The Most Ridiculous Things These Professional Athletes Have Spent Money On
Celebrities aren’t the only wealthy people out there buying exotic animals and luxury gifts: athletes choose to spend their millions in some weird ways, as well.
While we can’t fathom what it’s like to have a million-dollar monthly salary, these purchases come across pretty ridiculous. One athlete shelled out $2.2 million for a solid gold bathtub (page 2) and another was spending $6,500 a month on his pet sharks (page 6).
1. Lionel Messi
- Bought out his next door neighbor’s house
Barcelona’s superstar forward is worth a reported $340 million — and that’s just if any team wanted to buy him out — and makes millions more from endorsements. But how is the soccer star supposed to enjoy his peace and quiet if his neighbors get in the way?
Messi reportedly found his next-door neighbors too troublesome and claimed they disturbed he and his family. He bought out their house and made it an extension of his already million-dollar estate.
Next: Even if we had the money, we doubt we’d buy dangerous animals with it.
2. Mike Tyson
- Bengal tigers
- Gold bathtub
Mike Tyson is many things, among them one of the world’s most erratic and terrifying people (he’s tried to bite someone’s ear off, after all). You can add crazy impulse buyer to the list since Tyson has arguably spent money on some pretty ridiculous things to date.
The former boxer spent around $535,000 on the purchase, care, and training of the three Bengal tigers he owned for a year. He sold them after he was sued (tigers bite, who knew?) and made a safer lavish purchase. Tyson bought his first wife a $2.2 million 24-karat solid gold bathtub.
Next: Regardless of his 6’10” stature, no one needs a bed this big.
3. Al Jefferson
- A $23,000 10 x 12-foot bed
At 6’10”, we get why Jefferson wanted a bigger bed. But at 120 square feet, Jefferson’s $23,000 bed takes up more space than some people’s New York City apartment rooms. Teammate Mo Williams tweeted out a photo of the bed as well as its hefty price tag.
Among other things, the bed is big enough to fit four six-foot-wide regulation NBA backboards, four silverback gorillas, and a Mini Cooper … just not all at once.
Next: An oxygen room allegedly helps athletic performance
4. Tiger Woods
- $60 million mansion with an oxygen room
Not only does Tiger Woods have one of the priciest homes of any athlete, he has some of the most obscure amenities. The Jupiter Island, Florida, home sits on not one, but two waterfronts. He hired Palm Beach-based realtors Cary and Jeff Lichtenstein to build the on-property golf course and main house.
While Woods has features you’d expect of a pro-athlete — you know, the standard 6,400-square-foot gym, four golf greens, and a media room to watch footage — he also has an oxygen therapy room.
Next: Ben Franklin may adorn $100 bills, but we don’t know if he’d approve this message
5. Darius Miles
- A 1975 Pontiac Bonneville with a Painting of Benjamin Franklin smoking a joint
The pro-basketball player tricked out his ride with 30″ wheels, but even that isn’t the craziest way he spent his money. He had Benjamin Franklin on a $100 bill painted on the side of the car’s hood. What came across as a tribute to the former president (or to the $100 he’s printed on) became even more controversial when he was painted with a lit joint in his mouth.
Next: The athlete who had a literal ‘shark budget.’
6. Gilbert Arenas
- $6,500 monthly “shark budget”
- $60,000 miniature child’s train set
Documents from a settlement with the former basketball player’s ex-girlfriend revealed some of the ridiculous things Arenas spent money on. Arenas, who makes around $1.5 million a month, spent $675 per carwash, and $60,000 on a mini train set to keep his kids entertained.
We doubt they needed much entertainment when they had live sharks around, however. Arenas spent $5,000 a month on food for his unconventional pets as well as $1,500 for their keeper.
Next: He spent millions to have a miniature version of himself around his neck.
7. Marquis Daniels
- Gold pendant of his own head
NBA player Marquis Daniels commissioned an interesting piece of jewelry … in the shape of his own head. The jeweler allegedly had to map out the dimensions of Daniels’ own head using 3D laser technology in order to make the miniature recreation.
While the cost is unknown, the necklace is 1,300 grams (2.9 pounds) of 14-karat gold, so we’re guessing it doesn’t run cheap.
Next: Pet alligators are pretty normal, right?
8. Darnell Dockett
- Baby alligator
The former football player tweeted “I’m out here messing with these gators in everglades!” and claimed one nearly bit him. Apparently, that wasn’t enough to turn him off the wild reptile: Dockett bought a baby alligator for $500 and named him Nino.
Next: This athlete bought a car dealership, only to go bankrupt
9. Deuce McAllister
- $1.5 million Nissan Dealership
Deuce McAllister made $70 million throughout his career in the NFL. The majority of Americans will never see that kind of money, but it only took McAllister three years to blow the money past retirement. The former running back purchased his own Nissan dealership.
The lot, unfortunately, went under, as did McAllister’s finances: the Sheriff’s office auctioned off his home less than a year after he retired.
Next: The infamous athlete went broke for many reasons … his illegal actions were definitely one.
10. Terrell Owens
- $2 million bingo hall
Terrell Owens blew through his millions — and apparently learned from it — but not before he made a risky investment in a bingo hall and entertainment complex. Owens spent $2 million on the Alabama entertainment center regardless of the NFL’s policy against its players doing exactly that. Also, the center’s electronic bingo devices were illegal in Alabama.
According to CourthouseNews.com, Owens sued the attorney who allegedly encouraged him to invest the money.
Next: An entire state paid for this athlete’s purchase
11. Curt Schilling
- $50 million video game empire
The Red Sox legend developed 38 studios off his baseball namesake and dumped $50 million into his empire in 2010. By 2012, the company went bankrupt and laid off all of its employees.
The company didn’t just hurt Schilling’s finances: it put a dent in the state of Rhode Island. According to The New York Times, “lawmakers were rushing to approve a deal to make the state Mr. Schilling’s angel investor.” They’d soon regret partnering with the pro: the empire’s bankruptcy blew a “sizable hole in the state’s already strained finances.”
Next: Even if we had the money, we wouldn’t make this purchase
12. Chad Johnson
- Aquarium headboard
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson sleeps below the sea … or at least, below a headboard full of salt water and tropical fish. The headboard aquarium is complete with coral reefs, friendly fish, and various cage cleaners. Talk about luxury.
Next: One of the wealthiest female athletes knows how to show off her millions
13. Serena Williams
- Millions of dollars in property
The tennis star’s guilty pleasure isn’t indulging in sweets or treating herself to new rackets. Williams prefers a more expensive hobby: buying property. When asked how much she owns, she told Maverick Carter, “I don’t know, a lot.” She’s owned properties in Manhattan, Paris, and West Palm Beach, among other luxurious destinations.
Turns out even though she has expendable income, she regrets selling homes. Williams recently bought a new home in Beverly Hills for $6.7 million — right after she put her $12 million Bel Air mansion on the market.
Next: He was featured in ESPN’s ‘Broke’ documentary
14. Andre Rison
- Jewelry, cars, you name it
The former NFL wide receiver shared his story of riches to rags on ESPN’s Broke documentary. Despite his $20 million from playing and endorsements, Rison went out of control spending his money on luxurious purchases. “I guarantee I spent a million dollars on jewelry,” he said in the documentary.
Rison also lost back-to-back houses at a certain point in his career and bought cars regardless of their price or reliability.
Next: The athlete finally could fly — for real
15. Michael Jordan
- $30 million airplane
“Air” Jordan went for an airplane … well, a private jet. The basketball superstar bought a Gulfstream IV and ensured his signature #23 and Olympic #6 were plastered on.
The jet was made to look like a “big sneaker” according to The Washington Post. Jordan has redesigned the exterior multiple times, including once when he gave it an “elephant print” camouflage to reflect his sneakers.
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