There's nothing wrong with athletes taking care of their money and not overspending on stuff that they don't need. 80% of retired NFL players run out of money the first three years after their careers end, so it's actually pretty smart for them to think twice about parting with their money. The problem occurs when they're too concerned with losing it and become stingy. There's a thin line between cost-efficient and straight out frugal.
The funny thing about some of the athletes on this list is that even though they are cheap, they still went broke! How on earth is that possible? Well, saving money is not about not spending it at all, but spending it in a smart way, on stuff that might actually benefit them (or someone else) in the long run. I'm also talking about things that require basic human decency. When an athlete shows up at a club with his entourage and all of his friends arrive there in his five cars, yet he doesn't even bother to leave a tip for a bartender that's been working his table the whole night? That's not thrifty, that's cheap. He might not hesitate to spend on his friends, but spending on those who serve them is considered a chore.
Here are 20 athletes that are so concerned with overspending that they too often come off as straight up cheap.
20 Daniel Bryan
Former WWE wrestler and now SmackDown general manager, Bryan is a humble character, who constantly underlines that most of his success was reached thanks to fan support. He has lived in a small home in Arizona before and during the first years of his relationship with Brie Bella. Two months ago the couple and their baby moved to a new house near Seattle, Washington and as you can see, it's rather plain. Yes, it's very nice and the view from their windows is to die for, but nothing about it seems expensive. We're talking about a former WWE champion here, the man should be able to afford a villa or two. Instead he grows most of his food in his backyard! Good for Bryan for thinking smart.
19 Nick Young
When you're trying to impress a girl on the first date you take her to a nice restaurant, maybe cook a meal yourself, you get to know each other rather privately and well, are just concerned with yourselves, right? Well, not if you're Nick Young. Swaggy P reportedly took the woman that would later-on become his fiance to Target. Going to a supermarket on a date is one thing, but pulling that stunt on a star like Iggy Azalea? That's just so original. And the best thing about it is that it worked. Swaggy P really lives up to his nickname. Although we're sure it helps that he is an NBA star and not a regular Joe!
18 Matt Bonner
Matt Bonner is another man of simple pleasures who can come off as stingy. When his Spurs were in town, Bonner would use what's referred to as "the poor man's transportation" to get to arenas. That's right, rather than riding in fancy cars he was taking buses and subways! And speaking of subway, his food of choice is far from refined as well. Bonner is the self-proclaimed Sandwich Hunter, who also had his blog on the official Spurs website. His "quest for the hoagie grail" made for a fun read, and Bonner was one of the most relatable athletes ever. It can almost make you forget that the man is a millionaire.
17 Andre Roberson
Last year Andre Roberson signed a three year $30 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and to celebrate he took a couple of friends to a bar, where they spent $487.13. Upon leaving he left a tip of $13.97. For all of you non-math heads, this means that Roberson left $500 and one dollar on the bar. The bartender serving him called out Roberson on Twitter and other OKC players responded by making fun of Roberson. The real problem with this one is that no one seeing the bill noticed that 487.13 + 13.97 is not 500. No wonder these guys have trouble controlling their money. Maybe he just wanted to leave a round number, but it is sort of embarrassing to make so much money and leave such a small tip.
16 Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco off the field is just like his given name, an average Joe. His own father called him dull, which is really telling. While we can all agree that he's not the elite quarterback many thought he was after his SuperBowl heroics, Flacco's still a very capable NFL quarterback, one that really cashed-in on his team's success. Flacco seems to understand that he simply makes too much money for the way he plays and that's why he saves every penny. To the point of celebrating his impressive contract signing at the McDonald's drive-thru. He should be eating off the $100 million dollar menu, not the $1 dollar menu!
15 Scottie Pippen
When the waiters all around the country call you No Tippin' Pippen, you know you have quite a reputation among them. Pippen was always extremely stingy. Because of his upbringing he learned to value every penny. Because of that attitude he was extremely underpaid as a member of the Chicago Bulls. He wanted a long contract for guaranteed money, so as the NBA landscape changed and players started to earn more, Pippen got even more frustrated. He allegedly negotiated with exotic dancers to take less money than they did from other clients. You need to be seriously cheap to resort to that level of negotiation.
14 Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay quarterback is known as a rather regular guy off the field. If anything, he's a man of simple pleasures, one that enjoys doing everyday stuff. This includes taking care of the house on his own, whether it be mowing the lawn or fixing things. Rodgers is also doing his own shopping and eating in casual restaurants, so he's basically like all of us. Except for the fact that he makes tens of millions of dollars a year and is, you know, probably the best (or second best, depending on your opinion on Tom Brady), quarterback in the NFL. Despite his immense wealth he is still very down to earth, at least as far as doing things on his own is concerned.
13 Warren Sapp
The former defensive tackle filed for bankruptcy in 2012, which explains why money has been so valuable to him ever since. Still, have some decency man! During the 2014 World Cup game between the USA and Belgium, Sapp was in a bar with a couple of friends. They ran up a $70 tab and left absolutely nothing to the waitress. Sapp claimed that he was dissatisfied with the service and left before the game even began, which is contrary to the statements from the waitress and the bar's owner, who said the Hall of Famer left an hour after the game concluded. Sapp has been known to have memory issues, which are no laughing matter. Could this be why he forgot to leave a tip?
12 LeBron James
Before the took his talents to South Beach, LeBron took a group of friends to XO Prime Steaks in Cleveland. He arrived there late and left around 3:45 am, long after the restaurant's opening hours. LeBron and his friends racked up a bill of $800 and left just a $10 tip. The waiter that was working their table was so angry that he didn't even take it and leaked the story to the press. If there's one thing about LeBron everybody knows is that the man really learns from his mistakes and he has improved his tip game since. It's refreshing to see an athlete who can change his ways once the voice of reason gets through to him.
11 Derrick Brooks
It's nice to get free meals wherever you show up. Winning a Super Bowl will get you that and so much more, especially in a city that is rather known for losing football games. Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got his whole meal comped by a restaurant and didn't even bother to leave a tip to the waiter working his table. The linebacker made a lot of money during his playing days so the least that he could do is compensate the waiter, right? The food was free, but nobody said a thing about the service. I guess his reasoning was that 15% of a zero bill is still zero right? No excuse for cheap behaviour!
10 Alfred Morris
The Dallas Cowboys running back is on a whole 'nother level of stingy - the man drives a $2 dollar car. He really bought his 1991 Mazda for that much money from his Pastor back in college and has driven that same car ever since. He even nicknamed it "Bentley" in a sort of endearing way. Before, as a member of the Redskins, Morris arrived to work via bicycle. Morris is a regular guy who seems to have fun with the idea of himself being a millionaire rather than just acting stingy, but he's worthy of a place on this list precisely because of that. It is also refreshing to see an athlete abstain from blowing their fortune on pricey cars!
9 Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one stubborn dude. On the basketball court he's ferocious and relentless, unafraid to take on players twice his size. Off it he can sometimes act stubborn as well, but not in a positive way. During his bachelor party, his guests (which included the Banana Boat Crew - LeBron, Carmelo and D-Wade) didn't leave a tip even though the whole party was comped. It seems that athletes shouldn't get stuff for free, because they forget that someone actually has to deliver it to them and that someone is not doing it for free. Maybe he just assumed that because he didn't have to pay for the party that the tip ws included, but that is still very rude.
8 2007-08 Chelsea Soccer Team
In the year 2007 Premiership players promised to donate £750,000 to Mayday for Nurses - a charity helping desperate nurses, who make around £19,000 a year. This is what a regular Premiership player made in a week back then, while his daily salary was estimated around £1,800. If the players from all teams would chip in, the nurses would have much more than they needed, but this turned out to be quite a chore. No team was more disappointing than Chelsea, as none of its players pledged any money. In comparison, 20+ players from poorer clubs like Fulham or Reading submitted their daily wages without a blink of an eye. Despite its players not parting with their daily wages, the club itself submitted some money on its own.
7 Buster Douglas
You might remember Buster Douglas as the man that put an end to Mike Tyson's reign as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and a 42-1 underdog coming into the fight. Now he's known among waiters as a very lousy tipper. When Douglas entertains at a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, kids and friends, they always order a large dinner worth around $200 and take the space reserved for 4-5 tables. Despite all that they never left a bigger tip than $10. That means his tips hover in the 1% range, which is just unacceptable for someone of his fame.
6 Adnan Januzaj
The Real Sociedad midfielder was once a golden boy of European soccer, and it was debated whether he would play for the national team of Albania, Belgium, England or Kosovo, because he was eligible for all four. He's just 22, but his career seems already going downhill. Back when he was playing for Manchester United, Januzaj took a girl out. He turned up wearing a tracksuit, made her pay for the parking and spent just £18 on the date. He was making £30,000 a week then. We doubt the relationship worked out, and it is just shameful to so extremely frugal when you have so much money to play with.
5 Anthony Martial
What's with these young Manchester United players that makes them cling so hard to their money? The French striker's ex-girlfriend revealed that when he moved to the club he changed his spending habits. He was now earning £420,000 a month, but gave her just £3,000 to pay rent for her apartment outside Paris, which clearly wasn't enough. Instead of staying true to her, Martial was overwhelmed with Instagram pictures of available and willing girls and the couple soon broke up. While he didn't have an obligation to pay the girl's rent, it would have been a nice gesture he could have easily afforded.
4 Allen Iverson
The Answer found it extremely hard to adjust to his post-basketball life and the fact that he wasn't able to control his spending didn't help his cause one bit. In a biography of the player, rapper Jadakiss says that when they went out Iverson always paid for everybody. He also supported the few childhood friends that he had for numerous years. However, he could also be extremely cheap and rude as well. During a friend's bachelor party, Iverson's mother paid the bill for the boys when she was still there, but when she left, they decided to continue the party. They wanted to leave without payment and after being confronted by the manager about it, Iverson arrogantly threw dollar bills on the floor. This is ironic as he would eventually foreclose on his home.
3 Carmelo Anthony
Apart from participating in Chris Paul's bachelor party and refusing to leave a tip, Melo was notorious for being one of the most stingy athletes on the Knicks roster. Yes, life in New York can get expensive, but cutting out coupons despite earning almost $30 million a year and crippling your teams chances of bringing in an impressive player in the process? That's not thrifty, but just stingy. Luckily for him Oklahoma City isn't as expensive as the Big Apple, so he should enjoy shopping there. While it's never a bad idea to save, it seems that Carmelo took it to the extreme.
2 Michael Jordan
When you're the first athlete that became a brand, you're almost expected to spread your wealth around not only in your inner circle, but your community as well. When out with Charles Barkley, MJ told the waiter that working their table was enough of a privilege and the man didn't need any additional compensation, not even the standard 15% tip. Barkley, of all people, apologized to the waiter afterwards and gave him a tip. Wayne Gretzky is another sports legend that exposed Jordan's tipping practices, as he made fun of him for tipping a waitress working their Las Vegas table with a $5 bill. I guess all those Hanes commercials didn't pay so well after all.
1 Tiger Woods
Woods is another one of the high-profile athletes who left a $5 tip for a waitress in Las Vegas, despite playing $10,000 a hand in blackjack. One parking valet in Los Angeles found out that the only way for Woods to leave a tip is to chat with him until Woods eventually gives in and reaches for his wallet. Sometimes that might not be enough though, as Tiger is a very smart guy and he found a way to avoid reaching for it - he simply doesn't carry around any cash. Perhaps it's best that Woods is careful with his money, especially after the huge payout his ex-wife got from their very public and scandalous divorce.
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