Sports

35 Star Athletes Who Value Money Over Glory

Darren - August 17, 2020
Sports

35 Star Athletes Who Value Money Over Glory

Darren - August 17, 2020
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. Kyrie Irving

Things have not gone well for Irving so far in Brooklyn. A lot of Boston Celtics fans have experienced schadenfreude over the past year. After Irving left Boston the way he did, there really isn’t a lot of love for him in the city. But are the feelings reasonable?

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In short, yes. Irving’s commitment to the franchise dissolved as soon as it became clear he was leaving. Meanwhile, the locker room was in disarray. But the attraction of going back to Brooklyn and making more money was too much for him to turn down.

Mandatory Credit: CNN International

15. Raheem Sterling

The UK media branded Sterling as one of football’s greediest players when he swapped Liverpool for Manchester City. The Londoner was one of the most exciting young players in the Premier League. City bid over $50 million for him and Liverpool duly accepted.

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However, it was highly controversial because City is oil-rich. In short, it looked like Sterling sold his young soul for more money. City won back-to-back Premier League titles so he definitely got the glory too. However, Liverpool has also experienced significant success since then, so money definitely was part of the draw.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

14. Albert Haynesworth

One of the most ludicrous situations on this list, Haynesworth’s story is shameless. First of all, his time with the Tennessee Titans was brilliant. When his contract ended, he was the most coveted free agent in the league. But it all went downhill very quickly.

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Haynesworth switched to the Washington Redskins on a massive contract worth $100 million over seven years. However, he emerged as one of the worst busts in NFL history when he was a nightmare to deal with. He only stayed there for two years but made every day a nightmare for the coaching staff.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

13. Kahwi Leonard

Leonard is an excellent player but it can’t be denied he is a mercenary. Toronto Raptors fans will have mixed feelings about him because of the way he acted when he signed for the franchise and how quick he was to leave. Let’s be real, he thought he was going to be a Laker.

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After a year up North and an NBA Championship win, Leonard had enough. Fans hoped that he would feel some kind of affection for the team, but he left at the first opportunity for richer pastures. He finally got his move to LA but with the Clippers instead of the Lakers.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Alex Rodriguez

With more than $450 million in career earnings, Rodriguez made more than any other baseball player. However, his combination of greed and lack of ethics made fans despise him. In 2013, New York Yankees fans hoped the MLB would hand him a lifetime ban.

Alex Rodriguez
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However, instead, they gave him a lengthy suspension. Rodriguez continued to play because of performance increments in his contract. The Yankees were struggling financially but A-Rod didn’t care. He had a massive contract and milked as much as he could from it.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

11. Gareth Bale

It may seem a bit unfair to put Bale on this list, but there’s no doubt he’s comfortable with his status quo. Real Madrid’s record signing is out of favor with Zinedine Zidane. While the Spanish press has vilified him, Bale did try to move to China in 2019 to escape his contract.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

However, Madrid pulled the plug on that deal and kept him around for some reason. Now he just golfs and collects his massive paycheck. But it is disappointing that a player of his brilliance is in this position. Unfortunately, Bale has accepted that this is the situation and he’s letting them fill his wallet.

Mandatory Credit: CNN

10. Lamar Odom

You could tell that Odom’s heart wasn’t in it after his move to the Dallas Mavericks. First of all, let’s be clear that he was brilliant for the LA Lakers. You don’t become a two-time NBA champion unless you’ve got some skill. However, he went into decline after leaving California.

Mandatory Credit: The Nation

Odom became the third-highest-paid player on the roster when he joined up with the Mavericks. Despite this, he didn’t deliver and was more interested in his acting career than performing on the court. In sum, his lack of commitment led to a heated row with Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.

Mandatory Credit: GOAL

9. Ezequiel Lavezzi

Many people will forget that Lavezzi exists. The Argentine became one of Europe’s hottest properties after lighting up Serie A with Napoli before a move to Paris Saint-Germain. However, even oil-rich PSG wasn’t enough for him. He took the next step on the soccer star mercenary trail when Hebei China Fortune swooped for him.

Mandatory Credit: Denver Post

Lavezzi was allegedly the highest-paid player in the world during his time in China where he clearly made his fortune. He took home a ridiculous $830,000 a week during his three-year stay in the Middle Kingdom. It’s good money if you can make it.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Darelle Revis

Revis is one of the greediest players in the history of the NFL, but that’s okay. Nobody can hate on him because he was open about it. He played the system, bringing home super contract after super contract. In a sport where players end up with memory loss and longterm health problems, you can’t blame him.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback signed a giant deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but they desperately traded him away to the New England Patriots where he won a Super Bowl. After that, he signed another huge deal with the New York Jets, the franchise where he made his name. He jumped around the NFL and made a lot of money.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Robinho

Brazil’s Robinho arrived at Manchester City from Real Madrid in one of the most shocking transfer swoops in Premier League history. The club’s owners had just taken over and they wanted to make a marquee signing, so they brought in the exciting forward.

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However, it didn’t end well. Robinho thought that Chelsea had signed him, not City. Then after a decent start, his form fizzled out. That’s what happens when money motivates you. In the end, his career at City fizzled out and he left on a nomadic tour of whomever would pay him the most cash.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Carmelo Anthony

Anthony is in a special class of greedy. The Denver Nuggets thought that he was going to stay in Denver before the New York Knicks swooped in and offered a mega-contract. Anthony claimed that he flipped a coin to decide whether or not to go. Needless to say, fans did not take this well.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

After several seasons of milking dollars from the Knicks, Anthony bounced around the NBA, where he currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. His career is frustrating because he is obviously brilliant. Ten All-Star selections prove this, but his lack of ambition costs him legacy points.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Neymar

In 2017, Neymar made the move that may define his career. The Brazilian superstar was the heir apparent to Lionel Messi, but then PSG tabled a massive $240 million bid. Neymar decided to move to France where he makes one million dollars a week from the club.

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However, in doing so, Neymar sacrificed his legacy. Nobody will recognize him as the world’s best player in France. Furthermore, he can’t leave because no team can afford his fee or wages in the current economic climate. While his future is secure, he may look back with regret one day.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Conor McGregor

Money motivates McGregor like nothing else. The first UFC fighter to truly become a global superstar, McGregor makes no secret of the fact that his bank balance is the most important thing in his life. He has glory in the form of two UFC titles in different weight classes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, his failure to defend either belt, combined with his preference for a ‘super-fight’ against the likes of Floyd Mayweather shows where his heart truly lies. To sum up, McGregor is here for a profitable time, not for a long time. That’s why he won’t show up unless the UFC pays its due.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. DeAngelo Hall

Hall made a massive mistake by failing to move to the New England Patriots. The former NFL cornerback had that opportunity, but money motivated him rather than the opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring. However, he admitted that he regretted the decision when he retired.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He looked at the contract that the Patriots gave to Randy Moss and wanted the same. Instead, he stayed with the Washington Redskins on a longterm deal and Moss failed to solidify his legacy. Later, he recognized his mistake. In the end, a few million dollars cost him a legacy.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick’s inclusion on this list will cause outrage. However, there are 40 million reasons why Kaepernick is still happily sitting on the sidelines. To sum up, that’s the estimated figure that Nike has paid him so far. Not bad for a quarterback who walked out on the San Francisco 49ers.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Some will say that this is very cynical but it’s true. The former NFL star is able to make millions without setting foot on the playing field. In 2019 he made a show of working out for a league return. However, the truth is, he’s quite happy with the status quo. Don’t forget that he wasn’t actually good in his last season.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Floyd Mayweather

The man’s nickname says it all. In sum, “Money”‘s namesake motivated him throughout his career. There’s no denying that Mayweather achieved both glory and riches, but nobody chased the latter like him. A multi-weight 50-0 fighter, Mayweather had an incredible career.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, his crazy lifestyle caused him to become bankrupt on several occasions. Meanwhile, he carefully managed his career to the frustration of many fans. For example, his clash against Manny Pacquaio came about four years too late. Add in the likes of the Conor McGregor fight and you can see why he’s the ultimate mercenary.

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