Save That Receipt! Athletes’ Most Outrageous Purchases
Professional athletes are compensated handsomely for their natural abilities. So, it’s only logical that outside of the arena, field or stadium these athletes spend their hard-earned cash freely. Big mansions, fast cars, and exotic pets. Nothing is out of question for superstars that are idolized by millions across the globe. But some athletes take this spending to the next level. They go beyond the realm of normal and make unfathomable purchases. Introducing some of the craziest purchases and wildest the sports world has ever seen.
Tyson and the Tigers
One of the most notable, ludicrous purchases on this list goes to Iron Mike, one of the world’s most feared boxers back in his prime. Estimates have Tyson’s career earnings in the ballpark of $400-500 million. Process that. Tyson literally punched his way to half a billion dollars. With that money, Tyson knew how to live lavishly, albeit in ways that could be deemed less than financially savvy.
Almost half a billion for being incredibly good at punching people. So, naturally, Mike chose to spend some of his disposable income on three Bengal Tigers. House cats are too common, and Tyson needed something that could match his aggressive, ferocious personality.
Although the exact figures on the costs of the tigers and their upkeep aren’t certain, estimates have each Bengal costing $70,000 and food costing about $200,000 per year. Eventually, the price of keeping these kitties was too much, and Iron Mike was forced to give them up.
Fortunately for Tyson and his tigers, they were able secure a heartwarming reunion on the set of the Hangover thanks to their well-received cameo appearance. Hopefully this purchase was a lesson in personal finance. There’s always the immediate cost of the purchase, then there’s the cost of future maintenance. Apparently, Tyson never factored in the maintenance to keep his pets alive and well.
Yoenis Cespedes’ Crazy Car Collection
The slugging Cuban star for the New York Mets has been largely overpaid for his services throughout his career, but has raked in cash nonetheless. His total earnings sit at a casual $115 million from salary alone. This number would only rise if we factored in his endorsement earnings.
Cespedes, a Cuban native, grew up with his primary mode of transportation being his own two feet or a bicycle. When he arrived in the U.S., with a hefty contract in hand, the outfielder’s eyes grew big thinking of the endless ways to spend his hard-earned cash. In the land of opportunity, Cespedes was overwhelmed with the potential to spend and spend freely. NO restrictions, no government imposed quotas, and no one telling him no.
One of his first steps? Replace the classic bicycle with an exotic car collection. During Spring Training with the Mets in 2016, Cespedes arrived to camp in a different flashy ride each day of the week. One day he’d be in a lifted Ford-250 with a custom paint job and the next he’d be in a Ferrari that shot flames from the exhaust.
When four wheels became too generic, Cespedes switched it up to three-wheeled vehicles straight from the future.
The total value of that Spring Training collection of cars and rides is at about $1 million, thanks to custom upgrades and special Cespedes-specific designs.
Superstar and his Super cars
One of the wealthiest athletes on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo has accumulated his fortune thanks to his cannon of a right leg and his good looks — brands salivate over the opportunity to have Ronaldo don their apparel.
Since turning professional as a teenager, the now-Juventus superstar has accumulated a staggering net worth of $400 million dollars.
Fortunately for Ronaldo, an avid car collector, his income affords him to keep up his rather expensive hobby. Just one look at the midfielder’s Instagram, which boasts almost 138 million followers, provides plenty of insight into how Ronaldo spends his money and the exclusive car collection he’s been building up for years.
To name all of Ronaldo’s super cars would be an exercise in futility, but we’ll list a few to give you an idea of what this legend is driving: Lamborghini Aventador (valued at $300,000), $320,000 Ferrari (which he crashed days after purchasing), a $3 million Bugatti, and, among many, many other cars, an Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Bentley.
Speed is the name of the game it seems, but don’t worry folks, Ronaldo appears to be a proponent of safety and is pictured driving his super cars with a seat belt, of course. That, however, doesn’t ensure he’s a good driver. Ronaldo has found himself involved in super-car crashes that totaled his precious cars.
Floyd Mayweather Watches His Money
Ah, Floyd Mayweather. Model boxer, not model citizen. Here’s a man with career earnings — through winnings, endorsements, and cameos — over $1 billion. He’s in elite company, sharing that figure with only Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. However wealthy Floyd is, that money hasn’t allowed him to buy some peace and quiet. Where Floyd goes, the spotlight goes. Where Floyd goes, the controversy goes.
Some of the controversies are troubling (domestic violence, battery) and some are just frustrating (ego, big mouth). Yet for someone who allegedly can’t read, Floyd has secured a pretty good life for himself and has purchased some outrageous things.
Topping Floyd’s list of most outrageous purchases? His $18 million watch, The Billionaire Watch from luxury jeweler Jacob and Co.
Apparently, Floyd needed a watch that could do more than tell the time. He needed a watch that could show the world that he means business, that he is business. Again, this $18 million wrist accessory is just one of the outlandish purchases Mr. Mayweather has purchased, but is easily one of the more recognizable and recognizably absurd ones in his arsenal.
See supercars are the all-too-common norms among hyper-rich athletes. But watches that are worth more than half of Tuvalu’s (a small island nation in Oceana) GDP are definitely out of the norm. Only time will tell whether or not Floyd retires the greatest boxer ever, but he will retire a man with a fancy watch that doubles as a great asset to use in case of financial emergency.
A Personal Pendant
Marquise Daniels was never the most explosive player in the NBA. He was — for the most part — a serviceable bench player who carved out a niche role for himself over his 10 years in the league. His career averages are as such: 7.9 points, 1.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds.
Arguably, Daniels is most notable — at least on court — for suffering a scary spinal injury while playing for the Boston Celtics.
Off the court, Daniels has made the headlines for having an elaborate set of tattoos that adorn his body and, above all, his gaudy necklace pendant.
But this isn’t any ordinary diamond encrusted pendant one can buy at the local pawn shop. This is a custom piece that’s as garish as it is scary.
Printed using 3D technology, this pendant is an exact replica of the dreadocked-forward’s head and features an astounding 1,300 grams — the equivalent of 2.9 pounds — of 14 karat gold. To replicate Daniels’ dreadlocks, the jeweler used fine black chains perfectly set atop the pendant.
Overall, the piece must have cost a miniature fortune, yet its cost remains a mystery to all of us outside of Daniels and his circle. What isn’t a mystery is how downright creepy the pendant is. Hopefully Daniels doesn’t wear it out to the clubs where people will either be creeped out by it or deem him a narcissist before he gets the chance to explain his black ice.
Jarrett Jack’ Heart and Sole
Former Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack has had a respectable 13-year career in the NBA. He’s been an accomplished starter and a proven bench player. And over the course of those hard 13 seasons, Jack has most certainly worn down the rubber on his shoes.
This, however, doesn’t explain the amount of shoes Jack has in his closet. His current collection boasts over 1,500 pairs of classic kicks ranging from early Jordans to the latest LeBron James signature edition. However, there is one pair missing: the Jarrett Jack signature shoe. He may be a sponsored athlete but he doesn’t have his own edition.
Ok, clearly Jack didn’t acquire this collection simply because he wore down his game day collection. He acquired this impressive collection because he’s a self-proclaimed sneakerhead. The style, he claims, looks good and is his own special way of attracting the ladies. He’s a jack of all trades on the court and a super-stylish sneaker savant off it.
And, thanks to his endorsement deal with Nike, Jack hasn’t had to do too much heavy lifting in building up his collection. Companies like Nike and Adidas are known to send their athletes truckloads of sneakers. It’s free publicity for the brand and keeps the player happy. However, Jack has, on occasion, splurged before and admitted to spending two grand on a single pair.
A Collection of Kicks
Imagine having a personal footlocker in your house. If you’re a sneaker fan, this would be a dream come true. For Joe Johnson, it became a reality.
Drafted 10th overall out of Arkansas, Johnson became one of the league’s premier scorers during the 2000s, racking up seven All-Star appearances while playing for a variety of teams. His impressive scoring prowess has been matched off court by his insane shoe collection.
A Jordan Brand sponsored athlete, Johnson has been feeling the love from the Nike subset for years now. Per Johnson, shoes began arriving to his household in droves. Any model, any color scheme, any time. The perks of signing a shoe deal with one of the flashiest athletic companies in the world.
So he started collecting the shoes but quickly ran out of room. His solution? Build a massive 500 sq.-foot shoe closet that houses upwards of 500 brand-new pairs of Jordans. Equip this 10-shelf high sneaker hall of fame with a finger scanner identity protection system and boom, a personalized Foot Locker is ready.
The estimated value of the collection and custom closet is unknown, but it’s safe to say it’s gargantuan. The real question is would Joe Johnson trade all of his kicks — every single one — for a championship ring? Would he ditch all of his custom, precious shoes for the thing players enter the NBA chasing from the start- a championship?
Bringing the Heat
The LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade Miami Heat super-team was supposed to win not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but seven championships. Talk about confidence. But that confidence didn’t exactly translate to seven NBA championships for the Heat.
Throughout Miami’s Big Three era, the Heat went to four consecutive Finals (impressive as a standalone feat) and managed to win two (back-to-back). Two Finals wins is nothing to pout about, despite it falling short of LeBron’s lofty goal. That goal, in all reality, should never have been set. It was unrealistic and put too much pressure on the team from the outset.
However, after winning the group’s first title in Miami in 2012, the Heat decided to up the ante on Mark Cuban’s South Beach celebration that took place the year prior after Cuban’s Mavericks beat the Heat. Miami’s total celebration tab came to a whopping $200,000, nearly double what Cuban and his team spent after their win.
That sum included the cool $75,000 bottle of Ace of Spade Champagne the team guzzled. When the Heat repeated as champions the following season, the scene was a bit more tame and the team only — only — spent a bit over $100,000 on their party, all of which was comped by the club owner.
Sharks in the…Living Room
Gilbert Arenas, aka Agent Zero, was the face of the Washington Wizards. He was their most prolific player and elite scorer, which earned him a massive contract: $111 million over six years. All was going well for Arenas until he and his teammate Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other in the locker room.
That marked Arenas’ downfall in D.C. and in the NBA at large.
But before Arenas found himself preoccupied with the law, he was fitting his D.C.-area mansion with three custom shark tanks. Arenas is known to be a big spender. He’s got a crazy shoe collection, gambles like there’s no tomorrow, and has a great car collection, but nothing tops his personal shark collection.
Costing about seven grand per month just to feed and maintain the sharks, these creatures cost Arenas a pretty penny, and that’s not including the cost to build and install the custom tanks. Overall, when Arenas put his mansion on the market, the listing price was a surprisingly low $3.5 million.
Lots of sunken costs for the former All-Star, none more ridiculous than upgrading his aquarium to a full-blown shark tank. Maybe next time Agent Zero buys a new house, he’ll think about decorating it with some more practical, less lavish things. For now, Gilbert, lets keep the sharks in the oceans and stick to sharks in your house only on the television.
Black Jesus Appeases
It’s amazing how much of a total bonehead J.R. Smith is on the court. He’s notorious for making foolish mental errors, one of which cost his team a game during the NBA Finals. Yet, despite these mental errors and a reputation for being a dirty player, Smith has racked up career earnings over $70 million and a net worth of about $20 million.
So, it’s even more amazing that the man has failed to pay people back. How is it even possible to be stingy with that kind of money? How is it even possible to hold someone else’s money and not pay them back promptly?
Apparently, for J.R. Smith, fairly easy. After ordering $25,000 worth of jewelry, including a garish pendant depicting a black Jesus worth about $15,000, Smith decided he was above paying the jeweler back for his services. The result? A lawsuit. Smith was being sued for $48,000 — the original cost of the jewelry plus legal fees and interest.
Shame on Smith, a man with deep pockets, for not paying someone back. But also, why on earth would the jeweler not take a down payment on custom jewelry, especially when dealing with a character like Smith? In the end, let this be a lesson for all future jewelers: even high-profile celebrities will turn their backs and wallets on you.
Curt’s Epic Collapse
Curt Schilling is one of baseball’s most decorated and dominant pitchers. With three World Series victories, six All-Star appearances, and a member of the 3,000-strikeout club, Schilling solidified himself as one of the game’s greats.
What he wasn’t great at was managing the video game company he founded in during his final season of baseball: 38 Studios. In fact, he was very bad at it.
When Schilling opted to try his hand in the video game industry, the pitcher went all in and took the same approach to winning in business as he did on the mound. Aggressive and full-speed ahead. Strike everyone out and dominate your opponent.
The results were drastically different than Curt expected and he struck out in three pitches. The demise of 38 Studios was swift, dramatic, unexpected, and complex. Without diving into every detail, Schilling invested nearly every penny he earned from his illustrious career. That move backfired and when the company went down in flames, the pitcher lost everything. $50 million to be exact.
Fifty million squandered on a video game company that left hundreds of lives in limbo and financial crisis. Fifty million burned on a company that produced one video game. Besides, losing all that money, Schilling managed to lose the respect of most. As a pitcher, everyone held Curt in high esteem. In retirement, he’s been bashed and criticized for numerous episodes aside from 38 Studios.
Jet Life Postponed- Indefinitely
No Tippin Pippen. That’s the unbecoming, unflattering nickname Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen earned thanks to his awful reputation of being one of the cheapest athletes known to man. Although the lockdown defender earned about $120 million throughout his impressive Hall of Fame career, the man didn’t know how to spend money on others. But he did know how to spend money on himself.
That was fully evident when Pippen decided to purchase a private jet for $4.3 million. Pippen, however, failed to do his due diligence and found out, only after he purchased the jet, that it needed an additional $1 million in repairs before it could fly.
Being the penny-pincher he was, Pippen refused to do any repairs and the jet never left the ground. Grounded without a maiden journey. How sad. A slight silver lining for Pippen — and slight is an understatement — was him being awarded $2 million in a lawsuit after he sued his attorneys for negligence in arranging the purchase of a lemon.
Hopefully Pip didn’t cancel any of his frequent flyer cards, because business class it is. Relegated to the back of the plane like the rest of plebeians who didn’t star in the NBA. Sit with the rest of us, Scott, enjoy the ample leg room and free refreshments like peanuts and one can of soda if you’re lucky.
With global warming and gas prices steadily on the rise, fuel efficiency is more prevalent than ever. But if you’re Chad Johnson (also known as Ochocinco), style, not ecological or economic preservation, takes precedence over all else. Even over performing well on the gridiron.
After turning 32, Johnson decided to treat himself in a big way. He went and splurged on a Freightliner M2-106 crew cab, or, in other words, the front half of an 18-wheeler. This $150,000 behemoth of a vehicle guzzled gas at an alarming rate, getting only six miles per gallon. Think about how brutally inefficient that truck must have been. Almost like the Bengals come playoffs.
Fully customized for the receiver from logos to lights, this special rig took half a year to customize to Johnson’s liking. He wanted every bell and every whistle. Johnson wanted the inside and outside to match his personality to a t.
Predictably, this awful investment, or birthday present, set Johnson back financially and, today, the receiver is facing financial issues that may have been less severe had he just purchased a sports car or hummer. Chad, financial tip number one: leave the big rigs to the drivers on the highway hauling cargo across state lines. They need those trucks, you don’t.
Money Under the Bridge
Flamboyant. Cocky. Loud-mouthed. Disrespectful. Classless. Golfer John Daly has been described as a lot of things, often negative, throughout his time on the links. He’s drawn the ire of fans, media, and fellow golfers on tour for his outlandish outfits and childish behavior. He’s a great talent that has squandered tremendous amounts of ability and wealth.
Well established as one of the most prominent spots gamblers in history, Daly admitted during an ESPN 30 for 30 short film that he’d lost over $98 million gambling and has won about $45 million. That nets to a cringe-worthy $53 million in losses.
If you thought that was wasteful, Daly is here to prove you otherwise. After getting into an argument with his wife about his gambling problems, Daly threw $65K, in cash, off a bridge to prove a point. He wanted to emphasize that although he had a gambling problem, his winnings still contributed to a great lifestyle.
In theory, there were more economically viable ways to prove this, but that’s just a guess. However, at the end of the day, all someone will have left is their reputation. And to John Daly, his reputation was almost priceless. It was worth everything he had on him at the time. So maybe him throwing money like that actually proved that Daly is a man of character.
Up the Ante
The Black Mamba, one of the most ferocious competitors in NBA history, and a man who liked his champagne. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was a man of many talents. He was a lock down defender and could score in droves. He’s an MVP and champion. His quest for greatness cannot be stopped. When Bryant decided to hang up his sneakers, his competitive spirit carried on into retirement.
He turned his focus from basketball to business and won an Oscar for a short film he produced based off a poem he wrote. What does all this mean? That Bryant strives for greatness, no matter the field, no matter the circumstances.
So, when Bryant was at a grand opening for a nightclub and noticed someone buying elite bottles of champagne, he couldn’t stop himself from entering a champagne buying competition. Both Bryant and the other patron, poker player Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, kept upping the ante on some very expensive bubbly ($1,400 Cristal champagne to be exact).
But like most endeavors Bryant enters, he was determined to win, and he did. He ended up spending $21,000 on 15 bottles of bubbly just to prove a point. He didn’t even crack open a bottle. Kobe simply paid the tab and left, victorious. Score more points, spend more money. Doesn’t matter, only winning does.
Chad Johnson aquarium bed
If there was one thing Chad Johnson could do well, at least off the football field, it was spending money. Johnson didn’t pull any punches when it came to shelling out top-dollar for lavish goods and accessories, arguably none gaudier than his aquarium bed and living room. While most people would be comfortable viewing exotic fishes and sharks at a distance, Johnson wanted a more intimate experience.
Thus, the inspiration for a fish tank in lieu of a headboard on his bed was born. But the headboard wasn’t enough. Johnson proceeded to place another fish tank in his living room. As V V Brown once said, “Baby, there’s a shark in the water!”
Allen Iverson clothes
Allen Iverson was a great baller; what he wasn’t was a great money manager. Iverson made over $200 million in his career and somehow blew nearly all of it. How? In a myriad of ways, but none more excessive than refusing to travel with luggage on road trips while playing in the NBA. Yes, packing clothes and wheeling a suitcase from point A to point B was apparently too cumbersome and tedious for the talented scorer to deal with.
So what was Iverson’s solution? Buying clothes and jewelry when he landed in the away city. Yes, Iverson would go on road trips and buy enough clothes to keep him stylish, presumably jettisoning them before returning to Philly because of his scorn for suitcases and luggage.
Steve Smith Hawaii vacation
Hands down, this is one of the nicest gestures in pro sports, albeit one of the most expensive ones. Former Carolina receiver Steve Smith earned his fifth Pro Bowl invitation in 2012, and he did not want to make the trip alone, and he felt he didn’t deserve to do so either. So, being the selfless receiver that he was, Smith comped the entire Panthers receiving corps tickets to Hawaii.
Although those receivers wouldn’t be taking the field with him physically, they’d be there in spirit, just as Smith envisioned it. “All of those guys ran routes to get me open,” Smith said. “For me to sit here and say I did it on my own… it’s unfair.”
Arian Foster Segways
Back in 2012, Segways, those awkward, vertical two-wheel scooters, were all the rage. Walking was long overrated. Bikes were a thing of the past. And skateboards were reserved for California bros named Chad. Another relic from 2012 that was in vogue was Arian Foster, the Pro Bowl running back for the Texans.
Foster was quite fond of Segways but felt that his linemen were a bit jealous of him zooming around the practice facility on one, rather than walking. For Christmas, Foster decided to erase all of the jealousy and buy his entire offensive line Segways. After all, a running back is nothing without their O-line, and what better way to reward them than giving them goofy scooters?
2012 must have been the year of excessive spending. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was one of the richest players in baseball, and money was never a problem. That being said, spending $17,000 on clothes for your niece and girlfriend in a one-day shopping spree is plain stupid. Yet that is exactly what A-Rod did at a boutique clothing store in New York. Maybe A-Rod’s niece had a taste for the finer things in life, but did she need to buy clothes whose value is on par with a new sedan?
Probably not. The other issue with spending 17 grand on clothes for a girl? She will outgrow them, and second-hand clothing stores will only offer pennies on the dollar for her expensive fabric. Oh well, these are the dilemmas you face when you sign a 10-year, $275 million contract.