You know what they always say: One of the ways to make sure you'll be happiest in life is to make sure your work is something you truly love.
Most of us assume that professional athletes love their lives. They play games for a living. Even the players with the smallest salaries still make lots and lots of money. Most of them have fame, fortune and lots of vacation time. Their responsibilities include going to the gym, throwing a ball around and eating at very fancy restaurants.
The life, right?
Wrong—at least if you're one of the people on this list. These people reached the mountaintop and achieved the dream that so many of us strive for and very few of us manage to make a reality, yet they're still longing for something else. Something more.
What, you may ask?
I have no idea.
Apparently, it's possible to win two championships while being apathetic about what you do every step of the way.
To be fair, Josh Beckett didn't always find baseball so tedious. You might remember his rookie season with the Florida Marlins, when he could barely get through an inning without unleashing a string of pump-up expletives at himself, a la Jake Peavy.
Beckett used to be a gamer. He used to be the guy who wanted the ball in the most critical, must-win situations, as evidenced by the 2007 ALCS.
Now, it seems that Beckett would rather take a seat on the bench and just chill. Or play golf. Either way, baseball doesn't seem high on his list of priorities.
Take this situation from May 2012, for example. Beckett was scratched from a start with "tightness in his lat muscle," according to then-Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. The next day, however, Beckett hit the links with Clay Buchholz. Man, that lat muscle must have really been bothering him.
When questioned by reporters, Beckett famously lamented the fact that ballplayers get so few off-days, and he said he should be able to spend his however he desires.
Meanwhile, the rest of MLB's ace pitchers are spending their off-days counting down the seconds till they get back on the mound.
There are some athletes who can't take criticism. And then there are athletes who will call their coach a "dirty son of a whore" if they are criticized.
Well, that's one way to get yourself sent home from the World Cup.
In 2010, French footballer Nicolas Anelka allegedly told coach Raymond Domenech the above, as well as a simple "go screw yourself," because the coach had a bone to pick with Anelka's first-half performance in an eventual 2-0 loss to Mexico.
Domenech responded by telling Anelka that his services were no longer necessary.
A simple "I don't want to play" would have been fine, though.
On another note, when your nickname is "Le Sulk," it's probably time to seek a new line of work.
So…maybe the reason baseball seems to be quickly declining in popularity is because even the guys on the field can't stand the sport.
The jig was up for Adam Dunn when he was exposed by former Blue Jays' general manager J.P. Ricciardi on a talk radio show in 2008.
A well-intentioned caller wanted to know why the last-place Jays weren't interested in trading for Dunn, who, mind you, had hit 40 home runs for four straight years, the only major leaguer at the time to accomplish that feat.
Ricciardi wasn't interested in acquiring Dunn.
"But why?" the caller pressed.
Do you know the guy doesn’t really like baseball that much? Do you know the guy doesn’t have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player?
There’s a reason why you’re attracted to some players and there’s a reason why you’re not attracted to some players. I don’t think you’d be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here.
We’ve done our homework on guys like Adam Dunn and there’s a reason why we don’t want Adam Dunn. I don’t want to get into specifics.
Pretty sure it's too late for that, bro.
Man. Jeff Kent had a pretty good career for someone who hated his job so much.
It isn't every day that a guy who hates baseball manages to turn himself into a Hall of Fame candidate, but kudos to Kent for sticking it out through 17 seasons of torture to submit a resume that firmly places him in the Cooperstown discussion.
Unfortunately, though, it's likely that if anything is going to keep him out, it's his well-documented terrible attitude.
Kent wasn't an easy guy to get along with.
Just ask Barry Bonds, who once had a very public fight with him in the Giants' dugout.
Kent was the guy who would yell at teammates for muffing plays. He would also lie about how he got injured. He would also say he no longer wished to be on the team after Big Bad Barry yelled at him.
Poor Jeff Kent. Life as a former MVP and Hall of Fame candidate is so, so hard.
It isn't all that rare to have a teammate who doesn't really have that much enthusiasm for what you're doing every day.
It is, however, pretty rare to have a teammate who hates you, and the sport you play, so much that he threatens to score on you. His own teammate.
In 2006, Chelsea released a statement that William Gallas was so dead set against the Blues that he would score an own goal if they tried to make him play for them. Of course, Gallas vehemently denied the claims, but you know what they say: He who doth protest too much…
There's caring absolutely 0 percent about what you're doing on the field, and then there's this. So congratulations, Gallas, for setting a new threshold.
Here's the deal: When your job is to be in shape and you don't feel like getting yourself into shape, you're going to have problems.
Eddy Curry had plenty of potential coming out of high school—so much, in fact, that the Bulls were willing to gamble the fourth overall selection of the 2001 draft on him.
Suffice to say, it didn't work out.
His production was underwhelming for four years in Chicago, and after three decent years with the Knicks, injuries and a lack of conditioning sent his career right down the tubes.
When the Heat decided to give him a shot in 2011-12, there was one rather large condition: He would need to lose 100 pounds.
You are not in the right frame of mind when you are required to lose triple-digit poundage in order to prolong your career.
Pete Carroll wanted Mike Williams and the NFL to have a long and prosperous relationship. He really wanted it. But it just wasn't there.
In 2005, the 6'5" Williams—coached by Carroll at USC—was selected as the 10th overall pick in the draft.
A 6'5" wideout equals great success, right?
Williams was terrible in Detroit for two seasons, accumulating a grand total of 449 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles in 22 games. He gave it a shot in Oakland, Calif., and Tennessee to little avail before disappearing until 2010, when Carroll gave him another chance in Seattle.
It took two seasons for the Seahawks to discover he still was not worth the price tag, and he was shown the door following a putrid 2011 campaign.
So much potential, so little drive.
You work your butt off to win the Stanley Cup. You are basically royalty in your city because you delivered a championship for the first time in almost 40 years.
Then, you decide that one year later is the perfect time to quit on your team and take a year off to focus on other stuff.
Tim Thomas is an enigma.
Though the team won't really admit it, he's the reason the Bruins won the Cup in 2011. He worked so, so hard to make it in the NHL as a starting goaltender. He could do no wrong, but then suddenly, he started doing everything wrong.
He refused to go to the White House because he's crazy. He then decided to take a year off from hockey, leaving the Bruins in the lurch in terms of cap space. To hear him tell it, he took that year off to focus on his family, but all of his teammates were kind of like
The Bruins then had no choice but to trade him in order to clear much-needed cap space and try to win the Stanley Cup without him. Fortunately, backup-turned-superstar Tuukka Rask was like
so the Bruins were okay.
When your teammates start questioning your dedication to the sport, it's likely that something isn't right.
This offseason, Larry Sanders signed a four-year, $44 million deal. As is often the case, it served as a recipe for disaster rather than motivation for Sanders to up the ante.
Sanders has only played in eight games this season because he tore a ligament in his thumb during a bar fight in early November. When he did deign to return to the court, his efforts were so uninspiring that Gary Neal confronted him—in front of reporters—saying, "I earn my money. You should try it sometime."
You're widely considered to be one of the best defensive tackles in football. You're the kind of player a team builds its defense around. You hit unrestricted free agency for the first time, you ink a seven-year, $100 million deal, and life is good.
Or, on the other hand, you're Albert Haynesworth, and you pretty much decide to stop trying as soon as you sign that contract.
The Redskins made the mistake of trying to build their defense around Haynesworth, whose history of behavioral problems and stomping on people is well documented.
You'd think that in the first year of his deal Haynesworth would want to prove he was committed, but no. Haynesworth refused to participate in OTAs, he came to camp out of shape, he got suspended for a lack of cooperation, and his production plummeted.
Ladies and gentlemen, your "worst free-agency move of the last decade."
The only thing J.D. Drew is more infamous for than his 2007 ALCS grand slam is the fact that he never seemed like the biggest fan of playing baseball.
Drew had it all. Coming out of college, he was a coveted five-tool player who was guaranteed to be a very high first-round draft pick. But there was only one problem: He didn't want to play for the team that selected him the first time around. Philadelphia fans thanked him by pelting him with batteries the next time they saw him.
The problem, however, wasn't Philly. It was Drew.
He was so good, but he was seemingly devoid of passion. He always missed tons of time due to injury and didn't ever seem to be in a hurry to get back on the field. You'd never see him argue a strike call. You'd barely ever see any signs of life behind his eyes. You'd think that being (grossly) overpaid to do nothing would make the guy crack a smile every once in a while, but nope.
Now, it's very likely that he's enjoying retirement. A lot.
You would think that once you're widely agreed upon as the best center in the game of basketball, you'd be a pretty happy person.
Not Andrew Bynum.
Bynum, once a centerpiece of a Lakers' team that won consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, is miserable. He has often struggled to stay healthy, he was traded away from L.A. as part of the ill-fated experiment otherwise known as Dwight Howard in Hollywood and, oh yeah, he's only played in 24 games since the book closed on 2012.
Now he's been traded and waived in a salary dump. Multiple reports say several teams are nonetheless interested in signing him, though—despite the fact that a former teammate once said, "I've never met another player in the league who likes basketball less (than Bynum)." And despite the fact that he was recently suspended by his current team for "conduct detrimental to the team," aka hating basketball too much.
So yeah, this should work out well for his next team.