I’m not a superstitious sports fan, at least, not while I cross my fingers and wear my lucky jersey. But with a few warnings (like: Don’t read this piece if you’re convinced that negative mojo during a baseball pennant race is bad luck), I figure it’s perfectly acceptable to post a story about sports stars who faced home foreclosure.
Here are 6 sports celebrities who faced foreclosure despite million dollar paycheques.
1) Latrell Sprewell
Sprewell isn’t the first (and he won’t be the last) sports star that once earned millions and millions, only to lose it all. Sprewell was on the NBA court for 13 years—playing for the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. So, it came as a bit of a shock to his fans when his Westchester County, New York mansion went into foreclosure. The real clincher was the fire sale of Sprewell’s more expensive toys, such as his 70-foot yacht (which he sold for US$1.5-million).
2) Lenny Dykstra
Former major league baseball player Lenny Dykstra—who played with the New York Mets and the Phillies—ran into serious trouble in 2009 when it was revealed he was more than US$31-million in debt. After finally retiring from the majors in 1999, Dykstra got involved with owning and flipping houses and businesses. One property Dykstra bought to flip was NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky’s US$17-million estate. Sadly, however, the home never sold. As a result, Dykstra was US$13-million in the hole on just this property and eventually ordered away from the home (because he had stripped the house of over $51,000 worth of items, including countertops, an oven and hardwood flooring). He eventually sold the home in 2011, through an estate sale (a more polite version of a foreclosure) for an undisclosed amount. In that same year, Dykstra, was sentenced to house arrest after a bankruptcy fraud indictment. Under the terms, he was only allowed to leave his home to go to work plea, attend church or for drug-testing. In March 2012, he was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud and grand theft auto.
3) Evander Holyfield
Boxers are tough. But tough guys can fall hard. Holyfield was a champion boxer—beating out the greats including, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Ray Mercer. (Quite notoriously, Tyson chewed off a bit of Holyfield’s ear). Despite all these boxing victories—and the subsequent TV appearances—Holyfield faced eviction from his US$10-million Atlanta mansion in 2008. Built in the southern suburbs of Fairburn, Georgia, Holyfield found himself US$14-million in arrears on the 54,000-sq.ft property. Eventually the home was repossessed by JP Morgan Chase bank and sold for about half its value.
4) Jose Canseco
Ask a baseball fan to list the top outfielders of all time and Jose Canseco’s name is sure to be on that list. (As long as you ignore the fact that he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs while making those crazy outfield catches.) But it was Canseco’s legal and financial issues in 2008 that put him on this list. In 2008, his Encino, California house was foreclosed on. When asked what happened he blamed two divorces for depleting him of between US$14 to $16-million.
5) Terrell Owens
Speaking of drug scandals, then there’s Terrell Owens (aka: T.O.). A great football player (and fined a number of times by the NFL for his off-field antics), T.O. made headlines in 2006 for his Hydrocodone overdose. That’s when things got a bit out of hand for the football star; he started missing mortgage payments and maintenance fees. As a result he lost five condos in total—two Azure condos and two Commerce Street condos (all in Dallas, TX) and one Trump Town condo in Sunny Isles, FL. To his credit, Owens has tried to repair both his image, and his finances, by making more responsible decisions.
6) O.J. Simpson
Speaking of scandals and football…then there’s O.J. Simpson. The famed football player and now convicted felon has a lovely home in Miami, FL that he purchased after he was acquitted for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. After he purchased the 4,200-sq.ft home, however, O.J. hit hard times, including a conviction for armed robbery. As a result, his Miami property was sold in foreclosure.
Sources: Forbes, Wikipedia