Kobe gets $24M paycheck from the Lakers

November 1, 2013

Kobe Bryant,

Is Kobe saying 24 million is this much? (AP)

Kobe may have to this when he sees Uncle Sam also.

Kobe will also have to pay a lot of tax.

Subject to taxes as high as $13M 

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, 35, reportedly received a lump sum payment of $24 million on Friday. But, just how much of that does he get to keep?

According to an ESPN article on Friday, Uncle Sam could reduce his take-home pay to closer to $11 million.

The exact amount Kobe received – $24,363,044, represents 79.7 percent of the $30.5 million he is due to receive in salary for the 2013-14 season. While most players get paid every two weeks during the season, super stars like Kobe can get up to 80% in advance.

The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has reduced that percentage to 25%, but the old CBA applies here to allow up to 80% up-front compensation, ESPN said.

According to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant who heads up the sports and entertainment group at FMRTL in New Jersey, however, Kobe’s fat check is subject to heavy taxes – as much as 55%, or over $13 million.

In his tax bracket, Kobe is subject to paying a federal tax at the top rate of 39.6%, which means $9.6 million will be withheld by Uncle Sam.

And, as a California resident, he’s subject to paying an additional 13.3%, or $3.2 million, in state taxes.

California has the highest state income tax in the United States, and that was one of the things that made the decision easy for Dwight Howard to relocate to Houston, as Texas is one the seven states in the U.S. without state income tax.

At any rate, the Medicare tax and surcharge would reduce Kobe’s net pay to about $10.9 million, Raiola said.

Kobe’s salary this season is the second-largest salary in NBA history, behind the $33.1 million Michael Jordan made in 1997-98. Kobe, recovering from Achilles tendon tear, is not expected to be back at least until December, but his salary is fully guaranteed.