Professional athletes who have gone bankrupt

When you hear about broke athletes, it’s both sad and shocking. But it seems to happen all the time in professional sports. According to Sports Illustrated, 70% of NFL players will be broke 2-4 years after retirement, 60% of NBA players after five years. Why? And what are the most shocking stories of broke athletes in sports history? It is literally unimaginable that someone who has earned millions of dollars in salary and endorsements could ever go bankrupt. Broke athletes are especially hard to fathom because we tend to remember them in their heyday, when they were still flying high, driving the Escalade, mansion possessing ballers fresh off a huge contract extension. If an athlete is broke, it’s especially depressing because they’re usually well past their peak earning years, making it very difficult to get out of a hole.

Tonight ESPN analyzes the world of athletes who go bankrupt in their latest episode of 30 for 30. The documentary is called “Broke. Sometimes you play the game. Sometimes he plays you.” And keep scrolling to read the most shocking stories of athletes who blew up million-dollar fortunes…

GERARD BURKHART/AFP/Getty Images

The 20 most shocking broke athletes:

#1: mike tyson – Tyson earned over $30 million per fight and somehow squandered a fortune of $300 million before he filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

#2: Evander Holyfield –After earning $250 million as heavyweight champion, in 2008 a bank foreclosed on Evander’s $10 million, 54,000 square foot, 109-bedroom Atlanta mansion.

#3: Allen Iverson – In February 2012, Iverson told a Georgia judge that he was broke and could not pay an $860,000 jewelry debt. Iverson has earned $154 million in salary and $30-50 million in endorsements during his career. Iverson was known for traveling with an entourage of 50, wasting millions of dollars gambling, giving friends expensive gifts and having huge monthly child support obligations.

#4: Michael Vic – After declaring bankruptcy in 2008, over the past four years Vick has spent 95% of his income, or about $30 million, on taxes, creditors, lawyers and accountants. He is currently worth $1.5 million, but in 2011 Vick signed a six-year, $100 million contract with $40 million guaranteed.

#5: Anthony Walker — Despite earning $108 million in salary playing in the NBA, Antoine Walker had to file for bankruptcy in 2010, listing assets of $5 million and debts of $13 million thanks to bad real estate investments and gambling debts.

#6: Latrell Sprewell – Despite earning nearly $100 million during his NBA career, Latrell Sprewell eventually went bankrupt. Sprewell once rejected a $21 million contract saying he “has a family to feed.” It must be a very big family.

#seven: Curt Schilling – In May 2012, Schilling announced that he had lost all sound A $50 million baseball fortune on a bankrupt video game company.

#8: Kenny Anderson – Despite earning $63 million, Kenny Anderson was broke the day he left the NBA. After filing for bankruptcy, Anderson became a K-12 teacher.

#9: Lenny Dykstra – Dykstra turned a chain of car washes into an empire that eventually included a luxury airline, Wayne Gretzky’s $17 million mansion and a personal fortune of $60 million. Dykstra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, listing more than $30 million in debt to various banks and law firms. He is currently serving a three-year sentence for auto theft.

#ten: Lawrence Taylor – LT’s retirement has been difficult to say the least. Statutory rape allegations, cocaine addiction, bad investments and tax evasion left the superstar linebacker broke today after earning more than $50 million in the NFL.

#12: John Daly – Daly recently admitted that he lost $50 million in gambling during his career. He has also been divorced four times, leaving him with huge monthly bills and little to no monthly income.

#13: Denis Rodman – Rodman has not filed for bankruptcy, but he owes more than $1 million in child support and other debts despite earning $26 million in his career.

#14: Deuce McAllister –After making millions in the NFL, the Nissan dealership in McAllister, Mississippi went bankrupt in 2009, leaving Deuce broke and liable for hundreds of thousands in debt.

#15: Terrell Owens – In 2012, Terrell Owens announced that he was broke and without any monthly income. Meanwhile, he pays $120,000 a month in child support and mortgages to four different baby mamas.

#16: Warren Sapp – In April 2012, Sapp filed for bankruptcy claiming assets worth $6.5 million and debts of $7 million. The $7 million is owed to the IRS, child support from four different women, and medical bills.

#17: Sheryl Swoopes – The WNBA’s first major star filed for bankruptcy in 2004, filing more than $1 million in debt.

#18: MarionJones – The disgraced Olympian found herself in millions of dollars in debt and with no way to earn an income after her steroid scandal.

#19: Travis Henry – Henry couldn’t keep up with his huge child support payments after fathering 11 children with 10 wives. He was eventually arrested for cocaine trafficking.

#20: Mark Brunel – After retirement, Brunell invested in real estate and bought 11 Whataburger franchises. Unfortunately, in 2010, he filed for bankruptcy due to $20 million in commercial real estate loans.

#21: Scott Eyre – Despite earning more than $17 million during his playing career, the former MLB pitcher lost his entire fortune in the Stanford Financial fraud case.

#22: Vince Young – After earning $45 million in salary and endorsements, Vince Young is the latest professional athlete to file for bankruptcy.

The following athletes have also declared bankruptcy:

  • Tony Gwynn
  • Steffi Graf
  • Andre Rison
  • Leon Spinks
  • Bill Buckner
  • Steve Howe
  • Bernie Kosar
  • Johnny Unita
  • Ray Williams
  • Riddick Bowe
  • Wally Backman
  • Charlie Lot
  • Bruse Berenyi
  • Randy Brown
  • Jason Caffey
  • Dale Carter
  • jack clark
  • Raymond Clayborn
  • Derrick Coleman
  • Dermontti Dawson
  • Jim Dooley
  • Luther Ellis
  • Eddie Edwards
  • Chris Eubank
  • Rollie fingers
  • Archie Griffin
  • Ray Guy
  • Dorothee Hamill
  • Scott Harrison
  • Harmon Killebrew
  • Terry Long
  • Rick Mahon
  • Harvey Martin
  • Darren McCarthy
  • Denny Mc Lain
  • Craig Morton
  • Greg Orties
  • Jonny Neumann
  • Gaylord Perry
  • John Ass Riise
  • Rumeal Robinson
  • Manny Sanguillen
  • Billy Sims
  • Roscoe Tanner
  • Duan Thomas
  • Bryan Trottier
  • Dany White
  • Wise Rick

What lessons did these broke athletes forget to follow? Have no entourage. Don’t spend beyond your means. Hire a good accountant. Don’t have 11 children from 10 different wives. Don’t play. Are we missing something?

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