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]
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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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 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.
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 '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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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