We can all agree that athletes make a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with that. Where the problem lies is that according to Wyattresearch.com, 78% of NFL players and 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy within the first five years of retirement. Here are some of the dumbest purchases made by athletes that make it easy to believe so many of them go bankrupt in such a short amount of time:
Chad Johnson’s Semi Truck
Cost: $100,000 We understand the need to stunt harder than anyone in the VH1 parking lot, but there’s nothing cool about swagger jacking truckers. Chad Johnson pays six-figures too look like Patrick Swayze in Black Dog, which only adds another ‘L’ to his loathsome ’12-’13 fall off. Unless that thing morphs into Optimus Prime, then it’s just a gaudy big rig that gets four miles per gallon.
Marquis Daniels’ Jewel Head Piece
Cost: Unknown As a lifelong bench player who was making less than a million dollars a season, Marquis Daniels has a lot of nerve commissioning a 3-D pendant of his likeness. If this horrendous piece of bedazzled egotism cost $5, then Milwaukee Bucks’ fourth man off the bench is overpaid.
Mike Tyson’s Bengal Tigers
Cost: $140,000 Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist, threatens to eat children, and once made a grizzly attempt to bite another man’s ear off. In sum, he’s already the world’s most terrifying person, so the last thing he needs is an army of predatory cats. Iron Mike made a fortune disappear in the ’80s and ’90s with a $400,000 per month burn rate, a $9M divorce settlement, and three Bengal tigers. Yes, THREE Bengal tigers. Beef costs $3.87 per pound and a single tiger consumes 40 pounds of meat per day. Just feeding a cat that size has a $60,000 annual price tag. But that number is peanuts compared to the civil action lawsuit that’ll be filed when one of those deadly hunters mauls a neighbor kid.
Arian Foster’s Segways
Cost: $35,000 To thank his offensive linemen for their continued hard work protecting him from would-be tacklers, Arian bought them all Christmas gifts. He purchased a new Segway for each of the 5 linemen on his team. The only problem? The maximum weight limit for a Segway is about 260 pounds and the average weight of an NFL offensive lineman? 312 pounds. It looks like he didn’t really think the decision through and probably threw $35,000 down the toilet.
Darnell Dockett’s Alligator
Cost: $500 While aimlessly wondering Florida, Darnell Dockett tweets “I’m out here messing with these gators in everglades! This mofo almost bit me!” Despite, by his own admission, nearly losing his hand to a reactionary chomp, the Arizona Cardinals lineman buys an alligator and names him Nino. We don’t see this one ending well.
Jarret Jack’s Shoe Collection
Cost: estimated $375,000 As a publication that calls your coolness into question unless you have, like, a dozen pairs of Jordan 3s, we understand the hypocrisy of this slide. But Golden State Warrior guard, Jarret Jack, has more than 1,500 pairs of sneakers and that’s insane. If Jack wore a different pair of shoes every day, it would take him more than four years to repeat boots. No one loves shoes more than us, but if you’re devoting 2,000 cubic feet of closet space to leather and laces, you have a problem.
Bernie Kosar Picks Up 60 Cell Phone Bills
Cost: Unknown You know you’re bad with money when you’re buying other people’s bills. Throughout the ’90’s, Bernie Kosar blows through $19M with a nasty divorce, bad real estate investments, and picking up the notes on 60 cell phone bills, only one of which is his.
Miami Heat Finals Championship Bar Tab
Cost: $200,000 The Miami Heat celebrated their 2012 NBA Championship by blowing the lid off of Fountainbleu’s LIV nightclub. LeBron and company rack up a $200,000 bar tab that includes 33 bottles of Cristal, a magnum of Grey Goose, and a $25,000 6 L of Dom Perignon. To put that kind of tab into perspective for you broke ass college students, that’s 461,894 cans of Keystone Light. When you consider their 16-man roster, that’s a new Honda Civic’s worth of boozer per player. If Miami repeats, there might not be a single drop of Patron Platinum left in Florida.
Danny Granger’s Bat Cave
Cost: Unknown Customizing a house, like modifying a car, is one of the worst investments you can make. And when you build a subterranean bat cave in your Albuquerque home, you’ll be lucky to get a penny back on the dollar in this real estate market. According to Granger, “It will have a few aspects from the Christian Bale movies, like a drive-in pathway or tunnel that lights up as you drive through…You park your car on this big circle, and the circle spins, so that you never have to back the car out.” Wait, nevermind. This sounds awesome, actually.
Gilbert Arenas’ Shark Tank
Cost: Part of a $1,000,000 pool complex + 5,000 in monthly repairs The painful realities of today’s real estate market effect everyone, even athletes with $111M contract extensions. Arenas spends years turning his D.C.-area mansion into a backyard version of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” music video, complete with a sex grotto, water slide, and exotic shark tank. After thousands of trips to the Home Depot, Arenas finally finishes his project and is promptly traded to Orlando. Now he’s out of the league and all he has is a bunch of sneakers and that shark tank.
Al Jefferson’s Bed
Cost: $23,000 Al Jefferson’s bed costs as much as a new Ford Mustang. It’s 10 feet by 12 feet, which means it’s considerably larger than the average U.S. prison cell and can comfortably accommodate four silverback gorillas. Unless dude’s inviting the entire Utah Jazz over for group naps, there’s absolutely no reason for this kind of crib.
Shaquille O’Neal’s Totally Normal House
Cost: $235,000 Um, Shaq? Haven’t you learned anything from Jack Clark or Mike Tyson? When you’re a professional athlete you can’t be making level-headed decisions that involve reasonably priced, single-family homes, and four-door sedans. Despite being worth close to $250M, O’Neal purchases a modest Florida homestead that doesn’t even have a killer whale aquarium, 24 karat gold toilet, OR wallpaper made of hand-cut True Religion jeans. Someone is in desperate need of a how-to guide for stunting.
Latrell Sprewell’s Luxury Yacht
Cost: 1,500,000 In 2004, Latrell Sprewell is so incensed by a three-year, $21M contract offer that he retires from basketball and says, “I have to feed my family.” Apparently unaware that income plays an essential role in the grocery shopping experience, Sprewell spends the next few years fighting multiple foreclosures and burning through nearly $100M in career earnings. After defaulting on his $1.5M yacht nicknamed, “Milwaukee’s Best,” it’s seized by US Marshals. We don’t know why a guy who once made $14M in a single season pulled out a mortgage on a boat, but we do know it was an extremely stupid purchase.
Deuce McAllister’s Nissan Dealership
Cost: $1,500,000 Deuce McAllister made $70M during his NFL career and managed to blow it all within three years of his retirement. Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, the Saints running back dumps his cash into Versas and Quests by purchasing a Nissan dealership. The lot goes belly up and McAllister’s Louisiana home is auctioned off by the Sheriff’s office less than a year after hanging up the cleats.
Terrell Owens’ Bingo Hall
Cost: $2,000,000 In a seemingly calculated effort to go broke, Terrell Owens dumps $2M into an Alabama entertainment complex that includes a Bingo hall. Nevermind that the NFL has a policy against its players investing in gambling, but the complex’s devices are also illegal in the state of Alabama. Oops. The project collapses and Owens becomes another former athlete with a $1,500 credit limit.
Bubba Watson’s Dukes of Hazzard Car
Cost: $110,000 Apparently unaware that it’s just a $25,000 used car, professional golfer Bubba Watson shells out six-figures for a piece of mediocre ’80s television history. Watson buys General Lee’s 1969 Dodge Charger, complete with bright orange paint job and Confederate flag detailing. We’re sure that offensive reminder of the Civil War will be a hit in the parking lot at Augusta. Sigh.
Curt Schilling’s “38 Studios” Video Game Venture
Cost: $50,000,000 When your life’s signature moment is pitching with a bloody ankle, you probably shouldn’t try to build a video game empire. The Red Sox legend’s 38 Studios (Get it? 38 like his baseball number) attempts to take on industry behemoths like Activision and EA, but flops worse than Atari Jaguar. Schilling dumped $50M in career earnings into the company and went broke trying to win the favor of Red Bull addicted teenagers. In May 2012, 38 Studios laid off all of its employees and ceased operations.
Michael Vick’s Dog Slaughterhouse
Cost: $130,000,000 in legal fees and potential earnings At the height of his career, Michael Vick bank rolled a dog fighting empire and quickly exposed the flaws in pitbull killing as a business model. Legal fees and a two-year prison sentence crippled Vick financially, forcing the former Falcons quarterback into Chapter 11. During his bankruptcy hearing, it’s reported that Vick’s horrible spending isn’t limited to his K-9 slaughterhouse. He allegedly spends $8M in 23 months, which is like blowing $25 thousand a day, everyday for two straight years.
Lenny Dykstra’s 13,000 Square Foot Mansion
Cost: $18,500,000 Former Phillies legend Lenny Dykstra bought Wayne Gretzky’s custom designed home for just north of $18M, which would be fine and dandy if he wasn’t orchestrating a financial fraud. Dykstra’s prowess as a business guru is exaggerated with falsified financial statements that are exposed when he falls behind on his enormous mortgage. He’s currently serving a three-year prison sentence for grand theft auto and recently plead guilty to bankruptcy fraud. Moral of the story: don’t buy a 13,000 square foot mansion when you’re broke.
Floyd Mayweather Ices His Fiance’s Neck
Cost: $16,000,000 Money May reportedly bought his fiancee, Shantel Jackson, a $16M, 27.64-carat diamond necklace. Thanks for setting the bar, Floyd. While the rest of us shamefully peruse the clearance case at Zales, you spend Chris Brown’s entire net worth on a single piece of jewelry. Our girls are going to love this sterling silver “Infinity Loop Ring” after reading this story. We hope he makes her sign a prenup.
Sam Hurd’s Drug Run
Cost: $700,000 ($1000/pound of marijuana, $25,000/kilo of cocaine) Apparently unsatisfied with his role as the ninth best special teams player on the Chicago Bears, Sam Hurd became a drug kingpin. Naturally. He attempted to purchase a Soviet tank’s worth of narcotics from an undercover agent, which included 1,000 pounds of marijuana and 5-10 kilos of cocaine. Hurd’s life, like his drug network, is reduced to rubble when he pleads guilty to the charges and faces a minimum 10-year prison sentence.
Scottie Pippen’s Private Jet
Cost: $3,400,000 Where is Scottie Pippen going that he needs a private jet? At almost $4M a pop, he’d have to take 1,400 round trip flights to Paris just to break even. To make things worse, Jordan’s sidekick missed a scheduled inspection and buys the jet unaware that it requires another $1M in repairs. SMH. Unable to come up with the cash, Pippen had the jet grounded turning it into the world’s most expensive piece of debris. Yes, you read that right. The seven-time all-star buys a $3.4M plan that never leaves the ground.
Evander Holyfield’s 54,000 Square Foot Home
Cost: $20,000,000 Evander Holyfield’s craft involves repeated Mike Tyson upper cuts to the head, so we’re not shocked by his inability to do simple math. The brain can only take so much bleeding. He bought a house that has 109 rooms, two bowling alleys, and costs $155,000 in annual taxes. Combine the cost of heating 54,000 square feet with child support for a dozen kids and you have an express pass to the front of the soup line. J.P. Morgan ultimately foreclosed on the palace and sold it at auction for $7.5M, a hit more painful than a James “Buster” Douglas roundhouse punch.
Darren McFadden’s 1972 Buick Centurion
Cost: Unknown Darren McFadden is right at the tail end of his NFL career, but something tells us he might need to start saving now so that he will be financially secure after he retires. And that something is a 1972 Buick Centurion that he owns. It is painted a ridiculous purple and green and sits on enormous 32″ wheels with a custom 15″ suspension lift. It looks like it comes straight out of a Batman comic book, something that The Joker would drive.. or a joker would drive.
Torii Hunter’s Floating Furniture
Cost: $70,000 Torii Hunter was pitched what he thought was the next big invention to hit the market, furniture rafts. The idea was that in a flood, a homeowner would be able to save themselves by inflating a raft underneath their furniture and floating their way to safety.Hunter immediately invested $70,000 in the idea. The man who pitched the idea took his money and never delivered anything. In fact, he came back asking Hunter for $500,000 more, which is when Hunter finally made the right decision to cut his losses and move on with his life.
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