spending money early in their career. In fact, Thompson's teammate Draymond Green says one of his biggest financial regrets is spending $21,000 in one night at the club.

"That's $21,000 that I can never get back," he said on previous episode of "Kneading Dough." "People say: 'That isn't nothing to you.' $20,000 is still $20,000. I don't care how much money you have, it's still $20,000."

Green, who has since changed his frivolous spending habits, says he's now pursuing a new financial goal of becoming a billionaire by 40. The 29-year-old, who agreed to a four-year, $100 million extension with the Warriors earlier this year, says that joining the billion-dollar club will be "a tough task for sure." But, he says, "I think I can reach it."

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