Boston Celtics – 8 Consecutive NBA Titles
Winning one NBA Title is impressive, but winning eight consecutive NBA Titles is astonishing. The Celtics dominated the NBA during the 1960s and won a championship every year from 1959-1966. When the Chicago Bulls (1996-1998) and Los Angeles Lakers (2000-2002) each won 3 championships in a row, it was a big deal. Yet neither of them came close to doing what the Celtics accomplished. With the NBA now in a salary cap system, there is too much parity across the league for a single team to go on an 8-year title run. Also, there is a lot of pressure on teams trying to repeat as champions. The Miami Heat are already feeling the heat and they have only won two in a row. Unless the NBA abolishes the salary cap and allows superstars to team up, the Celtics record will never be broken.
Latrell Sprewell, the four-time All-Star later gagged on a life-changing financial choice. He turned down a three-year, $21 million contract in 2005, saying he had a family to feed. What do those kids eat, gold nuggets? He was making $14.6 million a year at the time for a total of $96 million earned. But he never played again after that season and paid dearly for it. The former Knick saw his two homes foreclosed on, got sued for $200 million by an ex-girlfriend for child support, and had his 70-foot yacht repossessed. He still owed $1.3 million on it.
Given that the former Mets and Phillies star once published a magazine, The Players Club, on how to live large as a professional athlete, he could have followed its advice. Now, his former lawyer is calling Lenny Dykstra indigent. It takes some doing to owe $30 million to creditors. Investments in car washes, real estate and a stock trading website all struck out. A $18.5 million house he bought from NHL great Wayne Gretzky was foreclosed on. He was recently jailed on grand theft auto charges and faced a possible 80 years in prison for allegedly embezzling from a bankrupt estate. He was also arrested in August for supposedly exposing himself to women he invited for job interviews he arranged on Craigslist.
The Ultimate Warrior earned in excess of $2 million per year as a WWF headlinerin 1990-1991 (he specifically received a one-night payoff in excess of $650,000 for his match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI, and a one-night payoff of $550,000 for his bout with Randy Savage at Wrestlemania VII). In order to lure him out of retirement in 1998, WCW had to pay Warrior $1 million upfront.
The Iron Sheik was reputedly offered $100,000 by AWA promoter Verne Gagne to double-cross and legitimately injure Hulk Hogan in thier WWF title match on January 23, 1984 at Madison Square Garden. To preserve his relationship with Vince Mcmahon jr. and Hogan, Sheik declined Gagne’s alleged offer.
Sid ‘Vicious’ Eudy was offered a three-year contract by WCW, worth $400,000 per annum, in early 1991. Eudy rejected the deal and signed a contract with the WWF.
Rick Steamboat turned down a $225,000-per-annum offer from WCW in summer of 1989 and left the company. A man of principle, ‘The Dragon’ felt he was worth closer to $300,000 per year and would not work for less then his asking price.
Leon ‘(Big Van) Vader’ White was one of the top 3 earners in pro wrestling in 1993. That year, he signed a four-year contract with WCW, worth $625,000 per annum, and an eight-match deal with Japan’s wroked shoot UWFI, which paid him a not inconsiderable $25,000 per match.
Lex Luger, another muscle-bound star of the 1980’s, earned $500,000 per year as WCW champion in 1991-Feb 1992. As c0-host of Vince Mcmahon’s short lived World Bodybuilding Federation bodystars programme, also in 1992, Luger earned $350,000 per year. As a wrestler Luger made more then $350,000 per year for most of his 1993-1994 run in the WWF – and earned in the $500,000-a-year range from WCW when he returned to the league on his first episode of Monday Nitro on September 4, 1995. Luger’s annual WCW salary rose to $750,000 a few years later and then leapt to somewhere in the region of 1.25 million by 2000.
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