Mike Tyson
Image: © Lewis Whyld / PA Archive/Press Association Images

9 utterly ludicrous things sports stars have blown their money on

The biggest names in sport often earn serious amounts of money. But what do they spend it all on? Dale Shaw explores nine of the most extravagant purchases by some of our sporting greats

If there’s one thing we can all agree on (unless you happen to be one) it’s that sports stars earn far, far too much money. How do we know this? Because they seem to spend their cash on a multitude of ludicrous and pointless things. Here’s some of the craziest.

Mike Tyson - The $2 million bath

When it comes to spending vast sums of cash on really odd things, Mike Tyson is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. As well as massive amounts on cars, houses and facial tattoos, his love of white Bengal tigers (and the vast amounts of meat they eat) almost sent him to the poor house. But perhaps his most extravagant purchase was the $2 million bathtub (yes $2 million!) he picked up for his wife. She quickly divorced him.

David Beckham - A gold-plated iPhone

David Beckham
Posh phone

And speaking of sportsmen blowing a massive wad on a gold-plated trinket for the missus, the aptly nicknamed ‘Goldenballs’ lived up to his name with this particular purchase. He snapped up a £22K gold-plated iPhone for wife Victoria. The downside? It was an iPhone 4. Does that mean he has to make a gold-plated upgrade every nine months? Yes, I imagine it does.

Kobe Bryant - Champagne (lots of it)

Kobe Bryant
One more round? Ah, go on then

As you’ll soon see, when it comes to outrageous acquisitions, basketball stars seem to be the worst offenders. So it’s quite comforting that b-ball legend Kobe Bryant spent some serious cash on something nice and traditional. Champagne. In one fell swoop, he managed to drop a staggering $21K on the stuff at a nightclub opening in Las Vegas. But this wasn’t simple generosity. Kobe actually got into a champagne bidding war with a poker player, determined to buy more bottles than the card-shark. At 15 bottles of Crystal, the poker player lost his nerve and Kobe won. Sort of.

Mario Balotelli - 10 grand on parking tickets

Mario Balotelli
You can't park there, sir

How we miss Mario Balotelli in the Premiere League with his odd behaviour and antics. As well as burning down his bathroom by letting off fireworks, throwing darts at teammates and getting caught trespassing at a women’s prison, it’s cars that seem to give him most trouble. His Maserati was impounded a massive 27 times for illegal parking, racking up an amazing £10K in fines.

Arian Foster - A fleet of Segways

Arian Foster
Surely, only Gob Bluth can rock a Segway

A good way to burn through your cash is by the adoption, and then sudden rejection, of high-end gadgets and electronic gizmos. But American Football star Arian Foster took this notion to an entirely new level when he went out and bought Segways for all of his teammates. Unfortunately, these being big, beefy footballing types were way over the weight limit for the two-wheeled travelling devices. So it was all a complete waste of time.

Deshawn Stevenson - A personal ATM

Deshawn Stevenson
Overdrawn? WTF!

Yes, you can hurl some change at some utterly pointless item that’s decorative or diamond encrusted. But what about something totally redundant that actually GIVES you money. Take the case of basketball (remember what I said about them?) star Deshawn Stevenson, who had an actual ATM fitted in his kitchen. Yes, really, a cash machine. In his house. Not only that, it actually charges him $4.50 every time he uses it.

Bubba Watson - The General Lee

Bubba Watson
Ya dun scuffed my ve-hicle!

Don’t worry, it’s not just the high energy sports aficionados who can lose their money in crazy ways. The gentle art of golf also has its exponents. As his name would suggest, Bubba Watson is something of a ‘good old boy’ and decided to prove this by buying the original General Lee car from TV series The Dukes Of Hazzard for $110,000 in 2012. And at that price, I doubt he’ll be driving through any barns or jumping over any creeks. So what’s the point?

Lionel Messi - His neighbor’s house

Lionel Messi
My houses, in the middle of my street

Football legend Lionel Messi recently had a few financial difficulties when the tax man took issue with some of his arrangements. But his somewhat original approach to money-related concerns also stretches into the real estate market. After the people next door started taking in noisy, annoying lodgers in the exclusive Barcelona enclave where he lives, Lionel decided the only thing to do would be to buy their house. Which is possibly what they had hoped would happen in the first place.

Floyd Mayweather Jr - A $16 million necklace

Floyd Mayweather Jr
Knock out necklace

So who’s the ultimate sporting money blower? Perhaps we can hand the crown to boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, who appears to have spent the most money on one single item. In an extravagant show of love, Floyd allegedly bought his fiancee a necklace. That cost a staggering $16 million. It may have contained the 'Heart of Eternity' diamond, one of the rarest on the planet. Though, perhaps unsurprisingly, neither Floyd or the diamond’s previous owners were willing to admit exactly what's hanging around his girlfriend’s neck.

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Reader Comments

  • Interesting story. I’m planning a business trip to Prato. Hopefully I will find what I need there.