22 Ways Professional Athletes Go Broke

allen iverson at a press conference

Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Two very different ex-NBA players ran into financial issues in two very different ways recently.Robert Swift — who earned $11 million in three seasons — had his house foreclosed on after prematurely flaming out of the NBA.

Allen Iverson — who earned  $154 million in salary — found out the hard way what happens when you keep living the good life after the paychecks stop rolling in.

By looking at these and 20 other examples, you get a full picture of exactly how athletes manage to burn through millions of dollars.

[Ed. Note: Former BI reporter Abby Rogers contributed to this post]

Allen Iverson kept spending ~$360,000 every month after he fell out of the NBA

Iverson lived beyond his means after his playing career ended.

He kept spending thousands on jewelry, clothes, and nights out.

His $4.5 million home was foreclosed on as well.

Robert Swift flamed out of the NBA at age 24 after skipping college, and his house was later foreclosed on

Swift was one of the last players to go to the NBA straight out of high school.

He earned $11 million in three seasons, but after he stopped playing he lost his $1.3 million Seattle home.

He left in it squalor.

Antoine Walker lost $110 million after taking out massive loans for his real estate ventures

Walker says he took out loans with eight different banks, but couldn't pay them all back at once. Here's what he said when asked if he blames his financial advisors:

'No. I don't blame them. I blame more so myself. I think the one thing…that is difficult to do is to do investments while playing basketball. I think if it was one thing I would tell any young guy or anyone who's playing and making money right now is to wait until the end of your career and start investing and start making money off the field or off the court.'

Marion Jones lost about $7 million after secretly using steroids

The former holder of the 'fastest woman in the world,' lost her title, and her medals, when the world found out she used performance-enhancing drugs. Steroid use, combined with multiple run-ins with the government, including committing perjury to the IRS, cost Marion Jones about $7 million.

In attempt to revive her athletic career, Jones joined the WNBA in 2010, playing with the Tulsa Shock.

Mike Tyson's incarceration lost him between $300 million and $400 million

The man who bit off Evander Holyfield's ear took on more than could chew, both in body parts and in life.

He was once known as the heavyweight champion of the world, but in 1992, he was convicted of sexual assault and served three years in prison. He attempted a comeback, but was disqualified during the high-profile match in which he bit off Holyfield's ear.

The boxer earned between $300 and $400 million during his career but spent nearly all of it on pet tigers, mansions, and an expensive divorce.

Curt Schilling says he will lose all $50 million he saved playing baseball on a failed video game venture

The former Red Sox pitcher's video game company, 38 Studios, filed for bankruptcy last June after missing loan payments.

He currently owes $150 million and has just $21.7 million in assets.

Tennis player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario says her parents took all of her $60 million in career earnings

She says her father handled her money and gave her a monthly allowance of sorts. She later claimed that her parents spent and mismanaged the money and left her with nothing.

Lenny Dykstra business failings cost him about $50 million

Three-time All-Star player Lenny Dykstra won the 1986 World Series. However, by 2011 he had lost about $50 million. In 2008, he began a high-end jet charter company and a magazine offering financial advice to athletes.

In 2009, he filed for bankruptcy and in 2011, he was indicted on charges of car theft and drug possession. His legal troubles didn't end there. In Aug. 2011, he was charged with allegedly exposing himself to women he met on Craiglist.

Michael Vick's animal abuse lost him about $130 million

Michael Vick was once the highest-paid player in the NFL, signing a 10-year contract extension, worth $130 million, with the Atlanta Falcons. Everything changed in 2007, when he went to prison for participating in an illegal dog fighting ring. Vick lost his NFL salary and endorsements while incarcerated for two years.

He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008. All told, Vick lost about $130 million.

'I've been taken advantage of, financially,' TO told Dr. Phil last year.

For example, he lost $2 million on an electric bingo investment that was recommended by a controversial financial advisor who now faces a litany of lawsuits and allegations.

Travis Henry lost about $20 million after paying for his many children

The 2002 Pro-Bowl participant and former running back fathered nine children with nine different women, to whom he pays court-ordered expenses.

As if that weren't enough, he was sentenced in 2009 to three years in a Florida prison for financing a cocaine trafficking operation. When all is said and done, Henry lost about $20 million of his fortune.

Lawrence Taylor lost about $50 million after using drugs and prostitutes

Lawrence 'L.T.' Taylor won the NFL's MVP in 1986 and starred in two superbowls. However, he used cocaine during his career and was jailed three times for attempted drug possession following his retirement.

He filed for bankruptcy in 1998, citing mortgage troubles. And in 2011, he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute. He was ordered to serve six months of probation. The man considered one of the best defensive players in the league's history ultimately lost about $50 million.

Evander Holyfield lost about $250 million on failed business ventures

At the height of his popularity, boxing champion Evander Holyfield had sponsorships with international companies, a record label and a video game.

However, his label witnessed only brief success and the father of 11 owed quite a bit in child support. His $10 million estate was auctioned off in 2008. All in all, he lost about $250 million.

In court papers, the former Baltimore Ravens corner explained why he couldn't pay child support:

'I live in my parent's home. My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so.'

The Baltimore Sun later floated a rumour that he used to party hard.

Rollie Fingers thought a pistachio farm would be a good idea and lost about $8 million

The baseball star with the famous handlebar moustache was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He retired in 1985, after both Oakland and Milwaukee retired his jersey, and invested in pistachio farms, Arabian horses and wind turbines. In 1992, Fingers filed for bankruptcy. He paid his more-than-$4 million-debt by selling baseball cards and working and was eventually cleared in 2007 by the IRS. He still lost about $8 million though.

NFL QB Mark Brunnell lost all his savings in nine failed business ventures

The former Jaguar made around $50 million in his career, but a failed Whataburger, real estate venture, and other investments left him broke last year.

Jack Clark's penchant for fancy cars cost him about $20 million

'Jack the Ripper' played in the MLB from 1975 to 1992. However, the year 1992 brought some changes to Clark's life -- to the tune of about a $20 milion loss.

He filed bankruptcy that year. At the time of his filing, he owned 18 luxury cars, including a Ferrari and three Mercedes Benz's. He also reportedly owes $500,000 in back taxes to Uncle Sam.

Muhsin Muhammad went on a spending spree that ultimately cost him about $20 million

Former Chicago Bear Muhsin Muhammad will always be remembered for his touchdown dance, featured in the opening credits of Madden NFL 2006.

However, Wachovia Bank will remember him as the wide receiver sued for owing thousands of dollars in overdue credit card payments. The financial trouble ultimately prompted Muhammad, who lost about $20 million, to sell many of his assets, including a lakeside estate.

Latrell Sprewell lost between $50 million and $100 million after some violent outbursts

The man credited with leading both the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs, couldn't calm his temper.

He assaulted P.J. Carlesimo, coach of the Golden State Warriors, twice during practice and was accused, but not charged, of strangling a woman on his yacht. In 2007, he was sued by his long-term companion for ending their relationship agreement, which called for him to support her and their children. Two of his homes also went into foreclosure in subsequent years, bringing his losses to between $50 and $100 million.

Kenny Anderson lost about $60 million to his ex-wives

Despite the fact that he earned about $60 million and played for nine different teams during his career, Kenny Anderson still lost a bunch of money.

Anderson had three ex-wives, the first of whom challenged the couple's pre-nup and walked away with half of everything. In addition, he supports his other two ex-wives, his seven children, and helps his mother financially. In the end, he lost about $60 million.

Deuce McAllister lost about $70 million when his car dealership went bust

New Orleans Saint Deuce McAllister was a two-time Pro Bowl participant. However, off the field, his luck turned sour and he lost about $70 million.

Nissan sued his car dealership in 2009 for nearly $7 million on a variety of items. In addition, he claimed two security guards at a Bourbon Street nightclub assaulted him. He was named an honorary captain for the Saints in 2010, but officially retired at the end of the year.

Scottie Pippen's legal woes lost him about $120 million

One of the heroes of Chicago, Scott Pippen played an important role in Chicago Bulls' six NBA championships.

However, his luck didn't hold off the court. He lost a lawsuit against his former law firm, in which he claimed they lost $27 million of his earnings in bad investments. And in 2007, he was ordered to pay more than $5 million to U.S. Bank. All told, Pippen lost about $120 million.

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