New York isn’t an easy city to live in, even if you’re a young millionaire. That’s the tough lesson Rondae Hollis-Jefferson learned after getting his first paycheck.
The Nets rookie, who has spent time teaching kids at multiple basketball camps this summer, discussed his life growing up in Chester, PA., a small town that’s the home of multiple NBA guards, with Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal. Hollis-Jefferson was raised by his mother and grandmother, while his father bounced in and out of jail.
“I’d say any young child, male, wants their father to be a part of their life,” he said. “I spent a lot of that, like, looking. My grandfather, he was like our dad. He was way older than us. It didn’t feel like how my friends and their fathers felt…When I got older, I was like, ‘I’m good. I got this far without it.’ … I still talk to him. Other than that, it’s fine. It’s in the past.”
Hollis-Jefferson wants to eventually complete his degree in architecture, with the hopes of teaching better eating habits to young children. but he refuses to talk about the other kind of green with his friends.
“People know they can talk to me about anything,” he said. “But when it comes to money, I’m like, ‘I don’t have it.’ That’s my go-to line.”
To some extent, that is true. His first paycheck, while larger than any he had ever received, still fell short of expectations.
“When I saw the check, I saw half of the money was gone,” Hollis-Jefferson said, referring to the taxes and other dues extracted from his paycheck. “And being in New York, more than half was gone. I was like, ‘Who do I call here? What’s going on?’”
And discussed the biggest issue hitting New York City over the past decade: that the rent is just too damn high.
“You can live in a nice, three-bedroom condo with all that in Dallas for like two thousand bucks,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “Three bedroom, three-bathroom in New York, you’re paying eight grand. It’s ridiculous.”
Currently, Hollis-Jefferson shares a Northern New Jersey rental with a friend and (brother) Rahlir, who played basketball in college at Temple and professionally in both Europe and the D-League.
Maybe a sliding scale for rookie contracts depending on your state of employment is in order.
Nonetheless, Hollis-Jefferson did say to Raskin that he’d consider a move to Brooklyn, especially when the team’s practice facility gets officially set up there. He should be happy to learn that rents in Sunset Park and surrounding neighborhoods are among the lowest in Brooklyn.
Wall Street Journal — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Seeks a Smooth Transition to the NBA