Who the hell is FICA and Jock can they hoop? https://t.co/2p72jRkpND
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 5, 2023
While Antetokounmpo is a native of Greece, he’s been receiving checks from the Bucks since being drafted by them with the 15th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. In each of those checks, money has been deducted as part of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), otherwise known as a federal payroll tax.
That particular deduction relates in part to Social Security payments that will be issued decades from now to Antetokounmpo. Of course, barring financial catastrophe, the superstar shouldn’t really need that income in the future.
Another aspect of Davis’ deal was also something of a mystery to others, with Sacramento Kings star De’Aaron Fox making an effort to provide an explanation.
We get taxed in every city/state that we play in. So for example we play 41 home games plus 4 in LA and 2 in SF so 47 games taxed in California 🙃 Those 4 teams obviously get it the worst lol https://t.co/CSWEIGg3LE
— De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) August 5, 2023
Davis’ new deal is set to pay him $186 million over three years and will begin with the start of the 2025-26 season. Currently, he’s set to earn almost $84 million over the next two seasons.
Those eye-popping amounts help explain why Davis will be paying more than $1 million in both FICA and the so-called “jock tax” during each year of that contract extension.
Choosing to invest so much money in Davis is a risk under normal circumstances. However, in his particular case, the risks are magnified because of his struggles to stay healthy in recent years.
During the 2020-21 campaign, Davis and the Lakers were rolling and looking to defend the franchise’s first NBA title in a decade. Those efforts hit a major obstacle when a February 2021 injury kept him out of the lineup for an extended period and potentially played a role in a quick playoff exit for the Lakers.
The following year, renewed dreams of another title were also dashed when Davis again missed large chunks of time. In that particular instance, the Lakers failed to even make the playoffs.
Over the past three seasons, Davis has only played in 132 regular season games. For the Lakers to even come close to getting their money’s worth from Davis’ new deal, the veteran needs to stay healthy.
Antetokounmpo is set to make almost $46 million for the upcoming season and even more in the years ahead. Playing in Milwaukee will help him avoid some of the taxes assessed to Davis, something he’s likely to remain amused about.