Articles, Blog

Athletes Who Are Poorer Than You Thought

November 20, 2019

Becoming a professional athlete is like winning
the lottery twice. First, athletes get to focus their lives on
playing a game that they love. And second, many of them earn salaries in
the $100 million-plus range, and that’s not even counting the extra bucks they rake in
from sneaker and hot dog commercials. However, managing a fortune requires a completely
different set of skills, and many athletes are too busy perfecting their game to take
any financial planning classes. With that in mind, here are some world-class
athletes whose bank accounts may not be what you thought. Curt Schilling Over the course of a 20-year Major League
Baseball career, Curt Schilling reportedly earned in the neighborhood of $115 million. It was all worth it for Red Sox fans, as the
pitcher was instrumental in the team’s historic curse-breaking 2004 World Series win. However, by the time he hung up his cleats
in 2009, he had lost an alarming $50 million of his savings. Schilling had invested the vast majority of
his fortune in a failed video game company called 38 Studios. In 2012, after the company defaulted on $75
million worth of state loans, he told Boston Magazine, “My whole life was spent doing things that
people didn’t believe were possible…I carried that same mentality into everything I did
here.” Marion Jones At the 2000 Summer Olympics, track and field
star Marion Jones won a remarkable five medals, including three gold. But just three years later she was linked
to BALCO, a company raided by the feds for allegedly distributing performance-enhancing
drugs. Jones racked up a lot of legal fees fighting
the doping scandal, and by 2006, her finances were in dire straits. A bank foreclosed on her $2.5 million mansion,
and she had to sell another home where her mother lived. By 2007, she claimed she had a bank balance
of just $2,000. That same year, she pleaded guilty to lying
about steroid use to federal investigators. In the years since, Jones has mostly remained
out of the spotlight. She now resides in Texas with her husband
and three children and has transitioned into a business career. “We all go through challenging times in our
lives. It’s really how you rebound from that, and
how you kind of turn all of that into something very positive.” Allen Iverson Sports star Allen Iverson had a basketball
career for the ages. When he closed up shop, the Hall of Famer
concluded a run that earned him a Rookie of the Year crown, an MVP award, and four scoring
titles. Iverson amassed roughly $200 million during
his career, but blew through most of it. His 50-man entourage wasn’t cheap to maintain,
and he also allegedly stored his money in garbage bags that sometimes went missing. But he did make at least one solid financial
decision. In 2001, he signed a contract with Reebok
that set aside $32 million in a trust fund that he couldn’t access until he turns 55
in 2030, but that deal went badly, too. He had to forfeit the entire trust to his
ex-wife for violating the terms of a postnuptial agreement, although she later agreed to share
half of it with him. Since 2017, Iverson has been keeping busy
with BIG3, a 3-on-3 professional basketball league. Boris Becker Tennis star Boris Becker was one of the top
players in the ’80s and ’90s. He won the first of his three singles titles
at Wimbledon in 1985 when he was only 17. By the time he retired in 1996, he had won
49 singles and 15 doubles titles. The master of the one-on-one sport also liked
to go one-on-one with beautiful ladies. He married actress and model Barbara Feltus
in 1993 and had two kids with her, but he cheated on her with model Angela Ermakova
and had a kid with her, too. Becker’s divorce and paternity predicaments
cost him about $25 million in 2001. He was then convicted of tax evasion and had
to pay out another approximate $3 million in 2002. Becker declared bankruptcy in 2017, telling
a Swiss newspaper, quote, “It’s crazy to think I’m broke.” Dennis Rodman Before he inexplicably became BFFs with North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Dennis Rodman was just a quirky, heavily-tattooed, referee-head-butting
basketball player. He dated Madonna, married Carmen Electra,
announced his intentions to marry himself, and dyed his hair bright colors. He is also one of the best defensive players
in NBA history, having led the league in rebounds for seven straight seasons. His impressive stats allowed Rodman to command
a huge salary. Over 12 seasons, he earned an estimated $27
million. It’s not all gone, but he’s now down to just
a fraction of that. As of 2018, his net worth was reportedly $500,000. Evander Holyfield Two of boxing’s biggest heavyweight stars
squared off in November 1996 when Evander Holyfield scored a TKO over the heavily favored
Mike Tyson in one of the most anticipated boxing matches ever. At a rematch just seven months later, Tyson
was famously disqualified when he bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson’s trouble inside and outside the ring
are well-documented, but not everyone realizes that Holyfield also sabotaged his own success. The heavyweight champion earned about $230
million over his career, and he clearly had a lot of fun spending it. He dropped a reported $10 million on a 54,000-square-foot
mansion in Georgia that cost him $1 million a year just to maintain. Holyfield was reportedly more than $14 million
in debt by 2012, when the bank bought his epic house off him for $7.5 million. His cash was also drained by legal settlements
and child support, as he has quite a few children by six women and was married and divorced
three times. “I do love my kids, and I do want them to
get a better education than I have, and I do all that I can support ’em.” Holyfield now runs a promotional company called
Real Deal Sports and Entertainment. Darryl Strawberry The 1986 New York Mets are one of the most
memorable teams in the last few decades of baseball. That year, All-Stars like Darryl Strawberry
led them to a team-record 108 wins and a World Series victory. But Strawberry also made headlines off the
field, as he apparently wasn’t paying his taxes. According to court documents, Strawberry owed
more than half a million dollars from income earned between 1987 and 1990, and another
80 grand from 2003 and 2004. When the IRS came to collect in 2014, they
garnished his future earnings in the form of an unpaid portion of a $7.2 million contract
he’d signed with the Mets in 1985. Strawberry has made headlines most recently
for his 2017 memoir, Don’t Give Up on Me: Shedding Light on Addiction.

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