You might think that if you ever made it as a pro athlete, you would do the wildest things on the planet—partying on the most expensive yachts, flying on private jets, living in a couple of mansions and owning a couple of high-end cars. Maybe even owning an Island! Some athletes do just that (minus the Island bit).
On the other hand, you have a handful of athletes who aren’t flashy at all. And it’s not that they can’t afford it. It’s just in their DNA to not do that. Some grew up poor, and their habit was to focus on their sport, which they continue to do. They have the means to regularly drive a pricey car, but it’s just not reasonable to them. And that’s very solid reasoning, which a few other athletes should have heeded to before going bankrupt due to a pretentious lifestyle and poor spending habits after retirement.
Nevertheless, this article isn't meant to reprimand those who spend lavishly but for you to enjoy the list of rich athletes who drive beaters and those who drive the hottest cars in the world. As you read on, you'll see numerous Ferraris on this list—but Ferrari is one of the best high-end car manufacturers and has dominated the market for ages now, continuously producing exceptional cars.
So let’s dive in!
20 John Urschel: Nissan Versa
Urschel is a unique pro-football player. Don’t believe me? Name one who quit pro football to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT. The retired guard and center for the Ravens made roughly $1.8 million. While we all have seen more jaw-dropping salaries in the NFL, by no means was his poor-worthy. His accomplishments aren't meant to be taken lightly either; he's published six peer-reviewed articles and made it on Forbes's "30 under 30" list of outstanding young scientists.
He drives a used hatchback Nissan Versa, which he bought for $9,000. He enjoys the subcompact nature of the car, as he can easily fit into difficult parking spaces. Cars aren't the only things Urschel is frugal about, though—his annual budget is less than $25,000.
19 Alfred Morris: Mazda 626
Morris was a letterman in football, basketball, and track in high school. Graduating from the Florida Atlantic University with a respectable college career, Morris was drafted late in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Redskins and signed a $2.22 million, four-year contract. In 2016, he signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Cowboys.
Regardless, the numbers can’t seem to move Morris, who still drives a 1991 Mazda 626 sedan. He got the car, which he calls “Bentley,” for $2 from his pastor back in the college days. Why does he do that? Because it reminds him of his origin and the work he put in to get to this point in life. I think that’s an exceptional way of thinking about life. If only all of us thought like that.
18 Giovani Bernard: Honda Minivan
The 26-year-old running back for the Bengals was drafted back in the 2013 NFL Draft after playing college football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shortly after he was drafted, he smartly didn’t do anything with the $5.2 million contract and $2.2 million signing bonus. You may think he would buy himself something from his hard-earned money. But no. Holding true to his words, he's focused more on the game than these superficial things. He drives his girlfriend’s mother’s Honda minivan, being rather aware of the fate of pro athletes who spend lavishly and one day don’t have anything left when their careers take a wrong turn, unfortunately. To accommodate his work-related needs, he bought an apartment close to his job at the Paul Brown Stadium.
17 Kirk Cousins: GMC Savana Passenger Van
The Redskins quarterback drives a dented GMC Savana passenger van, which he and his wife bought from his grandmother for $5,000. The van has already seen more than 100,000 miles in its lifetime. It’s an old-looking van, useful for carrying a lot of people at once. Asked about his reasoning, he replied, “It's better to buy appreciating assets than depreciating” - a true statement, which a lot of people have trouble understanding. When you buy a new car, the moment you leave the parking lot, you've lost about 20% of the car’s value. “No yachts, no sports car,” added Cousins. Spot on, Cousins... spot on.
Not sure what use he has of a van in particular, but he can travel with a few of his teammates in it if need be.
16 Brandon Jennings: Ford Edge
NBA player Jennings was picked in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. His professional career is varied, having played for various teams not only in the US but also abroad. He played for the Lottomatica Roma for a year, then the Bucks, the Pistons, the Magic, the Knicks, the Wizards, and most recently the Shanxi Brave Dragons, a team of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He's won several awards in his career in the US, including the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2010. While his career started smoothly in his early years, he hasn’t necessarily downgraded by playing in the CBA—Jennings made $1.5 million last year with the Dragons. And yet, what does he drive? A Ford Edge. Despite raking in millions of dollars, he stays humble.
15 Ryan Kerrigan: Chevy Tahoe
The outside linebacker for the Redskins signed a five-year, near-$58 million contract extension in May 2014. He had a good high-school career and an even better college-football career, winning several awards throughout the years at Purdue University. Drafted in the first round by the Redskins in the 2011 NFL Draft, Kerrigan has continued playing for them ever since. The star is really the type of person who stays humble. During his rookie year, he settled for an apartment in Reston, VA. While other players may have been looking for more, he was content with a Chipotle and Potbelly near the apartment complex. He also got a Chevy Tahoe for himself. The Tahoe is one heck of an SUV, giving plenty of space and enough power to haul a body like that of Kerrigan's.
14 Mitchell Trubisky: Toyota Camry
Trubisky was drafted by the Bears second overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The quarterback is going to be worth millions in the upcoming years, as he'll be earning nearly $30 million in the next four years. But for now, he has nothing, so he's driving like a broke college kid. On a serious note, he did drive the car from North Carolina to Chicago at the request of the Bears’ general manager. Trubisky wasn’t sure if the car was going to make it, but he tried and made it in his grandmother’s 1997 Toyota Camry. Going by what he stated in an interview, he's likely to not change his work ethic or his car once he does start receiving his salary. So, there you have it - a future star who drives a beater.
13 Nnamdi Asomugha: Nissan Maxima
The NFL player turned actor used to drive a handed-down Nissan Maxima during his football time and even now. He had an outstanding career as a cornerback from 2003 to 2013, playing for various teams, including the Raiders, the Eagles, and the 49ers. With the Raiders, he made $11 million per year for about eight years. You might think he would do things differently, but that’s not his habit. When asked about his lifestyle in an interview, he recalls about how he didn’t have much growing up. And that habit stayed with him despite earning millions later in life. Not being a big spender, Asomugha has used the Maxima since high school, and he even drove it to his prom. The current actor Asomugha is married to actress Kerry Washington.
12 Kawhi Leonard: 1997 Chevy Tahoe
You wouldn't expect a person who signed a $90 million five-year contract to drive a barn-find Tahoe. Leonard has resuscitated the Spurs in numerous games throughout the past eight years. With all the accolades and awards, he remains a rather timid guy. He's on his way to becoming one of the best NBA players, but as far as stardom is concerned, Leonard doesn’t care about that, according to coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich is right. Leonard isn't the biggest fan of the ensuing glamour, as evidenced by him driving a 1997 Chevy Tahoe for his daily activities, which, by the way, was made to work after being found in terrible condition at his grandmother’s place. Why does he drive the Tahoe when he can have any vehicle on this planet? Well, because it runs.
11 LeBron James: Kia K900
Yep, you read that right. No typos. The best basketball player, King James, drives a Kia K900. With a net worth of over $275 million, he's one of the richest athletes—his latest contract was $100 million for three years. It was no surprise then that the public was skeptical when he started appearing in Kia ads in 2015. Although he stood by his words and told the public of his endorsement of Kia and his ownership of a Kia K900, the skepticism subsided only after his teammate Richard Jefferson posted a Snapchat video of James getting into his K900. While I wouldn’t be surprised by a star like him owning an average car—especially considering he has other cars also—I was a bit surprised by his ownership of a Kia specifically. Normally, Kia is one of the cheapest brands out there!
10 Reggie Bush: Ferrari F430
Bush was picked by the Saints second overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and had a wonderful career until 2016. While he's definitely a character on the field, off-field, he's no less. I won’t comment on his dating life, but I can say his choice of car was solid -more than solid, actually: a fabulous Ferrari F430.
Designed by Frank Stephenson at Pininfarina, the Ferrari F430 is the successor to the Ferrari 360 and Was in production from 2004 to 2009. Carrying over the heritage of Ferrari, it stayed with the Enzo taillights and Testarossa-style mirrors, in addition to the oval openings in the front bumper, that remind one of the racing models from the '60s. Nonetheless, the car looks different from the 360. Moreover, the body of the F430 saw a significant improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, as the downforce was greatly enhanced.
9 Franck Ribery: Lamborghini Aventador
The jewel of French football, Ribery has done a lot in his professional career. The 34-year-old soccer player currently plays for the German club Bayern Munich after having played for the France national team for the better part of his soccer career. His choice of car? A Lamborghini Aventador.
The Aventador is the successor to the Murcielago. Although you might think the low-slung body was inspired by the shape of a shark, it seems to have more similarities with the F-22 Raptor fighter plane, as evidenced by the creases and the nose of the car. The aggressive exterior is totally backed up by the intimidating powertrain. The 6.5-liter V-12 engine is mated to a 7-speed ISR semi-automatic transmission, giving you 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and an official top speed of 217 mph.
8 Floyd “Money” Mayweather: Ferrari Enzo
Floyd frequently flaunts his wealth. Nah, I think he always does it, and the best part is that he enjoys it. Whether you see him on his private jet showing bundles of hundred-dollar bills, or being cooled by the soft air that's first kissed by the gold-laden vents on his other private jet, he seems to know how to gain the attention of lay people even when he's outside the ring. And, of course, he for sure knew how to grab everyone’s attention in the ring with his magical performance. So, owning a Ferrari Enzo, which costs nearly $3.2 million, shouldn’t be a big deal for him. And it wasn’t. It’s just one of the numerous cars he has sitting in his home in Las Vegas. The red Enzo looks unique and exceptional.
7 Cristiano Ronaldo: Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
The superstar Ronaldo—generally considered one of the best soccer players, if not the best player—plays as a forward for club Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team.
The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is one of the many spectacular cars Ronaldo owns. The car is a beauty, from the outside all the way to the inside. Just looking at the body, you get a shot of thrill. The front has that curvilinear waist, which, with the grille, looks even sharper. The sides have all the curves and shapes in the right places. And the hood, boy... the hood contains a magic formula. The 5-liter 600-hp-producing V-12 engine can stir your soul with the beautiful roar and a rapid change in velocity as it takes you through the smooth ride.
6 Mariano Rivera: Ferrari 812 Superfast
Former Yankees baseball pitcher Rivera had an impressive career. When he went out on the field, the other team’s batter automatically became more nervous; Rivera was known to break hitters' bats with his mid-90 mph cut fastballs. The superfast pitcher also got a superfast car, the Ferrari 812 Superfast. You probably thought I meant the superfast only metaphorically! No, the Ferrari 812 Superfast started being produced in 2017. It truly is a one-of-a-kind car. The 6.5-liter V-12 engine is the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine in the market currently. Paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the engine has a top speed of over 221 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds. Notable is the fact that Rivera can probably beat that 0-60 time on the field!
5 Shaquille O'Neal: Custom 'Superman' Escalade
The now-retired basketball legend had an impressive career, which lasted from 1992 to 2011. Unlike some of your other basketball players, he was one of the tallest and heaviest players with a height of 7 ft 1 in and a weight of 325 lb—so Ferrari is not the most suitable for him. With a net worth of over $400 million, he can have any car he desires. And so can a lot of others on this list. But his customization of the Escalade is what caught our attention. The Lexani body kit all around, the 26-inch chrome rims, and the low-profile tires all highlight the beauty of the Escalade. While the scissor front doors steal the show, he also had the fuel door customized—that’s how much attention he paid to the car.
O’Neal currently serves as a sports analyst for TNT.
4 Robinson Cano: Gold Ferrari 458 Italia Spider
And here we are with another Ferrari. Robbie Cano is the second baseman for the Mariners. The eight-time all-star has various titles and awards under his belt. He started with the Yankees back in 2005 and stayed with them until 2013. Near the end of 2013, he signed a ginormous 10-year $240-million contract with the Mariners! That comes out to be $14 million a year—for the next 10 years.
He got a Ferrari 458 Spider for himself. As you can see, it would be worthless talking about the design of the car. What matters here is the customization. The gold wrap looks mind-boggling. He even had the wheels changed to match the gold-laden body. Hopefully, you like the car as much as he does!
3 CJ Wilson: McLaren P1
The pitcher for Anaheim, Wilson, has been in the MLB since 2005. He played for the Rangers from 2005 to 2011, after which he signed a five-year, $77.5 million contract with Anaheim. His personal beliefs and interests are unique. Being a Taoist, he follows the Straight Edge way of life, meaning, abstinence from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, promiscuous sex, and all that. He's also interested in racing and, in fact, intends to become a pro racing driver after he finishes up with baseball. I think his interest in cars and racing is what made the custom paint job a success, as paint jobs, in general, end up destroying the integrity of the car.
The McLaren P1 gets an A-plus for the body; the interior, the handling, and the drive have received similar remarks from other websites.
2 Sergio Ramos: Audi R8 Spyder
Captain and central defender Sergio Ramos received an Audi R8 Spyder from Audi, one of the sponsors of Real Madrid. Undeniably one of the best defenders of his generation, Ramos deserved a car that looks aggressive—he knows how to handle that intimidating look, whether from a player or a car. Ramos received this R8 Spyder from Real Madrid after a fabulous performance in the league. The drop-top version of the R8 Spyder is just stunning. (The folding-fabric takes 20 seconds to lower and can be done while driving up to 30 mph.) Hiding under the hood is a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produces 540 hp and nearly 400 lb-ft of torque. The aerial view of the car is simply exceptional, but the design is really perfect from all angles. The cost is just around $270,000, if you were wondering.
1 Roy Halladay: Hot Rod
Roy Halladay, nicknamed “Doc,” was a great player. He started his career with the Blue Jays and then played for the Phillies from 2010 to 2013. He’s one of those guys whose face always carries a smile. Although he probably didn’t drive it every day, he did show up to practice in his hot rod once. It was a cloudy day, but he still wore glasses—because that’s how cool he was. In addition to leading a successful career, he enjoyed restoring cars. He looks totally rad in that hot rod.
Unfortunately, he died while piloting an amphibious aircraft on November 7, 2017. He was really excited about acquiring the plane, according to his tweet. His plane was found to have crashed upside-down into the Gulf of Mexico.
Sources: theblaze.com; washingtonpost.com; cbssports.com; foxsports.com