From Big Time to Broke: Pro Athletes that Lost it All

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bill-swift - February 21, 2012

When most of were kids we all wanted to do one thing—hook up with one of the babes from Bay Watch, Kelly Kapalski (Saved by the Bell), or one of the witches from Charmed (Alyssa Milano was one; I don't know the other ones but they were hot too).

Make that two things—we all wanted to be pro athletes too.

Pro athletes have it all; the money, the fame, the constant adoration of nation of sports fanatics. For us regular Joes the fame and adoration would be fun, but I'd bet every single one of you out there in internet land has though how nice life would be if you could just have Tom Brady/Tony Stewart/Albert Pujols/Kobe Bryant's salary for one season.

With what they make in one year we could live the good life for the rest of ours and leave something for the kids once we ascend to the great gridiron in the sky.

As luck (bad that is) would have it, many of these guys probably wish they were us. That way they wouldn't be known as the chump that lost $50, 80, or 154 million, and is now broke and looking for a real job. According to a study done by a popular sports site, three out of every four NFL players are bankrupt within two years of retiring and 60 percent of NBA players are feeling the bankrupt pain within five years of calling it quits.

The following are some of the more notable athletes to lose a pretty hefty fortune (and the estimated amount) either while they were still playing or shortly after retiring:

Allen Iverson, ($154 million): AI is so broke that he's willing to play in the D-league if that'll give him a shot to get back in the NBA. Maybe he should have checked with his accountant and realized he was broke before insisting he start for whatever team was willing to sign him at the time.

Terrell Owens, ($80 million)
: When news hit the internet that TO was broke his decision to go play for an Indoor Team made sense. Apparently having lots of kids with several different women is expensive. It's not his fault though; no one probably told him what a condom was.

Iron Mike Tyson, ($300 million): No one could punch like Iron Mike back in his day; few probably could today either. Tyson is a perfect example of why no kid in his early 20s should ever have more money at his disposal than some small countries.

George Best ($100 million): Manchester United and Irish soccer fans remember George Best as one of two things, one of the best soccer players to ever play the game or a guy that made $100 million dollars during his career and blew it on, "…booze, [women], and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." Wow.

Latrell Sprewell ($50 million): Can you really be surprised that Sprewell went broke? Anyone that chokes his coach in practice is obviously not that bright.

Scottie Pippen ($120 million): 17 seasons, six NBA championships, and what does he have to show for it? Nothing! The man was reduced to going to Scandinavia and Sweden in 2008 to play ball because he was hurting for cash. Maybe he should have latched his wagon onto Michael Jordan just a little bit tighter!

Hmmm…sounds like a pretty good reason to stay in school, huh?

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