Top 15 Craziest Rumors About Athletes

When one becomes famous there is bound to be some ridiculous rumors dogging them. No matter if the person is famous for singing, acting or even sports; the whispers and hearsay make the rounds and create unenviable positions for celebrities.

Though some of these rumors are true, or at least based within reality, others are completely insane and almost unimaginable. Allegations so preposterous that it is hard to even fathom how they even came into existence.

Determining which of these ludicrous rumors are the most crazy takes some hairsplitting about small facts and large assumptions made by the public. However, more than anything else, these are the rumors that make you sit back, scratch your head and wonder ‘are you serious?’

Though the utter insanity of the allegation will be the most important factor, there is also consideration into how they affected a player’s career. Did the athlete need to come out and publicly deny the claims? Could these rumors have impacted locker room dynamics? Did this rumor add fuel to a fire that led to a player leaving his team? These are all questions to be asked about every one of these rumors.

These are rumors about specific athletes, so these stories pertain to just one or two professionals at a time. That means that there are no stories about David Stern rigging the NBA Draft lottery so the New York Knicks could get Patrick Ewing, because I certainly can not imagine Stern performing an athletic feat.

Without further ado, here are the craziest, most insane rumors about professional athletes.

15 Eric Lindros Got Beat by Elvis Stojko 

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Lindros was a big guy. The tough power forward with the scoring touch was officially listed as 6’4 and 240 lbs throughout his concussion-filled NHL career. But he doesn't seem so tough once you hear that a figure skater kicked his ass.

14 Jordan’s Flu Game was Just a Hangover


Though there are more highlights to Michael Jordan’s NBA career to count, one of the most famous is the ‘Flu Game.’ During Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Jordan was visibly sick and basically looked like death. Despite this, he played 44 minutes and scored 38 points in the process.

Rumor has it that the so-called ‘flu’ was nothing more than a hangover.

13 Wayne Gretzky’s Gambling Problem 

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Operation Slapshot was the biggest gambling sting in the NHL’s history and it saw Arizona Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet plead guilty to conspiracy and promoting gambling in federal court. However, rumor has it that Tocchet was covering for Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky.

This rumor has its fuel from the fact that a federal case against the greatest hockey player to ever live would tarnish the reputation of not just ‘The Great One,’ but also the NHL.

12 Glen Rice Was "With" Sarah Palin 


Glen Rice is one of the greatest players, if not the greatest, to ever play for the Michigan Wolverines. The small forward still holds the team record in career points, points in a season, field goals made and a whole mess of other categories.

Apparently all of these highlights were enough for Rice to get into bed with an Alaskan TV news anchor named Sarah Palin. Yes, the same Sarah Palin that would one day run for Vice President of the United States.

Supposedly, Rice and Palin got together when Michigan took a trip to Alaska for the 1987 Great Alaska Shootout.

11 Wilt Chamberlain Was "With" 20,000 Women 


It is hard not to just chalk this one up to hyperbole and exaggeration. Wilt Chamberlain has supposedly had sex with 10,000 to 20,000 women depending on which source you believe.

10 Sonny Liston Took a Dive Against Ali 


Money can be a powerful motivator and rumors suggest that it was so powerful that it made one of the greatest boxers of all-time take the most infamous dive in combat sports history.

If the whispers heard are to be believed, Liston was in deep with the mob, which had sponsored him in the early days of his career. Depending on which rumor you hear or trust, Liston took a dive against the underdog Cassius Clay to fix the fight so the mobsters could make the money back.

9 Macho Man and Stephanie McMahon Rumor 


This is certainly one of the most infamous rumors to ever come from the wrestling world. Rumor has it that Randy Savage and Stephanie McMahon had a relationship during Macho Man’s final year under WWE contract, 1994. Stephanie would have been just freshly 18 years old and Savage would be 23 years her elder at 41.

Supposedly, Vince McMahon did not learn about this until years later and had an unbridled hatred for Savage, which would explain why Macho Man didn't return like other legends did.

8 Jason Kidd, Jimmy Jackson and Toni Braxton Love Triangle 


The Dallas Mavericks were supposed to be carried from mediocrity to the upper echelons of the NBA with the arrival of such players like Jason Kidd and Jimmy Jackson, but their behind the scenes rumors were largely more interesting than their play on the court.

Allegedly, Kidd became very close with R&B singer Toni Braxton in the mid-90s, so much so that she would frequently fly with the team. Then, Braxton decided to stand up Kidd to go out with Jackson.

7 Tony Parker Cheated on Eva Longoria with Brent Barry’s Wife 

Tony Parker and star Eva Longoria were going through a messy divorce in 2010 with rumors suggesting that the Spurs player cheated on his wife. The story goes that Parker was getting really friendly with several women, but most specifically Erin Barry, who just happened to be married to his teammate Brent.

Oddly enough, the Berry family also went through a divorce at the same time, which only perpetuated the rumors, despite Erin Berry publicly denying the claims.

6 Mike Piazza’s Secret Same-Sex relationship 

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

There was not much going on for the New York Mets in 2002, so this would be the perfect time for a ridiculous rumor to spring up. Speculation started around the media that Mike Piazza was a homosexual and had a secret relationship with TV weatherman Sam Champion.

The whispers became so loud that Piazza would call a press conference to try and put the rumors to rest. A few years later, Piazza would marry a former Playboy Playmate and go on to have two children.

5 Curt Schilling Faked the Bloody Sock 


Be careful with this rumor as bringing it up in the company of Boston Red Sox fans will likely result in more than a few obscenities. Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS has become one of the most iconic images and pieces of folklore in baseball today, but rumor has it the entire thing was fake.

Supposedly, Schilling painted his sock red to either become a legendary player of epic proportions or to use the feigned injury as a scapegoat had he gotten lit up on the mound.

4 Delonte West Slept with LeBron’s mom 


This one is really absurd. There was wild speculation that Delonte West slept with teammate LeBron James’ mother.

You are probably asking: Why would West sleep with Mama Lebron? There has never really even been reason given in any of the rumors aside from West’s well-known issues with mental health and bipolar disorder.

3 Michael Jordan’s Secret Gambling Suspension 

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors have always ran rampant about Michael Jordan’s love of wagering on pretty much anything. However, there's no more extreme gossip than the idea that Jordan ‘retired’ from the NBA to go play professional baseball because of his gambling problem.

The word spread around the league that Jordan got in way too deep into gambling, going as far as to suggest that the death of his father was attached to his gambling addiction, and instead of taking the suspension the NBA was going to hand down to him, they offered for the best player on the planet to ‘retire.’

2 Kevin Mitchell Cut Off His Girlfriend’s Cat’s Head 


The New York Mets of the 1980s really do not need rumors to be classified as one of the craziest teams in sporting history. This is a team of players notorious for drugs and womanizing, maybe more so than any collection of athletes ever assembled. However, Kevin Mitchell takes the cake for more insane rumor surrounding any player on that team.

Mitchell, who was known to have a short temper, apparently chopped the head off of his girlfriend’s cat during a fight. This all came out years later in Doc Gooden’s biography after he had claimed to witness the altercation.

1 Cal Ripken Jr. Kicks Kevin Costner’s Ass For Cheating 

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe no other rumor on this list has developed the cult following of this one. Legend has it that Cal Ripken and Kevin Costner were pretty good friends and one night when the actor was staying at Ripken’s house, Costner had an affair with Mrs. Ripken.

As the story goes Ripken reacted as most men would and beat the hell out of Costner, which promptly got the legendary player arrested. This all took place in 1997 before Ripken would surpass Lou Gehrig on the list for most consecutive games started. To add to this rumor, the Baltimore Orioles supposedly faked a power outage at the stadium and postponed the game so Ripken’s streak would stay alive.

So to recap; Hall of Fame baseball player is friends with Hollywood actor, actor then sleeps with baseball player’s wife, baseball player beats up actor, baseball player gets arrested, baseball players team fakes a power outage so he can play.

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Top 15 Craziest Rumors About Athletes