Kobe Bryant structured his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers so that he received $24,363,044 of his $30,453,805 salary today, November 1st.
The veteran guard will have the rest dispersed throughout the season, but had the option to get an 80 percent advance on his paycheck, if needed, up until this point.
However, it’s not all fun and games, because since Bryant lives in California, he’ll have to pay some heavy taxes.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell explained the financial situation:
Bryant's total take home of the $24.3 million check is subject to heavy taxes, which could total as much as 55 percent of his salary. That would reduce his take-home pay to closer to $11 million, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant who heads up the sports and entertainment group at FMRTL in Cranford, N.J.
In his tax bracket, Bryant is subject to paying a federal tax at the top rate of 39.6 percent, which would mean $9.6 million will be withheld by Uncle Sam. As a California resident, he's subject to paying an additional 13.3 percent, or $3.2 million, in state taxes. California has the highest state income tax in the United States. The Medicare tax and surcharge would reduce his total take to about $10.9 million, Raiola said.
Bryant will pay so-called "jock taxes" to states in which he plays on the road. But those payments will be credited toward his California income tax.
The fact that Bryant will make $24.4 million and bring home $11 million due to taxes is probably a reassurance to Dwight Howard that he made the right choice to leave the state and keep more of his cash, even if it was for a smaller paycheck.