Being an NBA star comes with a hefty price tag. The trade-off for their popularity and huge salaries is their privacy. The spotlight on NBA players is not limited on the court. It particularly magnifies what they do off the court. Thus, messy NBA divorces easily become tabloid material or as today’s social media world would put it—viral.
The five players below had some of the most expensive NBA divorces of all time. Some cost a huge amount of money while others cost more than that—it affected their NBA careers.
5. Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
One of the most publicized weddings in the NBA was that of Kris Humphries’ marriage to actress Kim Kardashian. Humphries was one of the most hardworking role players on the floor and he was quite productive. He became immensely more popular when he dated and then married Kim. Unfortunately for them, the $10-million wedding couldn’t save their marriage and they soon divorced after 72 days.
This marriage was made for reality TV. It was messy and controversial. Humphries was reportedly demanding $7 million from the wealthier Kardashian but to no avail. He never got it anyway. There were rumors that their marriage was just done so they can cash in on $18 million from their wedding. Since then, Humphries has had a quiet NBA career while Kim married Kanye, had kids, and built a make-up empire. It’s quite clear who got the short stick on this one.
4. Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie Nelson
In Shaq’s biography, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” he said that infidelity was the main reason for his divorce. The Big Aristotle said, “I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that’s on me.”
That was not the only one on his shoulders. Shaq reportedly paid his ex-wife Shaunie Nelson $10,000 monthly for alimony and another $10,000 for child support.
Shaq wisely had a prenup, protecting most of his assets but he had a private settlement with Shaunie which was still costly. His ex-wife cleverly moved to California and filed the divorce there where the law requires that assets of the couple be split in half. However, the courts ruled that the divorce be handled by Florida courts which was a big win for the big guy.
3. Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches
Had Dwyane Wade known that his five-year marriage would cost him $5 million in settlement, he might have had second thoughts marrying his high-school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches. It was estimated that the three-time NBA champion paid an estimate of $10 million in legal fees.
Funches made Wade’s life miserable off the court, suing him for not paying alimony and $25,000 child support. Both cases were dismissed. Not only that, she was on the streets trying to besmirch Wade’s reputation. The divorce dragged on for three years before the settlement was finalized. Despite all that, this messy divorce resulted in one good thing. Wade got full custody of his two sons.
2. Dennis Rodman and Michelle Moyer
Dennis Rodman dealt with divorce the opposite way. Unlike the other players on this list who had the dough to spare, Rodman was dead broke. In 2012, he divorced his ex-wife Michelle Moyer. He was unable to pay her $3,500 monthly for child support. It was reported that he had roughly $860,000 backpay in child support and $50,000 in alimony.
1. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy
Michael Jordan is the GOAT even in divorce settlement. The 6-time NBA champion paid approximately $168 million to his former wife Juanita Vanoy. In addition, he reportedly paid for $2.1 million in legal fees. Its considered one of the most, if not the most, costly sports divorces of all time. The two were married for 17 years and had three kids.
Learning from his mistakes, Jordan had a prenup agreement in his marriage to Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto. The two have been married since 2013 and has twin girls, Ysabel and Victoria.