We need to set the record straight to all the big spending athletes out there – the television show Ballers is not a documentary. Filling your garage with 5 different types of Lamborghinis and drinking Cristal on weeknights is a recipe for disaster. Before long someone has to be responsible and tell the crowd the party is over! Truth be told, a lot of people get a level of satisfaction or schadenfreude when an athlete reaches the mountain only to fall off the cliff. These are people who have overestimated their own standing in society and forgot the humble beginnings of their upbringing.
But losing it all can end in dire consequences. Players who don’t have the capacity to hold their life together go down a dark path that proves extremely difficult to recover from, if indeed they ever do. There are warning signs athletes should heed to stop them going completely broke. These include excessive spending on needless luxury items, expensive divorce settlements, starting a business venture with a dodgy partner or being addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Before they know it they’re being filmed on another Celebrity Apprentice season and desperately asking their left over acquaintances for a few dollars for charity. When the cameras stop rolling and time passes by, they end up being the ones in need of charity. This can be the moment of intervention. So let’s go around the room and let the athletes that we know and love how damaging their lifestyle is and what they should do to curb their habits. These are the Top 15 Athletes That Can Go Broke.
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15 Tim Tebow
At 28-years of age the talented quarterback shouldn’t be consigned to the scrap heap. But if the devout Christian is to be forgotten in football, we hope he has something to fall back on. As the rumors circulate about a possible return to Denver or a switch to Dallas on the cards, Tebow can’t afford to stay in limbo for too long. Considered one of the greatest college quarterbacks ever produced, Tebow’s initial $11.25 million contract with the Broncos gave the man a taste of the good life, a life that is hard to turn back on.
14 Michael Phelps
Remember Michael Phelps? Somewhere along the line the incredibly gifted Olympic champion swimmer lost his way. From the marijuana controversy to scandals involving a plus-sized dominatrix in a hotel room, Phelps’ life has spiraled out of control. Such is his tenancy to make poor choices, USA Today explained that he bet American teammate Ryan Lochte $1000 he wouldn’t return to the swimming pool. This is a bet he lost and is apparently still to pay.
13 Kevin-Prince Boateng
The glitz and glamour of European soccer can become an addiction in itself. Kevin-Prince Boateng loves to wear designer clothes, attend parties and do anything he can to keep his model partner Melissa Satta happy. This is half the problem now his German club Schalke has let him go for nothing. The talented Ghanaian international has a lot of football left in him at 28, but with an expensive lifestyle he might find it incredibly hard to keep that going, especially as a free agent.
12 Nick Kyrgios
Emerging 20-year-old tennis prodigies shouldn’t be written off, but the path Nick Kyrgios is leading is a dangerous one. The new bad boy of Australian tennis has overtaken Bernard Tomic as enemy number one down under, losing all good will with the public over his antics. Kyrgios’ stock plummeted further after a tirade with Stanislas Wawrinka, commenting that a fellow Aussie player had slept with his girlfriend. Sponsors Nike would be getting cold feet with a player who is losing control on and off the court, overcome with anger issues and a complete lack of direction.
11 Mario Balotelli
Sitting down with Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, Italian striker Mario Balotelli dispelled some rumors about throwing away cash down the streets of Manchester and purchasing bikes through his adopted parents. While Noel was a bit disappointed to hear that some of these legendary stories weren’t all true, the unusual character still found time to let off fireworks in his apartment bathroom just hours before a big game. The Liverpool flop has returned to Milan to try to resurrect his career but it would not be a stretch to see Mario in serious financial difficulty in a few years if he can’t regain the form that saw him lead the line for Italy at Euro 2012.
10 Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones
Life has a habit of dealing good people with bad cards and there is very little they can do about the hand they are dealt. Then there are people like Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones who are too stupid to avoid the comical slip-ups that inevitably follow. The Pacman got himself into a world of hurt in 2007 with a shooting in Las Vegas that culminated with an exotic dancer named Minxx, a garbage bagful of cash and a series of ugly arrests. Jones’ sat out that entire year in football and a subsequent incident where he slapped a drunk female fan means he often finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
9 Johnny Manziel
The College sports complex in America has a terrible habit of ripping their employees off while taking the perks of the business model, but Johnny Manziel’s conduct still needs to be examined. The NCAA only suspended the quarterback for one game after he was investigated for allegedly selling his autographs for a 5-figure sum. This offseason he checked into rehab for alcohol addiction, and playing for the under fire Cleveland Browns could be a recipe for disaster for a young man who seemingly struggles with the pressures of fame and fortune.
8 Joey Barton
Joey Barton is only 5 minutes away from committing a horrendous crime, so going broke won’t be too hard to imagine. The divisive British midfielder now plies his trade for 2nd tier Burnley, but a series of Twitter wars, fights on the street and a prison sentence makes the 30 something a powder keg waiting to explode at any given moment. If he isn’t getting cautioned on the field, it’s usually off it so we’ll have to wait and see what happens when retirement approaches the firebrand.
7 Josh Hamilton
For most people signing a $4 million bonus should be something to hold onto and cherish, but Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton thought the moment called for a massive bender. A haze of crack, coke and daily liquor bottles later, Hamilton’s reckless lifestyle took hold and it became clear that his troubles have spilled over in a serious way. At 34 Hamilton has rejoined the Rangers for a second stint and it is up to him to curb his binge taking habit.
6 Radamel Falcao
Once considered the best number 9 in world soccer, Radamel Falcao is a shadow of his former self. Since moving to the tax haven of Monaco in 2013 the Colombian striker has lost the form that saw him score 2 goals every 3 games for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. Falcao has been pawned out to Manchester United and now with Chelsea under the guise of shady agent Jorge Mendes, leaching off the work of various wealthy soccer stars around Europe. With his goal scoring ability drying up and still working at the whim of Mendes, Falcao doesn’t have much to fall back on when he calls it a day.
5 Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen
The Birdman’s style already sets Chris Andersen out from the crowd. The troubled Miami Heat player sat out 2 years of the NBA for his drug taking habit and like a lot of athletes who go through money like water, wasted up to $289,000 of his 2001 signing bonus just on parties. A $3.5 million wage went up in smoke to boot, yet Andersen recovered his life in time to join LeBron at the Heat to win the Championship in Florida. At 37 Birdman doesn’t have a lot of time on his side so he’ll need to ensure he has matured off the court to live a stable life when retirement comes.
4 Emmanuel Adebayor
The common consensus in English football is that Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor has lost his love for the game and is only interested in picking up a paycheck. The free agent’s contract was terminated by Tottenham Hotspur at the start of their EPL campaign after training with the youth squad. Unfortunately for the player, reputations stick and his last 3 stints with Spurs, Manchester City and Arsenal have all ended in acrimony and a payout. He has grown accustomed to living the good life in England on huge wages, but his chickens might come home to roost.
3 Tiger Woods
Serial cheaters usually end up pretty light in the pocket. After splitting from his wife, Woods stepped out on girlfriend Lindsey Vonn with the ex-wife of fellow golfer Jason Dufner, Amanda Dufner. Reports emerged that his initial split from Elin Nordegren cost a whopping $750 million, quite the compensation package for playing the field on the back 9. The fact that Woods has been unable to recapture the magic that saw him dominate the sport with a dwindling in prize and sponsorship dollars means the iconic golfer could be set for some tough times.
2 Lance Armstrong
What goes around comes around for Lance Armstrong. The driven man so determined to control the narrative of his life is set for a world of hurt when it was revealed that the cycling idol lied under oath to taking performance enhancing drugs for his 7 Tour de France titles. That $10 million hit is expected to be a drop in the ocean for the rest of the sponsorships and endorsement deals he is to lose as well as a mountain of law suits and criminal charges ready to be sent through the mail. Lance might already have lost a huge chunk of what he had but the future is looking ever more bleak for the once loved rider.
1 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather defines himself by 2 things – his undefeated boxing record and the amount of coin in his bank account. While the Money Team seems to have locked in an endless future of financial security for his kids and grandkids, his own family has expressed concerns that his extravagant lifestyle habits could see the boxer go bust. There is a slippery slope Mayweather is about to head into now he has hung up the gloves. At all times he carries around $1 million in a bag, spends a huge amount on lawsuits, has bought a second private jet for the leftovers of his entourage and his garage is complete with an array of supercars. Without the ability to go back in the ring and keep the money coming in, all we know is from here on is there will be a lot of money going out.
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