“My shoes cost more than your house” is one of the most famous Ric Flair sound bites of all time. It’s funny, preposterous, offensive, but the best thing about it is that it’s not real. Buying shoes worth more than someone else’s house would be a particularly dumb thing to do, considering how hard it is to make money in the world today. Athletes buy some pretty outrageous things, which somewhat explains why 78% of NFL and 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy five years after retiring from professional sports. However, we can be pretty certain that none of them would buy such expensive shoes, right? RIGHT?
Well, as you can see by this list, some of them spend money on stuff that is even more ridiculous. At least Ric Flair looked pretty good in his expensive shoes, but some of the things on this list are pretty ugly and rather disposable. Athletes buy stupid things not because they didn’t have anything coming from poor backgrounds and want to spoil themselves after all the years they didn’t have money. Instead they buy ridiculous things simply because they can. I mean, we all buy stuff we don’t really need. Do you really need those $495 Lonzo Ball sneakers or that single malt that you can’t drink due to its strong taste?
The 15 NBA stars happened to be rich enough to buy stuff that was more dumb and needless than anything we could ever dream of. These are the 15 dumbest things NBA stars bought after signing a huge contract.
15. Jerome Williams: A Personalized Mascot
You can ask anyone you want about the original Junk Yard Dog (sorry DeMarre Carroll) and they’ll probably say he’s a great guy. Jerome Williams was beloved by the fans in Detroit, Toronto, Chicago and New York for his hustle and hard play. While in Detroit he had his own cheering section, website and his own… personalized mascot, which looked like a (you guessed it) junk yard dog. The great thing about it was that it made appearances in schools and hospitals to reach out to young children and teens. The bad thing about it was that it was… a mascot of a junk yard dog, which someone spent actual money on. His intentions were good, so this is more superfluous than actually dumb.
14. DeShawn Stevenson: A Personal ATM
Stevenson is most known for his beef with LeBron James. LeBron totally owned Stevenson’s Wizards during the Eastern Conference playoffs, but his Mavericks managed to steal the win from the Heat in the 2011 Finals. Stevenson played a minor role in stopping James, yet he celebrated as if he single-handedly contained one of the best players in league history. The funniest thing about his success was that Stevenson wasn’t even on the Mavericks a year later. Instead, he was signed by the Nets. As a member of that team Stevenson proudly posed in his home with an actual ATM in his kitchen. According to TMZ he paid $3,500 for installing it. It charged a $4.50 transaction fee and was refilled with $20,000 a few times a year.
13. Shaquille O’Neal: Fish Tanks In His Car
During his impressive basketball career Shaq made around $292 million just from team contracts. It’s estimated that his overall earnings were close to $700 million. Shaq was not only one of the most dominant players in league history, but also one of the most entertaining. Shaq was a big guy, which explains why he fused two cars into one to comfortably fit his 7’1″ 300 pound frame. What can’t be explained is his insistence on putting fish tanks in bizarre places. Because he liked to listen to his music really loud in his car, the fish in his car aquarium (yes, you read correctly) were dead before O’Neal arrived to the arena. He also has a custom aquarium built into a semi truck frame. Incredible.
12. Jarret Jack: Over 1,500 Pairs Of Sneakers
Jarret Jack was never what you can call an NBA superstar. He was a legitimate starter during just one season, even though he’s been in the league for 13 years. He’s making up for it during his 14th season, now as a member of the surprisingly good New York Knicks. He never signed large contracts (at least by NBA standards) but he apparently earned enough to buy 1,500 pairs of sneakers. Some of them are really rare and most he has never even worn. Why is this purchase dumb? Apart from the fact that he’s never going to wear some of these shoes and it may be treated as an investment, it would be validated if Jack would be making superstar money. He should be smarter about spending it though. He’s nearing retirement and you can bet that once that NBA money is gone, some of these shoes will be as well.
11. Latrell Sprewell: A Yacht He Couldn’t Pay For
Latrell Sprewell was one of the most explosive shooting guards/small forwards during his time in the NBA. He was instrumental to the success of the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves. He made over $100 million during his playing career, but could’ve made over $120 if he didn’t turn down his final contract with the Timberwolves. The $21 million they offered him for three years of his services was turned down by Sprewell, who explained that he had a family to feed. Apparently feeding the family meant splurging on a $1.5 million yacht. Clearly “Spree” was a nickname well-earned – the yacht was seized by US Marshals as the player eventually went bankrupt. His is definitely a cautionary tale of how not to negotiate a contract.
10. Danny Granger: Personal Bat Cave
Who doesn’t love Batman? Apart from having the best villains (sorry Spider-Man), he’s a dark, deep and interesting character. Danny Granger decided to show his devotion to the Dark Knight in a very peculiar way – by building his own Bat Cave. He made his intentions known as early as 2008, stating that if he ever bought his own house, he would build a bat cave in it. It’s hard to say if he kept his word, as the updates regarding his special room stopped around 2012. Back then he was talking to reporters about meeting with contractors and designers. The cave was supposed to have a moat and be based in his house in Albuquerque. It’s completion is a secret that’ll never be known, but just the fact he consulted on going through with it is ridiculous.
9. Gilbert Arenas: A Very Expensive Fish Tank
Agent Zero/Hibachi was at one point one of the most exciting ballers in the NBA. He played like a man possessed, predicted game scores and signed large contracts. In 2008 Arenas signed a six-year, $111 million deal with the Washington Wizards. He signed the deal after playing just 13 games a year before due to a knee injury. It was a sign of things to come, as Arenas never regained his form and was involved in a very shameful locker room incident. He received the last check from his giant deal in 2016, but he was still verging on bankruptcy. This becomes understandable when you consider things he spent his fortune on. One of them was his $1 million shark tank. He also needed to spend $5,000 a month to feed them, plus employed a caretaker. Arenas had to remove the aquarium to sell the mansion it was situated in. Just look how huge it is!
8. Eddy Curry: The Most “Expensivest” Cable
If you’re a true 2 Chainz fan, you’ve probably seen his very entertaining GQ Internet show “Most Expensivest S___.” In it the superstar rapper tries bottled water worth $100,000 or eats a $295 burger. If he would frequent Eddy Curry’s apartment during the centre’s days as a Knick, he would be able to watch what was probably the most “expensivest” cable. Curry wasn’t very good with money, as he once took out a five-month $570,000 loan at 85% interest. He also overpaid for his New York apartment, which he was just renting. The one expense that stands out the most is his $1,075 monthly cable bill. Nowadays his six year/$60 million deal doesn’t stand out as much, but then (2005-2011) he was one of the highest-paid players in the league.
7. Dennis Rodman: An Enormous Record Collection
Dennis Rodman was a very controversial athlete and he remains a polarizing person to this day. He was as much capable of kicking a cameraman during a game as he was of being nice and generous to random fans. The fact that he considers Kim Jong-Un to be a regular person paints him as either extremely emphatic or extremely stupid. The fact that he’s gone bankrupt despite earning $50 million on team contracts alone makes him definitely the latter when it comes to handling money. Part of it was lost on the purchase of his $8 million mansion. Apparently, two thirds of the mansion was filled with Rodman’s enormous record collection. The man said that he would rather lose his kidneys than his albums, which shows he really loves his music. This was before mp3 files and streaming, so we can understand his large collection.
6. J.R. Smith: Private Jeweller
J.R. Smith is a goofball, but one of the easy-to-love kind. Even president Obama joked about his shirtless celebration of his first NBA championship. J.R. is also a respectful shooting guard – a streaky scorer, who when he’s on can lift his team with his three point shooting. When he’s not riding on his motorized scooter or inviting fans to take a bike ride with him, J.R. Smith also likes to splash cash. Back with the Knicks he was reported to own a jewelry company close to $50,000. It was only because the issue went public that the world learned about his ugly “Black Jesus Piece.” Jesus’ face was surprisingly similar to that of J.R. himself. It was also worth $25,000.
5. Joe Johnson: A Room For His Sneakers
Joe Johnson one-ups Jarret Jack in the sneakerhead department. He signed a six-year, $119 million contract after making the All-NBA third team, which is a sign of the Hawks’ desperation to keep talented players more than a sign of his talent. He obviously never lived up to that huge deal, which doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good NBA player. Apart from having a collection comparable to Jack’s, Johnson really splurged on his sneaker closet. Only JJ can enter, as it has a finger-print security system. The room is set to keep special temperature, good for preservation of the shoe’s materials. It also has a bed if Johnson wants to take a nap there – which he sometimes does.
4. Al Jefferson: A Giant Bed
Pardon the quality of the above image, but that is a huge basketball player in an absolutely huge bed. Al Jefferson is a big dude. At 6’10” it seems obvious why he’s playing centre in the NBA. For a period of time he was one of the best centres in the league and he was well compensated for his exceptional play. Last season was actually his first since 2005-06 in which he scored under 12 points and grabbed under 6 rebounds per game. In order to rest his big frame Al Jefferson ordered a custom-made big bed. What’s dumb about the purchase? Well, first of all, the bed cost him $23,000. Why was it so expensive? Because it’s 10-by-12 feet! Is he organizing sleepovers for the whole team?
3. Marquis Daniels: Personalized Jewelry
Who wouldn’t want to see themselves decorated in diamonds. I mean literary being made of diamonds. Nobody? Well, Marquis Daniels is not nobody! He was a great player to root for who arrived into the league un-drafted and unwanted, but managed to establish himself as one of the best bench players for years. He wasn’t a particularly big earner, but made enough to afford a 3D diamond studded likeness of his head, which was hanging on a chain from his actual one. Not a smart move. That level of vanity is pretty ridiculous, and considering he didn’t have an illustrious career he should have put that money to better use for his retirement.
2. Scottie Pippen: A Private Jet
Scottie Pippen is one of the stingiest athletes ever. Because of his fear of financial insecurity Pippen signed a long term contract with the Bulls and was for a long time one of the most underpaid players in the league. Once he got the chance, Pippen decided to earn as much as possible on the Rockets and, later on, on the Blazers. When he eventually got his money, Pippen decided to spend some of it in the most ridiculous ways. The most significant was splurging on a $3.4 million private jet. He didn’t take into account the cost of running the aircraft, let alone maintaining it and storing it. In consequence his very own aircraft never left the ground. Talk about a ridiculous purchase!
1. Robert Swift: All The Illegal Things
Remember Robert Swift? The centre was picked by the Seattle Supersonics ahead of Kris Humphries, Tony Allen or Trevor Ariza. The fact that these players are mentioned as the ones passed-on by the Sonics shows how big of a bust Swift was. He played in 97 games during his five seasons on the Sonics/Thunder. There was more to his on-court issues than his injuries. Swift had mental health issues, which played into his substance abuse. He wasn’t the highest paid guy on the team, but he could afford supporting a group of people that can be described lightly as “the wrong crowd.” After Swift went bankrupt, the foreclosed house he left behind was filled with beer bottles, firearms and ammunition. This was in 2013. In 2014 he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm. In 2015 he was arrested for an attempted home invasion. Swift was under the influence during the incident. This is more tragic than it is ridiculous.
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