(Amber Lee)Being a professional athlete in a number of sports today comes with a certain level of fame and fortune that is difficult for us mortals to even imagine. There’s the pressure to win, to perform at a high level, to get that lucrative, long-term deal. Most athletes won’t make the Hall of Fame or break records, but manage to avoid having the kind of train wreck of career and personal life that lands them into the “Hall of Infamy.” How a professional handles adversity often defines their career long after leaving the field of play. As much as the world loves a winner, it loves the comeback story, the rally, even more.
Unfortunately there are many athletes who completely fall apart when the pressure is on—mentally, physically and financially. For every story of redemption you can easily find a cautionary tale. Here are 25 athletes who have seriously lost their minds and in some cases, ruined their careers.
25. Chris Kaman
Dude has lost it: Hornets center Chris Kaman has always seemed more than a little bit off. Kaman is a fireworks and firearms enthusiast who spends his downtime preparing for Armageddon. Seriously.
Well, Kaman really outdid himself recently by posing with (and probably killing) a juvenile bobcat in honor of the Hornets playing the Bobcats.
Temporarily or Permanently: Oh this is definitely permanent. I don’t think the survivalist lifestyle is just a passing fad. But thankfully I don’t think he’s a danger to others—he’s more likely to kill himself in a fireworks incident than anything else.