11 Athletes Who Threw Away Their Million-Dollar Fortunes

11 Athletes Who Threw Away Their Million-Dollar Fortunes

A recent story in USA Today reported that New York Knicks center Eddy Curry is currently in debt, despite the fact he’s still playing out the remainder of a six-year, $60 million contract. His main expenses? A $6,000-per-month chef, a $16,000 monthly allowance that he sets aside for friends and family and a $570,000 personal loan he’s trying to pay off that carries a whopping 85 percent interest rate. Yiiiiiiikes!

Unfortunately, Curry’s case isn’t unique. Despite all their fame and fortune, there are dozens of pro athletes who have blown through their bankrolls and lived above their means during and after their playing days. They’ve made too many bad investments, bought too many cars, fathered too many children and taken too many risks when it comes to their money. To prove the point, StreetLevel tracked down 11 athletes who inexplicably declared bankruptcy after enjoying long and prosperous professional careers. Prepare to be disappointed.
Latrell Sprewell

He’ll always be known as the guy who turned down a three-year, $21 million contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2004 by saying, “I have a family to feed,” but the truth is that Spre made plenty of money during his NBA playing days. He actually signed a five-year, $62 million deal with the Knicks in 1999. But since retiring in 2006, he’s had his yacht repossessed, been sued by a former girlfriend for $200 million, and had two of his homes foreclosed on. Kinda chokes you up, no?
Ever wonder why this guy just can’t leave the (boxing) game alone? Answer: He’s got at least 11 kids (Sidebar: You know you’ve got a lotta kids when you throw words like “at least” around to keep count). It’s just one of the reasons he’s struggled to keep up with his bills. In 2008, a bank foreclosed on his $10 million Atlanta mansion and a landscaping company also sued him for failing to make $500,000 worth of payments. All of that has helped knock out his financial situation.
A standout point guard from New York City, Anderson made more than $60 million during his NBA career. But thanks to a divorce settlement that set him back almost $6 million, hefty child support payments to his ex-wife Tami (the chick from Real World: Los Angeles) and reckless spending, he lost all of it. He recently graduated from St. Thomas University in Miami, but things haven’t exactly gone as planned for the only guy to ever go all-city all four years of high school in NYC.
Probably the biggest cautionary tale on this list. Walker didn’t just go broke, he went for broke. Though he made more than $100 million during his NBA career, Walker now owes creditors and casinos large sums of money. He’s spent all his supporting a gigantic entourage, buying up cars, building his mother a ridiculous pad in Chicago, gambling with Michael Jordan and routinely flaunting his wealth. Sad.
Like Evander Holyfield, Pippen played in the NBA for way longer than he should have to make a couple extra bucks. Because despite the $120 million he earned playing alongside Michael Jordan, it didn’t last. He blew through almost $30 million by trusting his lawyer to make investments for him and also made lavish purchases, like the $4.3 million Gulfstream II corporate jet he bought in the early 2000s. Bad move.
The former track-and-field star didn’t just lose her dignity after steroid use forced her out of the sport. She also lost a lot of her money. With no income coming in, she struggled to pay the mortgage on her $2.5 million home in North Carolina andhad to sell her mother’s home to help pay off her bills. She served six months in prison, too, for lying to federal authorities about her steroid use. She’s currently playing for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock to try and restore some normalcy to her life.
Ironically, Nails spent his retirement trying to show pro athletes how to make money by investing in the stock market. He even started a magazine called The Players Club to show them how to make the most of their money. But he struggled to keep his operations afloat, eventually declaring bankruptcy in 2009 after a bunch of creditors came after him when he started missing payments on his mortgage, his business office’s rent and his credit cards. Reports say he’s now living out of his car in California. Tough.
Dogfighting case aside, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback was on the fast track to going broke long before he lost his 10-year, $130 million contract after getting arrested. After leading a crazy lifestyle that included an entourage that he supported, Vick owed creditors upwards of $50 million in 2008. Today, he makes less than $2 million per season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
This one might be for the best, as Iron Mike recently appeared on an episode of The View (ummm…?) and talked about how he’s broke but happy for the first time in a long time. Despite making more than $30 million per fight during his boxing days–and more than $250 million over the course of his career–Tyson’s managed to spend just about all of it on large homes, luxury cars and a lavish lifestyle. Another boxer down for the count.
Here’s a guy who’s not exactly a poster child for anything. He smokes on the golf course, drinks ’til he passes out and apparently gambles. A lot. In fact, in his 2006 autobiography, Daly revealed he’s lost more than $50 million at casinos over the course of the last two decades. He’s still ticking thanks to golf, paid public appearances and sponsorships, but you have to believe there’s more money to be lost in his future.
Proof that blowing the bank can happen to anyone. The former Major League Baseball first baseman enjoyed a successful career before declaring bankruptcy in 1992. The reason? Thanks to his passion for automobiles, he was paying 17 car notes every month on rides like a $700,000 Ferrari and a Rolls-Royce. He’s reportedly gotten back on his feet since then, but his story continues to provide one of the most ridiculous examples of reckless spending in sports history.
Credit: streetlevel.com