What's more synonymous with pop culture than athletes and their cars? Since professional athletes began making obscene amounts of money in the middle of the 20th century, they've been driving around in the most luxurious vehicles on the planet. While not every athlete spends hundreds of thousands (if not millions) on his or her car collection, those that do receive a great deal of attention from car enthusiasts who dedicate their free time to learning of the new technology that goes into these expensive works of art.
It's interesting to consider the tastes of athletes who play for your favorite franchises. Are they a mark for Porsche? Do they dream of owning a fleet of Ferraris? Are they Lambo fiends? These are all interesting questions to explore in our free time, which is preciously what we've done with the following list. We collected twenty of the most interesting vehicles that athletes have purchased. A number decided to not spare any expense, while others didn't break the proverbial bank.
Unsurprisingly, a number of athletes have collected a fleet of high-priced vehicles they decide to show off every now and then for TV shows, magazines, websites, or other media outlets that inquire about the lavish property of the wealthy. Now, it's time for you to sit back, relax, and see what you think of the choices these athletes made. With a fortune behind them, they could purchase nearly any car on the planet. Which did they go with?
Keep scrolling and find out.
20 Darren McFadden - Bentley Continental GT
Darren McFadden is the former 1st round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. Before his recent retirement from the Dallas Cowboys, McFadden made several interesting vehicle purchases. The particular one we're focusing on is the big and bold Bentley Continental GT that he purchased. While it's far less flamboyant than other vehicles on the list (and other vehicles McFadden has purchased in the past), this car screams "status" and is definitely a luxury vehicle that many wish they had the opportunity to drive.
It's difficult to criticize the former running back for this purchase, the Bentley has earned quite a reputation through the decades and has become a stable purchase for a number of wealthy individuals. It's also worth noting that silver is always a solid color choice to go with.
19 LeBron James - Ferrari F430
LeBron James shouldn't need an introduction. He's been plying his trade in the National Basketball Association since he was a teenager. Since his rookie year, James has made hundreds of millions between his NBA contracts (with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat franchises) and endorsement deals. And with his money, LeBron has assembled a fleet of highly touted cars, which resemble the teams he attempts to join in search of his next NBA Championship. Can anyone ever really go wrong with a Ferrari?
While the F430 is definitely not a car to drive your family around in, it's the perfect vehicle to drive on a summer afternoon when you want to have some fun.
Furthermore, Ferrari has made a name for itself as one of the elite sports cars brands, and it isn't fading away anytime soon.
18 Manny Pacquiao - Ferrari 458
The controversial Manny Pacquiao is known for sometimes putting his foot in his mouth, his elite hand speed, and the amount of money he's made over his boxing career. His success inside the ring led to him leveraging his popularity into a political career in his native Philippines.
Manny is also known for making lavish purchases from everything including his own basketball team to a number of high-value vehicles.
Pac-Man is seen here in his Ferrari 458. Unsurprisingly, Ferrari is quite popular among athletes, and Pacquiao has one of his own. In fact, if he had only used his Ferrari in his Mayweather fight, he may have been able to chase Floyd around the ring as he ran. Seriously, though, the 458 is a nice model. However, personally, I see Manny as someone who would drive something with a more muscled look.
17 Floyd Mayweather - Bugatti Veyron
Floyd Mayweather is known for his foot speed (running in the boxing ring) and for spending his vast fortune in extreme ways. Mayweather is never far from a controversy and has spent millions of dollars on a fleet of Bugattis. Currently, Floyd isn't hurting for money, so it's not hurting him a great deal to have so many high-priced sports cars. His Veyron is a spectacular vehicle that only a few on Earth can actually afford.
With a price tag of over a million dollars, it's difficult for even most millionaires to justify purchasing one—yet, Floyd has several.
By now, we should know that Mayweather is going to Mayweather, and besides, it's difficult to critique the quality of these vehicles.
16 Tom Brady - Audi R8
Tom Brady is known for his playoff heroics, for marrying up, and the number of cars in his collection. However, there are a number of other aspects of Tom Brady, which New England Patriot fans love and other football fans despise. In this picture, Brady is being photographed with an Audi R8, which is a unique vehicle that's been earning a lot of accolades. With Brady, you may expect him to break the bank on the most lavish car purchases possible; however, he did do so with the Audi R8, which is an outstanding vehicle. And with Brady making another Super Bowl appearance, will he use his bonus to make another car purchase? And wouldn't it be quite hilarious if the tires of that car came deflated?
15 Shaq - Rolls-Royce Phantom
Of course, Shaquille O'Neal would own a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which costs over $400,000. At one point Shaq was near bankruptcy before he began investing his money and became quite a well-known entrepreneur. He also recently made the news with his flat-Earth belief, then immediately came out as saying he was trolling everyone with his statements. It makes sense, though, that Shaq would purchase a big vehicle. Is it even possible for him to fit inside a Ferrari?
Back to the Roll-Royce, it's difficult to find a more classy brand than Rolls-Royce. It's lasted decades and continues to have a stellar reputation for excellence and luxury. However, there are a number of different luxury vehicles on this list which tickle the fancy of numerous enthusiasts.
14 Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Pink Lamborghini
Lamborghinis seem to be a typical go-to sports car for a number of athletes. The approximate cost of these vehicles starts around $200,000, which is far cheaper than a number of other luxury sports vehicles available to athletes. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the best soccer (futbol) players in the world, went for a Lambo, but he went all out on his. It's hard to argue with the stylish pink(ish) paint job, which matches his cleats.
When you're an amazing player like him, you can afford a custom paint job like this on a sports car. This is actually an incredible paint job, which should set an example for other athletes that if they're going to go bold, they should keep the spirit of the vehicle in mind.
13 Floyd Mayweather - Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
Floyd Mayweather loves his flashy cars and making lavish purchases. There isn't much you can say about this vehicle other than 'wow!' It's a car made to simply go fast.
The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita is a vehicle worth an estimated $4.8 million, and it can reach at least 250 mph and is the absolute definition of a supercar.
Floyd recently put this car on auction, and it's a curious decision for someone who recently made tens of millions of dollars off a 'fight' against Conor McGregor. This is the kind of car you just keep around to say you own it unless you're millions of dollars in debt. But Floyd is a 'complicated' person who can sell a vehicle that's a look into the future regarding what vehicles are capable of, even if he doesn't really need the money.
12 John Cena - Corvette InCENArator
In John Cena fashion, he decided to have Corvette make him a custom sports car. The most disappointing aspect of this vehicle is its name "InCENArator," which isn't exactly clever and rolls off the tongue like the stereotypical dad joke. Speaking of dad jokes, this is the perfect picture of the InCENArator because you can't see John Cena. In all seriousness, the vehicle looks like something out of a futuristic action movie. It's definitely not simplistic and isn't something that would fit the tastes of everyone.
Perhaps, if the InCENArator were all black, it would give the vehicle a bit more attitude; however, it's not the worst custom design of all time, and it far exceeds the design of many concept cars.
11 Kobe Bryant - Ferrari F430
Kobe Bryant has had his own fair share of controversies on and off the basketball court. However, the Black Mamba has collected a nice fleet of cars in his stable of exotic vehicles. His cherry-red Ferrari F430 is definitely one that will catch the eye of many.
The list price of this beautiful sports car is between $61,000 and $470,000, making it a reasonably priced Ferrari for millionaire athletes and other entertainers.
The Ferrari, in general, is one of the most visibly striking vehicles on the planet and seems to always catch the eye of people anywhere it pops up in the world. You may not like Kobe or agree with a number of his life choices, but he made a good purchase here.
10 C.J. Wilson - McLaren P1
This visually stunning vehicle is the 'hyperblurple' McLaren P1 and is owned by former Major League Baseball Pitcher turned automotive dealer CJ Wilson. Wilson is a known car enthusiast and isn't afraid to speak his mind on a number of topics. He even penned an article after he drove this McLaren home, the piece he wrote dubbing this vehicle his dream car. The article does feel a bit like a fantasy for those of us who don't have a net worth of tens of millions of dollars; however, it did give some interesting insight into the process of buying such a car.
The paint job is absolutely amazing and is something to marvel over. It may be too 'loud' for some individuals, yet the color alone, not to mention the vehicle itself, is a masterpiece.
9 Russell Westbrook - Lamborghini
Everyone wants to have a Lambo, and National Basketball Association player Russell Westbrook is no different. When he isn't playing as a shooting guard trapped at point guard, he likes to enjoy his cars. This Lamborghini catches the eye for its unique styling and color scheme.
Westbrook is known for his car collection and owning a dealership of his own, which definitely benefits from his name.
However, Westbrook isn't known to spend as much on his car collection as other celebrities, but that doesn't mean he hasn't spent a sizable portion on cars. It's difficult to blame him for making a Lamborghini a part of his collection. Actually, with his playing style on the court, it's surprising he didn't go with a Koenigsegg.
8 LeBron James - Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
Speaking of Lamborghinis, this one definitely stands out. The Aventador Roadster is an extremely expensive vehicle, and LeBron James definitely wanted this Lambo to stand out. That goal was definitely accomplished—for better or worse. As custom looks go, this isn't the best example of a visual masterpiece. Instead, it reminds the viewer of a jungle or perhaps, a forest full of palm trees. The most important thing, though, is that LeBron liked it—he's the one who paid for it after all. This is definitely an example of an individual expressing himself in an extravagant fashion.
James owns several modest vehicles, though, so it does make sense that he would let himself have some fun with at least one of his vehicles.
7 Derrick Rose - Bentley Mulsanne
The often-injured Derrick Rose decided to get himself a Bentley. However, there has to be an interesting story behind this picture. Why did he leave an extremely expensive vehicle in a parking lot during a snowstorm? This may speak to Rose seeing himself as no different than everyone else, which would be admirable—but the Bentley Mulsanne costs approximately $300,000. That's quite an expensive vehicle to leave out in the snow. Yet, it is what it is. If a luxury vehicle cannot withstand snow, then it's probably not worth the expensive price tag. Bentleys are well-made machines; therefore, it's unlikely Rose had any problems with the car after he was able to remove the snow.
Props to D-Rose for doing the shoveling himself!
6 Maria Sharapova: Porsche 911 Cabriolet
Maria Sharapova in her prime was one of the best tennis players on the planet and was known to be a brand ambassador for Porsche. She took dozens and dozens of pictures with top Porsche vehicles. However, she decided to drive around in the beautiful Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
You can never go wrong with a Porsche, and this sleek sports car is perfect for those who want to spend some money on a car they can take joy rides in during sunny days.
It's also cheaper than a number of other vehicles on this list, yet the 911 remains one of the most respected vehicles on the planet. Maria definitely chose well when she picked out this extremely classic vehicle.
5 Lewis Hamilton - Pagani Zonda
The Pagani Zonda is a vehicle that looks like a replica of the '90s version of the Batmobile. Ironically enough, it costs probably around the same that the fictional Bruce Wayne paid for his favorite business vehicle. The Pagani Zonda costs approximately a cool $1.4 million, with some models soaring all the way to $1.8 million. The sports car tops out at an incredible 220 miles per hour and definitely catches the eye of anyone who sees it.
Racecar driver Lewis Hamilton seemingly always wanted to drive around something that resembles something he works with. Pagani Zonda is an Italian manufacturer and definitely has a lust for creating extremely fast and expensive sports cars for wealthy individuals who can afford them. The purple color works amazingly well with the Zonda, too.
4 Mario Balotelli - Ferrari 458 Spider
Mario Balotelli is a flashy soccer (futbol) player who also likes to show some flair with his vehicles. The Ferrari 458 Spider has an approximate starting price of around $260,000 and is a mix of luxury and sport. The classic red color on this one adds a certain amount of class and style to the car, which few other brands can emulate.
The car can touch 200 miles per hour and gets from 0-60 in an impressive three seconds.
Balotelli made an estimated $3.7 million in 2016—without considering any of his endorsements, so him buying a Ferrari (or two) wouldn't dent his bank account that much. Also, Balotelli is Italian, so it's not surprising that he decided to purchase an Italian sports car. Now, if he decided to go with a Porsche, that may have caused some heads to turn.
3 Lionel Messi - Prius
Lionel Messi may have a number of expensive vehicles, including a Ferrari with a list price of $32 million; however, he also owns a Prius, which can be looked at as a conservation effort by the incredible footballer. After all, Messi is estimated to have a yearly salary around $65 million when taking into consideration his endorsements, so he could afford any vehicle on the planet he wants.
While it's unsure if Messi uses his Prius as a daily driver or if him owning one is a bit of a publicity stunt, it remains a noble effort. He's arguably the best player in the world, and with his celebrity, he can bring a great deal of attention to any cause he speaks out in favor of.
2 Michael Jordan - Corvette ZR1 40th Anniversary Edition
Michael Jordan became the first athlete to be worth more than $1 billion and, by default, could purchase any vehicle on the face of the earth. Therefore, it's interesting to look at the vehicles MJ has owned throughout the years, including the Corvette ZR1, the 40th Anniversary Edition. By the looks of his outfit, this picture is definitely from the '90s, and you have to admit that this Corvette does have an amazing look to it. The color is extraordinary, and the body style is basically what you expect from Corvette.
Corvettes seem to always draw a stir based on the opinions of those who love them and those who don't care for the brand. However, let's save those discussions for another time and give them props on this model.
1 Stephen Curry - Porsche Panamera
The Porsche Panamera isn't the top-flight sports-car model from Porsche, yet it's one of the most beautiful designs from the German company. Since the Golden State Warriors began their run toward being perennial National Basketball Association Championship contenders, Stephen Curry has seen his opportunities for endorsement deals skyrocket. While this picture looks to be a posed Instagram piece, it does show off the sleek design of the Panamera.
Compared to other sports cars, the Panamera has a modest starting price of $85,000 and is reasonable enough that some non-millionaires could afford to purchase the vehicle.
If you love the Porsche brand, it's likely that you have warm feelings for the Panamera and its affordability mixed with the classic styling Porsche is known for.
Sources: Instagram; Wikipedia; Top Gear