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12/17/2018 8:07:31 PM

From Riches To Rags: 15 Athletes Who Went Broke

broke athletes

Latrell Sprewell, the four-time All-Star later gagged on a life-changing financial choice. He turned down a three-year, $21 million contract in 2005, saying he had a family to feed. What do those kids eat, gold nuggets? He was making $14.6 million a year at the time for a total of $96 million earned. But he never played again after that season and paid dearly for it. The former Knick saw his two homes foreclosed on, got sued for $200 million by an ex-girlfriend for child support, and had his 70-foot yacht repossessed. He still owed $1.3 million on it.


Given that the former Mets and Phillies star once published a magazine, The Players Club, on how to live large as a professional athlete, he could have followed its advice. Now, his former lawyer is calling Lenny Dykstra indigent. It takes some doing to owe $30 million to creditors. Investments in car washes, real estate and a stock trading website all struck out. A $18.5 million house he bought from NHL great Wayne Gretzky was foreclosed on. He was recently jailed on grand theft auto charges and faced a possible 80 years in prison for allegedly embezzling from a bankrupt estate. He was also arrested in August for supposedly exposing himself to women he invited for job interviews he arranged on Craigslist.

broke athletes

Travis Henry made an estimated career earnings of $20,000,000 as a running back. Unfortunately Henry lost it all; over the course of his career he had 11 children with 10 different women. He had a child support bill of $200,000, and was arrested for being $16,000 short. Henry was later convicted for being a drug lord and in 2009 was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

broke athletes

JaMarcus Russell former quarterback of the Oakland Raiders was given an unbelievable $32 million contract and finished with an estimated career earnings of $40,000,000. He unfortunately didn’t live up to the expectations he created after his amazing career in college at LSU. After his failed two year career at Oakland, Russell was unable to pay a 2 million dollar mortgage and owed $200,000 on back taxes.


Despite $250 million in career earnings, the four-time heavyweight champ, Evander Holyfield saw his home foreclosed on and got sued for falling behind in child support payments. Perhaps his powerful right hand got tired from writing the checks — he reportedly has 11 children.

broke athletes

Despite collecting more than $50 million in his career, Mark Brunell claimed nearly $25 million in debts when he filed for Chapter 11 in 2010. He reportedly got sacked by bad real estate investments in Florida and Michigan.

broke athletes

Lawrence Taylor former New York Giants star linebacker in number 5 for losing his estimated career earnings of $50,000,000. LT was arrested for drug possession, he also submitted a false tax return, and was sued for failing to pay child support. Eventually his careless spending and constant partying forced LT to declare bankruptcy.

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Warren Sapp went from star NFL defensive tackle and worth about $60 million to being $7 million in debt. Sapp attempted to sell his two championship rings but it still wasn’t enough with the four different alimony payments. Later, Sapp had to sell his house and is still struggling to get out of debt.

broke athletes

Dennis Rodman,  the eccentric ex-NBA player reportedly raked in as much as $50 million during his basketball career. Yet in 2012, he was unable to make spousal or child support payments.


Deuce McAllister, former Saints running back, from 2001-2009, went bankrupt after he left the league and decided to buy his own car dealership. After having an estimated career earnings of $70 million, McAllister was sued for defaulting his payments in the dealership and was forced to file for bankruptcy, he was $7 million in debt.


He drove long, drank hard and liked to putter around the casinos. The 1991 PGA and 1995 British Open champion, John Daly wrote in his autobiography how he once lost $1.65 million in five hours at the slots, which explains how he could blow an estimated $50 million to $60 million on gambling.

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Terrell Owens, one of the leagues most despised players, is number 2 with an estimated career earnings of $80 million. After playing for 7 teams and making sure to burn ever bridge before leaving, Owens built a negative reputation around the league. Eventually he couldn’t get an offer from any teams and Owens was already in debt. He has $50,000 a month to pay in child support and along with his poor financial decisions he had to sell the house for almost $3 million less then what he paid for it.


Allen Iverson, the former NBA guard earned over $200 million, according to Forbes. In his post-NBA career, “The Answer” has been marred by child support issues, divorce settlement entanglements, debts to jewelers and attorneys, alleged gambling and alcohol addictions, and property foreclosures. At one point this year, there was even talk of jail time for Iverson because he reportedly didn’t have the money to pay his court mandated $8,000-a-month child support payments to his ex-wife, Tawanna, for their five children.

broke athletes

In a league of the passionately profligate, former Boston Celtic Antoine Walker stands out. He made $110 million and it’s all gone. He owed $4 million to creditors at last report, and pleaded guilty this summer to writing bad checks amounting to $750,000 to casinos. He got probation. Before his NBA career ended in 2008, Walker supported at least 70 family members and hangers-on, his mother told the Boston Globe. Banks foreclosed on 14 residential homes he owned. That real estate bubble looks like a really tiny basketball now.


Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champ, earned an estimated $400 million and wound up owning only the tattoo on his face. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Two divorce settlements, the second of which involved ceding the deeds to two estates, supplied the knockout blow. But there were plenty of self-inflicted financial punches in between. Tyson spent millions on jewelry, clothing and other properties, and fought a cocaine habit. Let’s not forget, he virtually stopped making money for three years in his prime, when he served time in prison.
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