14 Decisions Athletes Probably Regret (But Won't Admit)

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2014

14 Decisions Athletes Probably Regret (But Won't Admit)

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Although we never really want to admit it, life is absolutely full of regret.

    We all make decisions, thinking they are the best possible choice for us, yet they come back and turn out to be a pretty bad idea in the long run.

    Well, guess what? Athletes do the same thing.

    Whether it's taking a last shot, forcing a trade or signing a big deal with a bad team, some players have thought they were right but ended up being very wrong.

    So who are the biggest culprits of such regretful decisions? I give you a few examples—but these athletes will never admit it.

14. Anyone Who Has Taken PEDs

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    It's probably safe to say that, after seeing how many careers performance-enhancing drugs have ruined, any athlete that has ever gotten in trouble or admitted to using them regret the decision.

    From former *seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, to *three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez—who just admitted to using PEDs—there have been plenty of players whose careers either were corrupted by steroids and/or completely ruined, even if they did make a lot of money while using them.

13. Matt Hasselbeck's Bold Prediction

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    It's one thing to be confident internally, but it's an entirely different thing when showing it in front of millions of people during a coin toss of a football game.

    Unfortunately, former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck made the bad choice of showing his enthusiasm a bit too much during a 2008 NFL playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

    Standing at midfield and winning the coin flip, Hasselbeck boldly said, "We want the ball, and we're going to score."

    He ended up throwing a pick-six to end the game.

12. Ian Stewart's Tweet

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Just like former NFL head coach Herm Edwards always reminds players, "Don't hit send."

    It's too bad that former MLB infielder Ian Stewart wasn't paying attention to ol' Herm, because he could have really used the advise.

    That's because during the 2013 season while playing for the Chicago Cubs, Stewart actually tweeted out his displeasure with the organization, initially leading to a 10-game suspension.

    But after pretty much sucking and continuing to be upset with his role, the team finally released him and now, well, he's unemployed.

    I bet he had wished he wouldn't have hit send, huh?

11. Carmelo Anthony Forcing a Trade to New York Knicks

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    Is Carmelo Anthony an elite player?

    That's a question for another time, but what I can tell you is that the elite scorer may have already answered the debate had he stayed with the Denver Nuggets rather than force a trade to the New York Knicks in 2011.

    Why? Because he actually had success back in the Mile High City, with a team around him that was a consistent playoff team and even made it to the Western Conference Finals one season.

    In the Big Apple, though? Well, Melo is just a B-level superstar who has only gotten passed the first round once, while and continuing to see a supporting cast around him struggle.

    I bet he often wonders how things might have been different had he just stayed in Denver.

10. Tiki Barber Retiring a Year Too Early

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    Tom Mihalek/Associated Press

    There's one thing that every single athlete plays for—championships.

    So, after topping the New York Giants' all-time rushing charts, it was a bit surprising to see former runner Tiki Barber decide to retire prior to the 2007 season.

    In a twist of misfortune, after everything that he gave the franchise, Tiki was on the outside looking in, seeing his former teammates celebrate just a few months after he hung up his pads for good, as they won the Super Bowl with a shocking defeat of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

    While Tiki might have been a Giants great, he would have been remembered even more had he just decided to give himself one more season.

9. Kobe Bryant Forcing Shaquille O'Neal out of Los Angeles

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    While it's true that Kobe Bryant has had a fantastic career with the Los Angeles Lakers, there's no denying that he has hurt the franchise nearly as much as he has helped it.

    Even with five rings on his fingers, Kobe Bryant probably could have had a lot more yet decided to force the team to get rid of former running mate Shaquille O'Neal back in 2004 because of a power struggle between the two.

    Sure, Kobe got paid, became "the man" and, eventually, won a couple titles on his own, but the choice to clash with Shaq and ship him out of town is one that Bryant might look back on as a really bad choice at some point in his life.

8. Reggie Bush Takes Cash

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    REED SAXON/Associated Press

    Over the years, there have been a number of pro athletes who have made poor choices in college in regards to accepting cash or taking improper benefits from a booster.

    But, in my opinion, there might not have been a worse case than former USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush.

    That's because, during a career in which he proved to be one of the most dynamic players on one of the greatest teams in college football over the past 25 years, Bush wiped nearly all of his accomplishments out after being found guilty of accepting money.

    Not only did his actions erase the Trojans' success in the record books during games in which he played, but he was also forced to vacate his Heisman Trophy, exiting the most prestigious fraternity in sports.

    I wonder if he would do it differently if he could?

7. Latrell Sprewell Turning Down a Contract with Minnesota Timberwolves

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    ANN HEISENFELT/Associated Press

    Although we would all like to believe that every pro athlete plays for the chance at success through winning titles, one athlete who proved otherwise was former NBA All-Star Latrell Sprewell.

    While he had a solid NBA career and even made it to the NBA Finals with the New York Knicks in 1999, Spree made one decision that, looking back on now, he probably wishes he had back.

    That's because, famously, Sprewell once declined an offer of three years and $21 million from the Minnesota Timberwolves, saying that he needed to "feed his family."

    He ended up never playing another minute in the league and has since run into a bit of financial problems, making the decision even more noteworthy.

6. Aaron Rodgers' Support of Ryan Braun

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    While I can't fault Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for supporting a buddy, he may want to rethink his choice of words and boldness in doing so next time.

    Coming to the defense of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun in the midst of the former NL MVP's PED allegations a few years ago, Rodgers actually tweeted to the public that he would put his salary for 2012 on Braun's innocence.

    Um, that didn't work out too well, because the slugger was suspended for using steroids and apologized for doing so.

    Don't worry, though, Rodgers didn't actually pony up and give up his big money in 2012—although he probably learned a lesson in being so positive about something.

5. Luis Suarez Biting…And Biting…And Biting Again

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    Luis Suarez is one of the most talented footballers in the entire world, but, for most sports fans, we know how messed up he is in the head too.

    As skillful as the Uruguayan star is, his mouth has gotten him in a "bite" of trouble—get it?

    That's because Suarez has actually bit an opponent on three separate occasions throughout his career, with the most recent coming in this past World Cup when he eventually received a nine-match suspension and a ban from all soccer-related activity for four months.

    Considering he has done it three times, I'm not so sure Suarez truly regrets biting opposing players—but I certainly hope he does.

4. Brett Favre Retires…The First Time

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    One of the great passers in NFL history, former Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre had everything he could have ever wanted while playing in the small town of Green Bay.

    Championship pedigree, three league MVPs and the legacy as one of the most beloved players in sports.

    That all changed when he called it quits for the first time back in 2008, though, as he held a tearful press conference that saw him pouring his emotion out like he did on the gridiron.

    Unfortunately, Favre didn't stay retired, as he made a comeback later that year with the New York Jets and, even more shocking, played two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings—who happen to be gigantic rivals of Green Bay.

    Seeing how the Packers had to delay the retirement of his No. 4 jersey in fear of fans booing him, I'm not so sure Favre would have ever hoped or expected that kind of treatment when he first walked away.

3. Michael Jordan Retires to Try Baseball

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    Following Michael Jordan and his career as long as I have, I highly doubt the guy has many regrets in his life—but I can't help but wonder if he ever thinks about what could have been had he never stepped away from basketball in 1993?

    After earning another NBA Finals MVP after his third straight championship, Jordan proved to be the most unstoppable force in the game and still in his prime.

    And, after an 18-month hiatus from the hardwood for the baseball field, Jordan went on to win three more titles in the years following his brief retirement.

    Considering he won six titles in his six full seasons he played, I'd imagine he wonders if his Chicago Bulls could have run off eight in a row to match the Boston Celtics' record from 1959-66.

    As a competitor, it just has to eat at him, right?

2. Kobe Bryant Re-Signing with Los Angeles Lakers

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    Seeing how the Los Angeles Lakers are currently 5-16 thus far, do you think the team's superstar, Kobe Bryant, wishes he would have tested the free-agent market?

    Kobe is one of the most stubborn and competitive athletes in this history of sports, which, in this case, has actually hurt him, as he has not only handcuffed the Lakers after signing his two-year, $48.5 million deal before last season, but is also stuck on a team with zero talent and no chance at even competing for an NBA title.

    So while he got another big payday and got his wish in staying in purple and gold, I'm sure he would be a hell of a lot happier taking a little less cash and sacrificing some stats to play on a real contender.

    Then again, this is Kobe Bryant, so even if he does regret the decision, he'll go to his death bed arguing otherwise.

    Hope he likes next year's batch of lottery prospects, because the Lakers will have a chance to grab one.

1. Pete Rose Betting on Baseball

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    He is MLB's all-time hit king, but even Pete Rose has to admit that he made one of the dumbest mistakes on the planet by betting on baseball as a player and manager.

    Blackballed and banned by Major League Baseball for that decision has prevented Rose from ever getting into the Hall of Fame—which is where he belongs—yet he continues to contradict himself and hurt his case to ever get inducted into Cooperstown.

    Looking back, I would bet—no pun intended—Charlie Hustle would have never walked into a sportsbook to put money down on games, because his legacy would have been mighty different had he not.


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