Sports stars across the globe live a life that many of us can only imagine in our wildest dreams. Enjoying success on the field, being adored by millions and having a bank account that would make your eyes water, as they really do have it all. So it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise when our athlete role models splurge their well-earned cash. Some spend it more wisely than others, investing in property, whereas the vast majority of them tend to splash out on the most mind-numbingly daft things money can buy. We’ve all seen that money can often bring about the downfall of an athlete by causing them to act in increasingly bizarre fashion – Dennis Rodman, Mike Tyson, Diego Maradona and Antoine Walker, to name, have all seen their fortunes vanish before their eyes.
However, there are some athletes out there who prefer a more simple approach to life. Shunning the glamorous lifestyle of their peers, many rather live in modest surroundings with their loved ones around them. It may sound insane, or torture depending on how well you get along with your family, but take a minute to think about it. Athletes are required to stick to a strict training regime, are often approached by shady characters wanting something for nothing off them and many find themselves sold down the river before even reaching their peak and costing them endless legal fees. So, why not keep it simple? Why not live with your parents? Two things are guaranteed – you’ll never go hungry and you’ll never have a minute of peace! It seems to work for these athletes, as we look at 15 stars who stayed at home way longer than others.
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15 C.J. McCollum - NBA Player
One of the most likable players in the NBA at the moment, C.J. McCollum was drafted to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2013. Having finished his education and stayed out of trouble, McCollum decided to bring along his mother to Portland not long after he broke his foot in his rookie season with the Trail Blazers. It was a remarkable feat as McCollum’s college career had been cut short due to injury, yet he managed to become the first Lehigh player to be drafted into the NBA. Showing signs of promise, the Trail Blazers quickly locked up their second best player with a huge contract extension, keeping McCollum with them until 2021. Ever since being drafted, McCollum has lived with his mother in their adopted hometown. In a bizarre twist of fate, McCollum’s example would be followed by the next entrant on our list…
14 Damian Lillard - NBA Player
Damian Lillard has a very similar situation to C.J. McCollum. From a simple background, Lillard would go on to complete his education after he was drafted to the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard began to miss his family, specifically his mother, when he was attending college in Utah. Shortly after being drafted, Lillard flew his mother out to live with him. But in an interview with WSJ, Lillard revealed that Mama Lillard runs a tight ship; “If I eat and leave my plate on the counter, she'll be like, put your plate in the sink, If the trash is right there, she'll be like, somebody needs to take the trash out. She's still my mom.” Both Lillard and McCollum’s mothers are as close as their sons are, with the four of them often hanging out or watching the latest UFC bout. Portland fans should be happy to know their incredible backcourt duo is being properly taken care of at home and are extremely close on top of that.
13 Jeff Teague - NBA Player
Keeping with our trend of NBA players, despite earning a whopping $8.8 million this year, Indiana Pacers point guard Jeff Teague moved back home when he was traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the Indiana Pacers in 2016. Although he already owned a house in Indianapolis, Teague decided to give it to his parents when he was re-signed to the Atlanta Hawks in 2013. However, upon his trade to the Pacers, Teague decided to simply move in with his parents for the remainder of the season before purchasing a new home for himself. Unsurprisingly, his parents asked (or probably demanded) that they keep the master bedroom for themselves, meaning that Adidas endorsed multi-millionaire Jeff Teague is living in his parents' basement. When Fox Sports 97.5 FM asked whether he has to be home by a certain hour, Teague said; “I don’t think I’ve had a curfew since I turned 18.” But there are some upsides to living at home “My dad mows the lawn, so I got out of that one.”
12 Aly Raisman - Gymnast
Despite being a multi-time Olympic, World Championship, National Championship and Pacific Rim gold medallist (along with silver and bronze medals to bring her medal tally to an incredible 31), 22 year old Aly Raisman prefers to keep her family around her. At a time when most of us her age would be trying to get away from our families, the eldest of four finds solace in knowing her beloved family are there to comfort her. Raisman insists that her family have never pressured her into anything, instead acting as a rock when she doubts herself or, as was the case following the 2012 Olympics, decided to take a year off. Their simple family life has even been the subject of a reality TV series on Lifetime, entitled Gold Medal Families, and they recently moved into a spacious mansion in Needham, Massachusetts.
11 Lou Gehrig - Baseball Player
One of the greatest athletes the United States has ever produced, Lou Gehrig’s career was cut tragically short when he fell victim to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is commonly referred to as ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ today. Between 1925 and 1939, Gehrig would go on to play an incredible 2,130 consecutive games, a record which stood up until 1995 when Cal Ripken Jr surpassed it. His legacy lives on through the statue dedicated to him at Yankee Stadium along with the Lou Gehrig Award, given to the MLB player who shows the most integrity each season. Throughout his professional career, Gehrig remained at home with his mother up to the age of 30 and only moved out when he married Eleanor Twitchell in 1933.
10 Rafael Nadal - Tennis Player
Regarded as one of the most influential and greatest players to grace the tennis court, Rafael Nadal remains in his hometown of Manacor, Spain. It’s a simple lifestyle for one of the sports most down to earth players, who has fourteen Grand Slams to his name and has been ranked the best in the world on multiple occasions over the course of his professional career. One of Nadal’s most remarkable feats is that of his eight successive Monto-Carlo Masters victories, the only modern era player to achieve this. Yet all of this success has never been a distraction to the humble Spaniard, who revealed in his autobiography; “My family had always been the holy, untouchable core of my life, my centre of stability and a living album of my wonderful childhood memories.”
9 Bob Hayes - NFL Player And Former Olympian
Bob Hayes had a career that seems only possible to achieve on the big screen, yet it came at a price to the man affectionately known as ‘Bullet’. Having earned gold for the United States in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Hayes would also tie with the 400-metre team relay world record with a time of 39.06. From there, Hayes embarked on a sparkling NFL career where he enjoyed success both on and off the pitch, culminating in a Super Bowl victory in 1972 with the Dallas Cowboys – becoming the first NFL player to win an Olympic gold medal and Super Bowl ring. Yet, following his retirement, trouble soon reared its ugly head as Hayes struggled with his drug and alcohol addiction, eventually forcing him to move back home with his parents, a shadow of his former self.
8 Yao Ming - NBA Player
Yao Ming is often referred to as The Gentle Giant of Basketball and his laid back attitude is a testament to his nickname. Ming would become one of China’s biggest international sporting celebrities when he signed with the Houston Rockets for an average of $10.333 million per season. Most young mega-stars would probably buy themselves a mansion, but Yao was a little different.
Typically, many Chinese men remain with their parents up until they marry, however Ming flew over his family to the United States so they could enjoy a new standard of life and allow Ming to feel at home in a foreign land, as he was often bemused at the media attention his NBA career brought.
7 Brandon Saad - NHL Player
Christened ‘The Man-Child’ when he joined the Blackhawks, Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad was quick to reveal that he likes to spend his free time playing hockey with his buddies and living at home with his parents and he’s never heard the end of it since. However, Saad isn’t annoyed by his new pet name, often laughing it off; (teammates) "Kane and Sharp came up with that one, they're having fun with it, and I enjoy it too. I guess it's because I'm big for my age and I'm a young kid.” Being of Syrian descent, his father migrated to the United States at 18. Saad is eager to see his extended family move to the US in an attempt to flee the ongoing Syrian Conflict.
6 Joe Flacco - NFL Player
Joe Flacco is a player who divides the majority of fans right now as to whether he really is an elite quarterback or a solid player who was in the right place at the right time when Baltimore won the Super Bowl. There’s no denying that Flacco is a winner in the NFL, yet his personal life is a little different than that of the average NFL star. There’s no denying that for a man that pockets a hefty amount of cash, he is quite frugal with his money. Many were baffled by his decision to go home and live with his parents during his first two NFL offseasons. Yet, like so many on this list, Flacco is a family man at heart and has admitted that he is a good old New Jersey homeboy. When Flacco won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, Flacco wasn’t out in New Orleans with his teammates, instead throwing a quiet party for his family and friends.
5 Chris McAlister - NFL Player
Similar to Bob Hayes, not everyone on this list has found themselves living at home because they wanted to but because events outside their control or personal demons clutched onto them and dragged their careers into a downward spiral. In 1999, Chris McAlister was one of the hottest young stars in the NFL. Fast forward 10 years and he was penniless and living back at home. A series of unfortunate events led to McAlister’s dramatic downfall, with two years on the sidelines due to injury leaving him without a dollar to his name – he had simply ran out of money. Unfortunately, McAlister still had to pay out child benefits to his ex-wife; “I have been unemployed since 2009. I have no income. . . . I live in my parent’s home. My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so,” McAlister said in 2011. He is estimated to have earned $50,000,000 over his career.
4 Brett Favre - NFL Player
Quite simply, Brett Favre is one of the all-time greats in NFL history, enjoyed a stellar career and went on to influence a generation of footballers across the United States. Yet, there was a point in his career where people weren’t so sure as to whether Favre would crack the big time. During his rookie years, Favre struggled to make ends meet, so he was forced to live at home with his parents in Mississippi. As close as Favre is to his parents, there were times when he was maybe too close with them as Bud Lea revealed on JSOnline.com ;"He and his dad wore the same kind of underwear. He would often pick up the wrong ones at home before returning to Green Bay, then had to explain to his teammates why the word ‘Dad’ was written on them.”
3 Ricky Romero - Baseball Player
Before signing with the San Francisco Giants in 2015 after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays, the self-confessed homeboy Ricky Romero spent the majority of his time during off-seasons living with his parents at home in California. Escaping from the brisk Toronto weather, Romero often ventured home to be closer to the sun and his beloved family in California, also giving him an excuse to check in with the LA Lakers. However, his love for the LA lifestyle may have proven to be more of a distraction as Romero eventually dropped out of Major League Baseball, dropped by the Blue Jays to the Giants for a minor league contract. Yet, Romero remains happy, citing his family and love of his surroundings come first.
2 Tyson Ross - Baseball Player
Unlike many of us who insist on getting their own place once they reach a certain age, Tyson Ross would be the polar opposite of that. At a time when most of us are out partying and spending money like no tomorrow, well you can be sure that Tyson Ross is tucked up in bed playing video games. Although Ross is now an MLB All-Star and Pan-American silver medallst, Ross prefers to save his cash and stay at home, citing his love of not having to set up the cable or buy furniture as his reasons behind staying with his mom when he first signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yet, he isn’t the only former Pirate who wasn't quick to fly the nest…
1 Neil Walker - Baseball Player
Former Pittsburgh Pirate Neil Walker had also opted to stay at home in the comfort of familiar faces and home cooked meals. Although Walker insisted he’s more than happy to stay at home, especially when most players spend the majority of their time travelling, his mother was not as positive on her son’s reasons for staying; “He's really not thrilled about that," she says. "We try to give him his space." It may be that despite earning a wage that would make most of us wet ourselves. Walker would rather his mother do his laundry even if that means he doesn’t get much peace on the homefront. If it helped him perform on the field, I guess we can't really question it!
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