For most of the population, the summer is a brilliant time, as the weather is beautiful, the sun is shining and everything just seems to be more colorful and happy. This is no different when it comes to athletes. In fact, summertime may be the best time to be an athlete.
This is because for those who are in the NBA, NFL and NHL, the summertime is their offseason, which means they can take some time off and enjoy all of the money they are getting paid to play their sport. Players love to take vacations, spoil their families and just overall have a kickass time in the summer. Well, at least most athletes do.
The summer of 2015 has been a fickle one for a number of athletes and that will be the focus of this article. This article will look at 15 athletes who have had terrible summers for a variety of reasons, whether it be suspensions, injuries or other crazy reasons.
So read on, and get ready to feel bad for some athletes as you check out the Top 15 athletes who are having the worst summers.
15 Cliff Alexander
Cliff Alexander is a former Kansas Jayhawks basketball player who is currently on the Brooklyn Nets Summer League team. The reason Alexander appears on this list before he has even played in a regular season NBA game is because of his monumental fall at the NBA Draft. Alexander was a top 5 recruit heading into college and, only a year later, Alexander went undrafted. This made him only the second former top 5 recruit to go undrafted.
14 Ray McDonald
Ray McDonald is a former NFL defensive lineman, who will likely never get a chance at playing in the NFL again. This is because of his numerous arrests the past year for domestic violence related crimes. Things only escalated for McDonald this summer, as he was charged with false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of domestic violence, child endangerment and violating a protective order. These charges all but guarantee that his NFL career is over.
13 Tre Mason
Tre Mason is about to begin his sophomore year after an impressive rookie season last year for the Rams. Mason looked to be the best back on the team last year and set himself up to be the starter going into next season. That was the case until the Rams shocked the NFL and made highly touted running back Todd Gurley the tenth overall pick in the NFL draft, which led Mason to question the team’s faith in him on Twitter:
Doubting me..? 🐸☕️— Tre Mason (@TreMason) May 1, 2015
In all likelihood, he should be nervous, as he's likely lost his starting spot to Gurley.
12 Antonio Gates
Antonio Gates is among the best tight ends of all time and is only 12 receiving touchdowns shy of the all-time record for tight ends, which is currently held by Tony Gonzalez. With Gates still active and Gonzalez being retired, the likelihood of him getting to the record seemed pretty good. However, that quest was dealt a major blow this summer when it was revealed that Gates had failed a drug test and was suspended for the first four games of the season, which may limit him from reaching the record.
11 Joel Embiid
Prior to the 2014 NBA Draft, Joel Embiid was on top of the world. He was a near consenus top pick, until a brutal foot injury slid him down to third. He ended up missing his entire rookie season, but, sadly, his injury problems didn't end there. The summer of 2015 has been awful for Embiid, as the 76ers drafted another high profile big man in Jahlil Okafor, which leaves Embiid as the odd man out. Also, he further aggravated his foot injury which means he might be forced to miss all of next season as well.
10 Gilbert Melendez
Gilbert Melendez is an extremely talented UFC fighter who is among the top contenders in the Lightweight division. His problems this summer began with a close loss to a fighter many people thought he should run right through in Eddie Alvarez. His problems then got much worse when he tested positive for PEDs and was suspended for a year. This suspension is made even worse when you know that his contract pays him a base of $200,000 per fight with a ton of bonuses.
9 Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty made some huge strides in his NHL career in 2014/15, as he had his best season as a pro. After the unfortunate injury history he has had, it was refreshing to see him make major improvements, along with staying healthy for most of the season. Unfortunately for Max and his fans, he suffered a knee injury while training this summer, an injury that will likely take him three months to recover from, which puts his availability in question for the start of the season.
8 C.J. Wilson
This is, without a doubt, one of the dumber spots on this list, though it's pretty similar to another entry that is yet to come. C.J. Wilson, who plays CB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, suffered a horrific injury as a result of fireworks accident on July 4th. Wilson lost two fingers in the accident, which means his NFL career might be in jeopardy. Why anyone who relies on their hands for their potentially million dollar job would elect to light fireworks out of their hand is beyond me…
7 Jon Jones
Jon Jones is one of the most talented fighters in the world today, but it’s just a shame that his maturity is not up to par with his fighting skills. Jones has a long history of criminal offenses from drugs to DUIs to a recent hit and run that caused him to be stripped of his UFC title. His summer got even worse when the man he last beat, Daniel Cormier, went on to win his UFC title. Here’s hoping Jon Jones shapes up, so we can see one of the best fighters on Earth back in the cage.
6 Luke Ridnour
Luke Ridnour has enjoyed a long career with a number of different teams. However, this summer, Ridnour was perhaps involved in the craziest week a player has ever had in NBA history. Ridnour was actually traded four different times in one week and three in a period of about 36 hours. Currently he is a free agent and you have to think he must be nervous to join a new team, for fear that they might also decide to ship him away.
5 Jose Aldo
Jose Aldo is the current UFC Featherweight champion and was scheduled for a huge title fight on July 11th, a fight that many thought would be among the biggest in UFC history. Then, Aldo’s summer went from great to completely awful in one moment. Aldo suffered a rib injury that forced him to withdraw from the fight and an interim title was created, which Conor McGregor won. Dana White also revealed that Aldo would have likely made about $4 million from the fight. Ouch, that HAS to hurt.
4 Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson has been among the premier players at his position for years, but his summer has probably been the worst in the NBA this year. For starters, he was on the trade block, but the Nuggets were unable to find any suitors. Next, the Nuggets drafted a PG with their top 10 pick, essentially spelling the end of the Lawson era in Denver and lastly, he was arrested for DUI for the second time in six months. That is a bad summer if I’ve ever seen one.
3 Mike Richards
This one makes the list, solely based on Mike Richards stupidity. Richards, who played for the LA Kings, was still under contract on a huge 12 year, $69 million deal he signed with the Flyers back in 2008, but that contract has now been terminated by the Kings. This stems from an incident Richards had at the border in June, in which it was reported that he tried to cross the Canadian-American border while possessing restricted substances. The Kings were going to buy Richards out, meaning he would've made all of the money left in his contract, but instead, due to his foolishness, it looks like he won't see a dime of it.
2 Tom Brady
This may surprise some people on this list as Brady is fresh off of a Super Bowl win that puts him in the conversation for the best QB in NFL history. However, the whole “DeflateGate” phenomenon has really put a damper on Brady’s summer. The main idea of it is that the NFL says Brady had knowledge of footballs being deflated beyond the legal limits of the league. He was originally suspended for four games, but the NFL is still deciding on what the final suspension will be, if any. Regardless of the final decision, Brady's name has been tarnished in the eyes of many, meaning this was not the best summer for the Pats QB.
1 Jason Pierre-Paul
Coming in at number one is Jason Pierre-Paul and it should be no surprise to anyone who's heard the story. For a couple of years now, JPP has been one of the better defensive ends in the league and was going to be rewarded with a big contract, whether it was this year or next year. However, when a July 4th fireworks accident led to JPP severely injuring his hand, the contract offer was rescinded, meaning JPP just missed out on millions and millions of dollars, because he wouldn’t let someone else light the fireworks. It's rumored he wasn't going to accept the contract anyway as he wanted more money, but it's tough to imagine another team forking over huge cash to a guy who just had his finger amputated.