By Daniel Bukszpan

The list of athletes who lost huge sums of money after their playing days ended is long. Evander Holyfield may have been fearsome in the ring, but that didn't stop him from nearly losing his house in 2008. Jose Canseco was a force to be reckoned with when he played major league baseball, but after his steroid use was made public the money dried up and he had to resort to reality TV gigs to keep the bills paid.

Click here for more foreclosures
Slideshows: Athletes' foreclosed homes

For many athletes who lose their former earning power, it's not just the paychecks and the prestige that go away, it's the stuff. The cars, the jewelry, and the admiration of the fans often disappear and, most painfully, sometimes the houses do, too.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Many athletes spent their signing bonuses on huge mansions with extravagant amenities. When they couldn't keep up with the mortgage payments they were faced with foreclosure, like so many others during the housing crisis.

Who are some of the major athletes who have faced foreclosure?

Athletes With Foreclosed Homes Slideshow


Julius Erving

Dr. J remains a legend almost 25 years after his retirement. But sadly he was not immune to falling on hard times, and in December 2010 those hard times cost him his house. Erving had purchased the 6,500-square-foot, five-bedroom St. George, Utah, home in 2006 and built a basketball court on the property that was decorated with the colors and logo of the Philadelphia 76ers. He moved out in January 2010 and listed the home for $2 million, but never found anyone to buy it. Erving defaulted on the mortgage and the home, which he described as "substantially underwater," went into foreclosure.


Latrell Sprewell

No matter what else Sprewell accomplishes, few people who saw it will ever forget that 1997 day when he choked his coach, P.J. Carlesimo. He drew a 68-game suspension for it, as well as a reputation as a crazed, violent hothead in the process. Sprewell went on to a lucrative career in which he earned almost $100 million, but he blew when he refused a $30 million contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves on the grounds that it was not enough money to feed his family. The gambit failed, and he was out of a job by 2005. This posed a problem, as the unemployed athlete had spent huge sums of money on luxurious items. Among his purchases were a yacht, which he named "Milwaukee's Best," and homes in Wisconsin and Westchester, N.Y. However, by 2007, the yacht was repossessed, and by 2009, both mansions had gone into foreclosure.


Sergei Fedorov

Sergei Fedorov is a Russian ice hockey player with successful stints in four National Hockey League teams. He played with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals, but it was his time with the Detroit Red Wings that made him stand out. In June 2010, the PrivateBank and Trust filed foreclosure notices against two separate properties he owned in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. One, a 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home with a Jacuzzi, a gym, and a sauna, went into foreclosure in 2011. Fedorov blames both foreclosures on his former financial adviser, whom he successfully sued for $60 million.


JaMarcus Russell

According to Steve Wyche of, JaMarcus Russell was the biggest draft bust in National Football League history. Wyche is not alone in that opinion. The Huffington Post went there, too, and Bill Williamson of ESPN called him "extremely disappointing." These summations would be bad enough on their own, but the galling fact is the Oakland Raiders had such unreasonably high expectations they gave him a $61 million contract with $32 million guaranteed. Russell wasn't able to hang onto the money after his 2010 release from the team, however, and one of the casualties of his insolvency was the $3 million mansion he had bought during the good times. In March 2011, foreclosure proceedings began on the six-bedroom Oakland home.


Allen Iverson

In 2008, ESPN ranked Allen Iverson the fifth-greatest shooting guard in National Basketball Association history. He currently holds the sixth regular-season career scoring average of all time, as well as a playoff average that's second only to the mighty Michael Jordan. Iverson's mansion in Cherry Hills, Colo., went into foreclosure in March 2011. Purchased for almost $4 million, the six-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home has every amenity, including a wine cellar, seven fireplaces, and even a panic room. The home sold in April 2011 for $2.5 million, more than $1 million less than the original purchase price.

previous next

Click here for complete slideshow on

Check out Sports Biz with Darren Rovell.

Related Stories:
-- Million-Dollar Sports Injuries
-- Highest Grossing Sports Movies
-- Peyton Manning Injury Could Shift $65 Million In Fantasy Winnings