The 10 Most Recent Biggest Wastes of Talent

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10 Biggest Wastes of Talent

Fox News

These days, it seems as if there are more and more athletes that are wasting their potential than ever before. To be honest, none of them even have a good reason to be wasting their talent, except for those with unfortunate injuries.

Some of them just turned lazy and lost all motivation to play, others are vulnerable to injuries, and some of them had a few too many encounters with law enforcement.

Most of them spiraled downward after college, but a few of them couldn't even make it that far. Included in the most recent wastes of talent are the sports of football, basketball, and baseball.

As of today, an 11th man could easily be added to the list. Congratulations to Shaun Livingston for being released from the Houston Rockets. If it weren’t for his gruesome knee injury in 2007, Livingston probably wouldn’t have been placed on 7 different teams since his first NBA appearance in 2004.

However the most popular waste of talent ever was undoubtedly NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf (pictured above). Leaf managed to have a bad attitude, injuries, anger issues, problems with the law, and even managed to fake an injury at practice so that he could go play golf.

Needless to say, Leaf only lasted 3 seasons in the NFL. Since then, Leaf just continues to have more issues with the law every year. This includes numerous burglaries, controlled substances, and thefts.

But Leaf was a waste of talent during the late 90’s, so let’s get on to the most recent failures from the last few years.

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Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore
David Richard- US PRESSWIRE

Grady Sizemore first debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 2004 and had a decent amount of success. He was a 3x All-Star and 2x Gold Glove Award winner between 2006-2008.

But after that, his career went downhill and he hasn’t played a full season since 2008. Somehow Sizemore has managed to have 6 surgeries since 2009: left elbow, right and left knees, two sports hernias and back surgery. In 2009 he also had some nearly nude pictures leak on the web. He's just another player with poor luck and prone to injury.

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Philip Rivers

Christopher Hanewinckel- US PRESSWIRE

Philip Rivers has been with the San Diego Chargers since he was the #4 NFL Draft pick in 2004. But Rivers is now on the decline. Somehow, the quarterback always finds a way to make his team lose.

He can have a strong lead going into the second half but then decides he wants to repeatedly throw to the wrong team. This has happened more than once already this season; sorry Rivers, your time to shine is officially over.

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Tyrus Thomas

Derick E. Hingle- US PRESSWIRE

Tyrus Thomas was picked 4th in the 2006 NBA draft to the Portland Trailblazers but was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls for Lemarcus Aldridge (huge mistake by the Bulls there). Thomas had a lot of potential at one point in time.

However, Thomas found himself with a bad attitude and un-coachable so he sat some time on he bench. He had some top 10 plays, but that was literally all he did, so the Bulls traded him to the Charlotte Bobcats. Now all he does is make mistakes on the court and get in fights with the coach in the locker room.

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Jamarcus Russell

John David Mercer- US PRESSWIRE

Now considered to the one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, Jamarcus Russell was picked 1st by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. He signed a 6-year contract of up to $68 million ($31.5 guaranteed) but was cut in May of 2010 due to lack of work ethic.

He was arrested in July of 2010 for possession of Codeine and admitted to testing positive right after he was drafted in 2007 as well. He tried out for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins in November 2010 but failed to be signed by either team. In 2011, Russell’s life coach, John Lucas quit due to Russell’s lack of motivation

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Tyrann Mathieu

Derick Hingle- US PRESSWIRE

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (aka Honey Badger) was an outstanding athlete and a 2011 Heisman Trophy Finalist. But this summer, he failed multiple drug tests and was released from the team. He is also suspected of breaking NCAA rules after promoting a Night Club when he was still on the team.

Mathieu stayed enrolled at the school in hopes of rejoining the team next season and went through a few weeks of rehab. But wait, he just got arrested with marijuana just a few days ago. He can pretty much say goodbye to his career as a Tiger and is going to have to hope for a decent spot in the NFL Draft next year.

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Matt Bush


Matt Bush was a former 1st pick shortstop in the MLB Amateur draft of 2004 but has gone through a few too many legal issues since then. Before being drafted in 2004, he found himself with multiple charges in Arizona after fighting with security at a bar.

Then in 2009, Bush was allegedly involved in a drunken assault in San Diego. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays but released a few weeks later for breaking zero-tolerance policies.

In March 2012, Bush was arrested in Florida and charged with 2 counts of DUI with property damage, one count of DUI with serious bodily injury, driving on a suspended license and 2 counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Bush now remains in jail and is a suspect for another hit-and-run accident that occurred earlier that day.

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Jermichael Finley

Mary Langenfeld- US PRESSWIRE

Jermichael Finley has the talent but can’t seem to put it all together. He was a late 3rd round pick in 2008 for the Green Bay Packers, but was expected to have decent talent. Since then, Finley has had some of the most unreliable hands in the NFL; he’s a hit-or-miss type of player.

His unpredictable actions make it seem as if him and Aaron Rodgers have no chemistry when it comes to football. Let’s just say that he’s not the player you want on your fantasy team.

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Vince Young

Brace Hemmelgarn- US PRESSWIRE

Vince Young’s career climaxed after beating USC in the 2005 BCS National Championship and then went downhill. He was a first-round pick for the Tennessee Titans in 2006. His rookie year was decent, and then he spiraled downward.

In 2008 he was injured in the season opener so he ran away from home and didn’t tell anyone. In 2010 he had a scuffle with a manager at a strip club after the manager refused to convert $8000 from Young’s credit card to $1 bills.

After that, his bad attitude led to a falling out with Coach Jeff Fisher and Young was released in 2011. He signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and didn’t do too well; he then had a short-lived 3 months with the Buffalo Bills in 2012. Now Young is broke and looking for work after spending his $26 million salary in less than 6 years.

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Anthony Randolph


Anthony Randolph was the #14 pick of the 2008 NBA draft, headed for Golden State with crazy athletic ability. He only started 22 games in his first season due to his lack of work ethic. Now he is on his 4th team in only 4 years.

Randolph claims that when he took classes at LSU during the lockout, he was able to focus on schoolwork and that it was “fun.” Clearly Randolph is a head case that doesn’t realize his potential.

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Greg Oden

Craig Mitchelldyer- US PRESSWIRE

Considering he was drafted as the 1st pick in 2007 to the Portland Trailblazers, Greg Oden has become a huge bust. The total number of games Oden has played since 2007 is a pathetic 82. Take a quick glance at Oden’s injury history since he joined the NBA and you’ll see why he has been a waste of talent:

- September 2007: Microfracture surgery to repair his right knee (missed entire 2007-2008 Season)

- 2008: Andrew Bynum landed on his foot causing a minor injury (missed 2 weeks)

- February 2009: Bumped knees with Corey Maggette and chipped his left patella (missed 3 weeks)

- December 2009: Landed on his left leg, bad fracture on his left patella again (Predicted to return for 2010 season)

- November 2010: Microfracture surgery on left knee (missed 2010-2011 season)

- February 2012: Arthroscopic surgery on right knee and then micro-fracture surgery again on his left knee