When you fantasize about being rich and famous, one of the first purchases you might make in your mind is an extravagant mansion. After all, if your home is where the heart is then why shouldn't your home cost millions of dollars to buy and in some cases even more to keep running? Well, as these 15 athletes learned the hard way, your financial situation that once looked so promising had a very real way of drying up.
Though when you consider that some of these athletes gambled or partied away their fortune, it might be a little harder to feel sorry for them. The athletes on our list combined have earned close to $1 billion in their career but in at least several instances their lucrative careers only made their fall from grace even harder. Especially if that fall ended with them landing on the pavement with their mansions left as distant memories.
As proof that this could happen to any athlete, we've included candidates from the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, WWE, Boxing and Track and Field. Have no fear if you don't recognize the name, as we also quickly break down their career highlights and estimated earnings before revealing just how quickly it all went away.
These are 15 athletes who went flat broke and had to sell their dream mansion.
15 Scott Hall (Career Earnings: $3 Million)
Who Was He? Scott Hall, better known as Razor Ramon, is one of the most iconic wrestlers of all-time. He was influential in his role with the faction n.W.o and always seemed to bring his A-Game when the stakes were the highest.
When Did He Lose It All? Unfortunately for Scott Hall, life outside of the ring wasn't nearly as glamorous. This included several moments in his life where his home was a rehab clinic. His love of partying left his body ravaged and by 2012 he was getting sued for defaulting on his mortgage. That same year Hall was also arrested after choking his girlfriend during a domestic dispute, but the charges were later dropped. Thankfully through the help of Diamond Dallas Page Hall's life has started to turn around in a positive way.
14 Allen Iverson (Career Earnings: Over $200 Million)
Who Was He? Allen Iverson is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. He played from 1996-2010 with his final season marked by him leaving to care for his daughter who was suffering from what at the time was an unknown disease. Endorsement deals along with his success on the court made him one of the most recognizable stars to fall from grace.
When Did He Lose It All? Reports started to circulate in 2013 of Allen Iverson having his Atlanta mansion foreclosed. Iverson was notoriously bad with his money, including purchasing several properties unnecessarily including another one in Colorado that was also foreclosed the same year. All these properties were foreclosed despite Iverson earning upwards of $200 million in his career.
13 Terrell Owens (Career Earnings: $80 Million)
Who Was He? Terrell Owens was one of the most talented wide-receivers to ever step foot in the NFL. Playing from 1996-2010, Owens' life after football wasn't nearly as flashy as the lifestyle he showboated during his playing days. He earned roughly $80 million during his career.
When Did He Lose It All? Terrell Owens admitted to his financial woes in 2012. This required him to sell one of his mansions for a significant loss, as well as saw him facing foreclosure on 2 more of his houses that he owned in Dallas. Owens is currently trying to recoup his time in the spotlight by appearing on Dancing With The Stars.
12 Jose Canseco (Career Earnings: $45 Million)
Who Was He? Jose Canseco was an accomplished MLB player from 1985-2001. His career is also marred by his steroid usage, as well as his tell-all book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. It was reported he earned upwards of $45 million in his career.
When Did He Lose It All? Canseco's financial problems started coming to the forefront in 2008 after he failed to make payments on his mansion. Canseco blamed the government for his issues and the high fines they imposed for his inability to pay back his bills. Canseco also admitted to living in converted garages of friends and bouncing from house to house as the government would take any money that got into his bank account.
11 Evander Holyfield (Career Earnings: Upwards Of $200 Million)
Who Was He? Evander Holyfield was one of the most prolific boxers in the 1980s and 1990s (though his career did technically last till 2014). His most notable bouts may have come with Mike Tyson, whom he beat in 1996 in what is considered one of the biggest upsets of all-time.
When Did He Lose It All? Evander Holyfield made headlines in 2013 when his mansion was being foreclosed on. It sat at over 105-acres and he once claimed it cost upwards of $1 million per year to operate. No wonder he wasn't able to afford that kind of upkeep!
10 Derek Sanderson (Career Earnings: $2.65 Million)
Who Was He? Derek Sanderson spent 1965-1978 playing in the NHL for a variety of teams. His career earnings were roughly $2.65 million, but life after hockey was full of problems for Sanderson.
When Did He Lose It All? Following a messy separation from his wife that included their son passing away in childbirth in 1981, Sanderson found himself in poor health and struggling to find housing. Poor financial planning squandered the earnings he did have and former-teammate Bobby Orr getting him to rehab may have saved his life. Thankfully for Sanderson, he has later made a successful career working as a financial advisor for athletes.
9 Robert Swift (Career Earnings: $8 Million)
Who Was He? Robert Swift was a giant at 7'1 and we're sure the Seattle Supersonics (oof) were stoked to pick him with the 12th overall pick in the 2004 draft. His career was a disaster though and by 2009 was out of the league.
When Did He Lose It All? Unfortunately for Swift, by 2011 he also had a criminal record for a DUI. His home was foreclosed on in 2013. When the new owner inspected the property several disturbing things were found including a jar of urine, shell casings, garbage everywhere and feces.
8 Latrell Sprewell (Career Earnings: $100 Million)
Who Was He? Latrell Sprewell was an NBA player. He earned over $100 million in his career, but an incident involving him choking a coach voided him of a contract that would have paid him $24 million. Latrell Sprewell will always go down in infamy after he turned down a $14.6 million extension saying "Why would I want to help them win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’m at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed.”
When Did He Lose It All? His career ended under 2 years later. And despite his high earnings, he had his yacht repossessed in 2007 and defaulted on several purchases including his mortgage. By 2010, he had lost both of his mansions.
7 Mark Brunell (Career Earnings: $50 Million)
Who Was He? Mark Brunell was an NFL Quarterback from 1993-2011. Throughout his career, he earned upwards of $50 million. But no sack could hurt him as much as the poor financial decisions he made.
When Did He Lose It All? Brunell was filing for bankruptcy by as early as 2010 - citing poor real estate and business loans as part of the reasons for his downturn in fortune. Brunell's records showed that he owed upwards of $25 million. The real unfortunate element of all of this is that Brunell has 4 children. Here's hoping he will be able to turn it around!
6 Antoine Walker (Career Earnings: $110 Million)
Who Was He? Antoine Walker was an NBA player from 1996-2008. He is best recognized for his time with the Boston Celtics. He ended up earning over $110 million, but as you can guess from his spot on this list, was terrible with his financial decisions. He spent much of his money on properties and gambling.
When Did He Lose It All? Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010. He had over 15 properties that were foreclosed on and owed casinos upwards of $1.25 million. Walker had to sell other prized possessions such as his NBA Championship ring. That's definitely got to hurt your pride more than it hurts your wallet. Actually we're pretty sure the wallet hurts more!
5 Jamarcus Russell (Career Earnings: $31.5 Million)
Who Was He? Jamarcus Russell was the #1 overall pick for the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL draft. He was signed to a contract that guaranteed him over $30 million worth upwards of $60 million. While his earnings may have been slightly above that $31.5 million number, it's definitely not like that makes his case any better! Russell's career was a disaster and many consider him to be one of the biggest busts of all-time. His lack of professionalism, work ethic and ability to stay in shape were all contributing factors to his decline.
When Did He Lose It All? The foreclosure for Russell's house came in 2011 - the same year that he officially finished in football (despite two comeback attempts).
4 Julius Erving (Career Earnings: $16 Million)
Who Was He? If you're a fan of the NBA, we're sure you've heard of Dr. J. He is largely considered to be one of the most influential players of all-time and finished his career with over 30,000 points scored. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
When Did He Lose It All? If there is some silver lining here, Irving retired from the NBA in 1987 and reports of him losing his home didn't emerge until 2010. Though when they did, it came with the news that Irving had several financial issues that were at least more serious than the $2.23 million his house was valued at.
3 Marion Jones (Career Earnings: Several Millions)
Who Was She? Marion Jones was once one of the most recognizable female track and field athletes in America. She won 5 medals at the 2000 Olympics (3 of them gold), but it was later revealed that she had utilized steroids - tarnishing her reputation forever. While it was not clear as to what her career earnings were, several sources reported it was at least several million dollars. After her scandal, Jones was also forced to pay back upwards of $500,000.
When Did She Lose It All? It took 6 years after her triumphant "win" for Jones to come crashing down to earth. Her $2.5 million mansion was foreclosed on in 2006 and she also was forced to sell two other properties including her mother's house.
2 Vin Baker (Career Earnings: $89 Million)
Who Was He? Vin Baker played in the NBA from 1993-2006. He went to several All-Star games and earned close to $90 million throughout his career. One of his last major paydays included earning $13.5 million in the 2003-2004 season.
When Did He Lose It All? Vin Baker seemingly lost it all within years of his NBA career ending. Despite that heavy payday in 2003-2004, Baker lost his home by 2008. The same year his restaurant venture also was foreclosed. Who knew his basketball skills wouldn't translate to the culinary world?
1 Clinton Portis (Career Earnings: $40 Million)
Who Was He? Clinton Portis was a running back in the NFL. He played a large portion of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins. His biggest contract came with an 8-year deal worth $50.5 million that he signed in 2004. While he did not see all of that money, he absolutely saw enough of it to feel like he was financially set for life.
When Did He Lose It All? Clinton Portis filed for bankruptcy in December 2015. He had several homes that were repossessed, including one that he had bought for his mother. He revealed that following this he took up residency in a two-bedroom apartment. He blamed his financial advisors for mismanaging his fortune. Though he also owed upwards of $400,000 to 4 other women for "domestic support", so he definitely can't completely absolve himself of the blame.
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