12 Crazy Ways Athletes Spend Their Money


Recently it was revealed that Brazilian superstar Neymar was earning a whopping €3.07 million Euro per month after his move to Paris Saint Germain. It got us thinking how exactly he would go about spending that money, then the reports of a lavish birthday bash came out and the question became was that the wisest way to spend his money. Safe to say that regular parties like that are not sustainable but as a once off it’s alright, and a much wiser investment than some of the other things other stars have bought.

1. Floyd Mayweather’s Box of Watches

Love him or hate him, there’s no taking back the impact the world’s most egotistical and talented boxer has had on the sport and also out of the ring where he makes headlines on the daily for all sorts of reasons including how he chooses to spend those stacks.

There was the $3.2 million Ferrari Enzo and the gold Bentley golf cart for his son’s 15th birthday but for us the box of watches. Some think forking out $10 for a good box of Roses chocolates is expensive, but for Floyd Mayweather $6.4 million for a case of designer watches was all in a day’s spending.


2. Mike Tyson’s Tigers

Never one to be accused of having more money than sense, one of the world’s most famous and controversial boxers Mike Tyson reportedly spent upwards of $4k a month to indulge in three Royal Bengal Tigers for pets. He might have made some of that back when the trio stared in The Hangover movie, but sadly for him his lack of a proper license saw the tigers sent to a Colorado refuge.



3. Novak Djokovic’s Donkey Cheese

Right up there with the list of strange ways to spend your sporting millions has to be Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic allegedly buying the entire world’s supply of donkey cheese. It is the most expensive cheese available anywhere and whether he actually enjoys the taste or just the attention is a whole other plate to serve.


4. Gilbert Arenas’ Shark Tank

An in-home shark tank was the decoration of choice for pro-basketballer Gilbert Arenas who spent a cool $3.5 million US installing this truly strange addition into his Virginia mansion. He was labelled one of the game’s most entertaining players on court but after the incident with the gun in the locker room, really a shark tank is probably pretty tame.


5. Ellis Coleman’s Flying Squirrel

What’s better than owning a pet dog? Three pet tigers? A squirrel? How about a flying squirrel to match your nickname? A flying squirrel was the pet of choice for US Olympic wrestler Ellis Coleman who in 2012 bought the mammal as it matched the name of his signature takedown maneuver in the arena. It was really a modest spend though, just $500 for the aptly-named Rocky, but is still strange enough for a mention.

6. J.R. Smith’s Armoured Military Truck & Jesus Necklace

Rich people love to buy fancy cars and flaunt their wealth with something bigger, louder and flashier than the rest of their teammates. NBA player J.R. Smith decided to make his statement with an armoured, military grade vehicle. Unless he was one of those doomsday preppers that seems just a little bit excessive.

On top of the truck, Smith ordered a custom Jesus piece of jewelry which resulted in him being sued by the store after not paying for it. The judge ruled in the store’s favour and according to media reports, Smith was out at least $15000 for that piece.








7. Joe Johnson’s Sneaker Collection

In 2012, NBA player Joe Johnson revealed that he bought at least 1500 pairs of sneakers with his NBA contract. His biggest deal was valued at $123.7 million over six seasons which means the overall outlay on the sneakers probably would be barely 1% of his total earnings but what else would he have spent that cash on? If he wanted to wear every pair of those shoes once per year he would need to wear over four pairs per day to reach that number.








8. Chad Ochocinco’s Semi-Truck

The guy once known as Chad Johnson, then changed his surname to the Spanish digits on his jersey decided to splash out on this solution to peak hour traffic. NFL players do need a lot of pads but the space in the tray of this truck seems to be more than a bit excessive. With a price tag in the six figures, you hope the insurance premiums are not too high.









9. Scottie Pippen’s Private Jet

Yes, this would be where you would expect the line “we all know air travel sucks so…” and it does kind of apply here when Michael Jordan’s right hand man bought a private jet for himself. The one little catch for that… it was faulty and Pippen did not get it inspected before taking possession. So on top of the $4.3 million the plane reportedly set him back, there was a further million in repairs to bring it up to scratch, which based on some other not so smart investments, he could not cover.

10. Vince Young’s Private Flight

One other way around the crowds at the airport is to buy every seat on a flight back to your home town in the offseason. One time hero of the University of Texas and disappointment for the Tennessee Titans, Young bought 120 seats on a flight from Nashville to Houston just so he could travel alone.

11. Danny Granger’s Bat Cave

Growing up, the Bat Cave just seemed like an awesome thing to have in a house. Comic book fan Danny Granger spent some of his NBA pay check constructing his own special Bat Cave. While it did not have a proper underground tunnel entrance due to building codes (or a batmobile) that is still remarkable creativity even if it did make the accountant cringe just a little bit.

12. Al Jefferson’s Gigantic Bed

Sports scientists will tell you that rest is essential for any high performance athlete so Al Jefferson went all out to ensure he could get a good night’s sleep. With a price tag of US$23000 he splurged on a 10-by-12 foot bed that makes even an NBA star look tiny.







Honourable Mentions

A few more special mentions:

  • Brooklyn Nets player Deshawn Stevenson installing an ATM in his own house (hope he doesn’t forget the PIN)
  • NFL player Arian Foster’s purchase of Segway scooters for his entire team (the only way for the Houston Texans to get around)
  • The non-legal sound system former New Zealand rugby union player Jonah Lomu installed in his car (presumably to listen to the call of the 2011 final over and over).

One That Went the Other Way

Joe Flacco’s Chicken Nuggets

Then of course you have a guy tabbed as the most boring player in the NFL who signed what was at the time the richest deal for any player. Flacco’s first big purchase was a 10-nugget meal at McDonalds… never change Joe.