While NBA players and other athletes alike definitely love the fame they get and the fact they get to play a game for a living, it is hard to argue that the millions of dollars aren’t the best part about their jobs. Most of the players in the NBA see more money by their early 20s than most of us will see in our entire lives.
So while they have all this money, that doesn’t mean they automatically know what to do with it. The opposite is actually true a lot of the time. Throughout the history of the NBA, players have purchased some very strange, weird or just plain unnecessary things.
This article will look at 15 things in particular that NBA players purchased that just made our heads scratch. After seeing the purchases like the ones on this list, it should be no surprise to you why so many athletes go broke. While some do indeed spend and invest their money wisely, that cannot be said about the NBA players you are about to read about!
15. Jarrett Jack’s Shoe Collection
While having a shoe collection is a pretty common thing and isn’t inherently weird, Jarrett Jack might have gone a little too far with this. Jack has been a successful point guard in the NBA for many years and has made millions and millions of dollars. He has used at least a few hundred thousand dollars of that money towards shoes. Jack has more than 1,500 pairs in his collection, with many of them being expensive and rare shoes. He has about 2,000 cubic feet of closet space dedicated just to shoes, which is pretty weird to us! To get a sense of just how many pairs he has, he could almost wear a new pair of shoes each and every day for nearly five years.
14. Latrell Sprewell’s Yacht
During his heyday, Sprewell was one of the best scorers and a very successful scorer. He also made a ton of cash, but he wasn’t without his issues. He had a notorious fight with a coach and retired from the league after he felt insulted by a multi-million dollar deal, claiming that it wasn’t enough to feed his family. His problems followed him into retirement as he could continue to afford to pay for his massive $1.5 million yacht. He stopped paying it and it was eventually sold at auction for much less than he bought it for. Sprewell also had a house that got foreclosed, and he likely could have kept it if he hadn’t have spent so much on a yacht.
13. Antoine Walker’s Vehicles
When you are looking for the poster child of the financial instability among NBA players, look no further than Antoine Walker. Despite earning more than $100 million in his NBA career, Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010. He reportedly had an entourage of dozens of different people that he paid for, and a number of different pieces of real estate. However, it was his love of cars that caused him the most damage. While most extremely rich people might want a luxury car or two, Walker took it to the next level. He had nearly 10 expensive vehicles, with the crown jewel being a Maybach, which he paid around $450,000 for.
12. Scottie Pippen’s Jet
Unless you are a billionaire, there is really no reason to purchase your own personal jet. But if you do, you should probably make sure that it actually works. Unfortunately for Pippen, that is not something he did. In 2002, Pippen thought it would be a good idea to purchase a $4.3 million Gulfstream jet. However, instead of getting a jet to fly around the world with, Pippen got a grounded jet that still needed about $1 million in repairs so it could fly. It was grounded for years while Pippen sued his own lawyer for missing the inspection on the plane. Pippen eventually got paid $2 million for the ordeal but was still in the hole for over $2 million. Why you wouldn’t make sure a plane can fly before you by it is beyond us.
11. Shaquille O’Neal’s “Superman” Items
While everyone seems to have a nickname and many love theirs, Shaq’s love for his Superman moniker goes pretty far. Not only that, but he is a huge fan of the Superman brand and if you know about some of the stuff he has bought, this shouldn’t surprise you. He has a Superman-themed bed, and SUV branded out with Superman and more. His love for Superman has cost him tens of thousands of dollars, which is no small investment. Shaq is worth hundreds of millions, so he’ll be fine, but these purchases are definitely weird and deserve a spot on this list.
10. Joe Johnson’s Shoe Collection
Earlier we mentioned the shoe collection of Jarrett Jack, and now we move on to a different shoe collection, one that is owned by Joe Johnson. Joe Johnson owns well over 1,000 pairs of Jordans and has a bed in his shoe closet; now that’s dedication to the craft of being a sneakerhead. Also, Johnson says he is the only one allowed to enter the room and has a fingerprint scanner to get in. Despite this, he and some of his friends sometimes hang out in his shoe closet. Yes, it’s that big. Johnson is still playing and contributing to the NBA, so not like this is an overly irresponsible financial decision, but did he really need to put a bed, a basketball hoop and strategic lighting in your shoe closet?
9. Kobe Bryant And His Cristal
Kobe Bryant is a very rich man and one of the best basketball players in history. If there was one word to describe Kobe, it would competitive. This was on full display during a night in Vegas in 2007. He and his wife were at the opening of a new nightclub, as was pro poker player Antonio Esfandiari. Esfandiari ordered a few bottles of Cristal (which cost about $1,400 a piece), followed by Kobe buying another five. They went back and forth and it ended when Kobe order 15 more and walked away before taking a sip. In other words, he dropped about half of what the average American makes on Cristal that he didn’t even drink.
8. Danny Granger’s Batcave
Out of any of the weird inclusions on this list, this is one of the single weirdest of them all. Why he is out of the league and not heard from much anymore, Danny Granger used to be one of the best players in the NBA and was the leader of the Indiana Pacers. So while he was great on the court, the same might not have been able to be said about his interior design skills. Instead of making normal additions and improvements to his home, Granger decided to build a Batcave in his New Mexico home, completely underground and complete with a rotating parking spot for his car. While the plans were on hold a few years back since the lockout, here’s hoping Granger got this done.
7. Al Jefferson’s Bed
A bed is very important. We spent about a third of our life sleeping, so it is important to be relaxed and comfortable. While being an NBA player is great, most of these guys are pretty large and thus, a regular sized bed might not cut it for them. This was the problem plaguing the near-7-foot-tall Al Jefferson. Deciding he wanted to get a good night sleep, he decided to drop an astounding $23,000 on it, and it measures a crazy 12 feet by 10 feet. This might be the biggest bed on the planet and while he is a big man, there is no reason to have a bed this big. This bed is bigger than some people’s rooms!
6. Allen Iverson’s Jewelry
Allen Iverson was the player that got many different fans into the NBA and he was an incredibly popular and successful player during his well over 10+ years in the NBA. He will go down as one of the most prolific scorers ever and will always be remembered as a star. However, despite all his fame and love from fans, he has struggled financially a bit since his retirement. Sure, he has a flashy lifestyle, drives flashy cars, and pays a lot of bills, but it is also his jewelry that has cost him a pretty penny throughout his life. Even when he is struggling in life, he still finds the time and money to get more chains and is the proud owner of many many pieces that surely cost him more than he’d like to admit.
5. The Miami Heat’s Bar Tab
When you win a championship, it is a completely natural reaction to want to go out and live it up with your teammates and fans. This is especially true when you are the Miami Heat who finally got their first title of the Big Three era. They partied hard at LIV in Miami and the amount they spent was in excess of $200,000, IN A SINGLE NIGHT. That’s a crazy amount and they purchased dozens of bottles of alcohol worth more than a thousand dollars a piece, and even a bottle of Dom that cost $23,000. While the team can obviously afford this, that is quite a bit to drop on a single night.
4. The Dallas Mavericks’ Bar Tab
We now go from the Heat’s 2012 championship bar tab, to the bar tab of the team that beat them in the Finals the year before, the Dallas Mavericks. Like the Heat, the Mavericks decided to go out and party hard after winning the title. And since it was a road win, they partied it up at LIV in Miami. Despite only partying there for about four hours, they spent a lot of money, over $100,000 to be exact. While the total number is less than the Heat spent, Mavs owner Mark Cuban shouldered the entire $110,000+ bill himself and has since said that the party was worth every penny. Again, it seems wild to us to spend six figures on a party!
3. Gilbert Arenas’ Shark Tank
Gilbert Arenas is a very interesting character. He was an amazing scorer and star in the NBA, but his career was over just about as soon as it began. He also signed what was probably the craziest contract in NBA history. He signed for $111 million over six years but didn’t even play out the entirety of his contract due to injuries and other issues. So he was getting millions and millions being at home. He had made a laundry list of purchases that could have made this list, but his weirdest is probably his giant shark tank in his home. This shark tank features expensive sharks, is giant, and costs over $6,000 a month to maintain!
2. Eddy Curry’s Cable Bill
While he was a talented scorer, Eddy Curry was known for his lack of a work ethic and his laziness. Despite this, he had a lot of natural talent and was a solid contributor on offense, so he made a lot of money during his NBA career. Instead of saving and spending wisely, he got a little crazy in terms of his spending. He has a personal chef that cost him thousands a month, a fleet of pricey cars and a cable bill that cost over $1,000 a month. That is an extremely huge cable bill, especially for a guy who is rarely home and travels a lot for his job. It is no shock that Curry has found himself in money problems with purchases like this being made.
1. Marquis Daniels’ Chain
This might not only be the worst purchase of an NBA player, but might be the weirdest and worst purchase any athlete has ever made. Marquis Daniels was never a star in the NBA, but was a solid bench player for many teams. In 2009, Daniels was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and wanted a piece of jewelry. Instead of getting something normal, he got a 3-D printed necklace that featured his own face. While it was never announced how much it was, based on the price of diamonds and gold, along with labor, this piece of jewelry likely cost over $50,000. That is far too much for a piece like this, especially when he didn’t even make as much as many NBA players do.
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