From Cover Athlete To The Back Page, These Stars Didn’t Age Well

After years of playing competitive sports, many athletes’ bodies don’t take retirement too well. While some people’s metabolisms are finally catching up to them, others are bundles of stress-related run-ins with the law, making them go from Sports Illustrated cover hot to, well, just not.

From heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson losing more than a little muscle definition to all of Patrick Ewing’s hair falling out and his metabolism catching up, see the then-and-now photos of these athletes who didn’t age well.

Then: John Daly Was Once A “Zero To Hero” Champion

John Daly Was Once A
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America via Getty Images
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America via Getty Images

“Long John” John Daly has been in the professional golf circuit since 1987. Known for his long drives off the tee, his 1991 PGA Tournament “zero to hero” victory, and 1995 Open Championship victory over Costantino Rocca, Daly was an underdog for a majority of his career.

Since 2006, Daly’s game has taken a turn for the worst. But, as it so happens, there might be a reason or two for his downfall.

Now: John Daly Now Gives Off Major Tiger King Vibes

John Daly Now Gives Off Major Tiger King Vibes
Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Aside from the obvious hair issue going on with John Daly, he’s found himself in a bit of gambling debt through the years. And spending $50-$60 million over 15 years is enough to make anyone sport a stress mullet.

His excessive lifestyle choices are definitely to thank for his overall robust figure. Unfortunately, the bad habits have aged him well-past his mid-50s; as of 2021, he’s 54. A diet and a hairstylist would do wonders for this golfer.

Then: Mike Tyson’s Training Definitely Paid Off

Mike Tyson's Training Definitely Paid Off
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Mike Tyson, aka “Iron Mike,” aka “Kid Dynamite,” aka “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” boxed at the professional level from 1985 to 2005. Now considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history, Tyson won his first belt at the young age of 20.

To win a belt that young takes patience, persistence, and a whole lot of training. Obviously, as seen here, that training most definitely paid off!

Now: Mike Tyson Lost A Bit Of His Muscle Definition

Mike Tyson Lost A Bit Of His Muscle Definition
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

After years of getting punched in the face and body for a living, Mike Tyson could honestly look worse. Even so, after retiring from the world of boxing, this former champ stopped his rigorous workout routine, and it definitely shows.

With his training thrown out the door and years and years of living a “rockstar lifestyle,” Tyson might have aged a bit sooner than he would have liked. Hey, not everyone can be blessed with boulder-sized muscles for their entire life!

Then: Sammy Sosa, Part Of The 600 Club

Sammy Sosa
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Playing in the MLB for 19 seasons, former right fielder Sammy Sosa is one of nine players to hit 600 home runs during their career; he was the fifth at the time of his 600th homer. A huge feat! Not to mention he was the quickest to reach his 400th career home run.

Sosa was a force and an asset to any team. But after he retired in 2007, things got weird; fast.

Now: Sammy Sosa Was Introduced To Bleaching Cream

Sammy Sosa
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Dujour
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Dujour

A few years after he went into retirement mode, Sammy Sosa became virtually unrecognizable during his various appearances. In 2009, he went on a Spanish talk show to discuss his sudden change in appearance. Most notably, his skin tone.

Many believed Sosa to be sick because of how pale his complexion was. Apparently, Sosa began using bleaching cream at night before going to bed in order to soften his skin and give it a lighter appearance.

Then: Patrick Ewing, Two-Time Hall Of Fame Inductee

Patrick Ewing
Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Tall, talented, and sporting one of the best smiles in the league, Patrick Ewing was a marvel when he stepped onto the court. The seven-foot-tall center played in the NBA for a whopping 17 years.

In that time, he rocked the same haircut, mustache, and overall appearance of a guy who knows his worth. Hey, he’s an NBA legend who is a two-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee; he might as well look the part!

Now: Patrick Ewing, Bald

Patrick Ewing, Bald
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Fast-forward to today, and former NBA star Patrick Ewing looks almost unrecognizable. As it would turn out, time did Ewing no favors. The once luscious hair on his head has since vanished, and his tall, lean figure has made way for someone who definitely isn’t hitting the gym as hard as a professional athlete!

But that might be what happens to everyone who plays professionally for seventeen-years. Even so, aside from the former player’s height, people might not recognize the 11-time NBA All-Star if they passed him on the street.

Then: Diego Maradona And His Hair, A Love Story

Diego Maradona And His Hair, A Love Story
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

There are many talented football (soccer) players in the world, but it’s said that none can compare to the ball-handling, speed, and absolute power Diego Maradona brought to the game.

From 1976-1997, Maradona was an advanced playmaker and held the world record for transfer fees not once but twice during his time in the league. But, along with a head of hair most women would die over, “El Pibe de Oro,” The Golden Boy, quickly fell from grace.

Now: Diego Maradona’s Metabolism Caught Up To Him

Diego Maradona's Metabolism Caught Up To Him
Gustavo Garello/Jam Media/Getty Images
Gustavo Garello/Jam Media/Getty Images

Diego Maradona might have been a legend and The Golden Boy of Argentinian football, but years of partying and run-ins with the law left him a little worse for wear. But that can’t account for his entire look post-professional athlete.

As a former football player, a lot of Maradona’s time was spent running, training, and being an overall superstar athlete. Well, metabolisms catch up when that rigorous training stops. Exhibit A, this photo.

Then: Terry Bradshaw Looked Like The Boy-Next-Door

Terry Bradshaw
Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw is said to have one of the strongest arms in the history of the NFL. For 14 seasons, the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was a leader and had much to do with the team’s success, including four Super Bowl championships.

And that all had to do with his skill, not his boy-next-door good looks! That being said, they’re kind of hard to miss once he took his helmet off on the sidelines.

Now: Terry Bradshaw Looks More Like The Grandpa-Next-Door

Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After all of those years playing for the Steelers, Terry Bradshaw went into retirement mode swift, hard, and without looking back. Going from the field to behind a camera, Bradshaw threw himself into film work as well as becoming a sports analyst for Fox NFL Sunday.

Unfortunately, since the 1990s, Bradshaw’s admitted to having severe anxiety attacks after games. The stress and panic might play a part in his overall grandpa-looking appearance nowadays.

Then: Lamar Odom, Master Of Swagger

Lamar Odom, Master Of Swagger
Tom Hauck /Allsport
Tom Hauck /Allsport

Coming out of the University of Rhode Island, Lamar Odom was the Los Angeles Clippers’ fourth overall pick during the 1999 draft. It didn’t take long for people to notice the tall and suave power forward dominating the court.

He had a pretty stellar career from 1999 until 2011 when the Los Angeles Lakers opted to trade Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. From there, everything kind of began spirling out of control.

Now: Lamar Odom After Some Legal Issues

Lamar Odom After Some Legal Issues
gotpap phamous2/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
gotpap phamous2/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

While it’s no secret that Lamar Odom ran into more than one legal issue with the NBA during his time in the league, it seems as though the stress is finally catching up with the former power forward.

From marital issues with former wife Khloé Kardashian to trying to be the comeback kid in 2018, returning to the NBA after years of retirement, Odom needs to leave the past behind him. Those stress lines on his face might thank him for it.

Then: Larry Bird, A Legend

Larry Bird, A Legend
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

By his peers and NBA fans alike, “The Hick from French Lick,” Larry Bird is wildly considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. After playing 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, Bird became a 12-time NBA All-Star and winner of three consecutive NBA MVP awards.

While his player statistics are top-notch, the same can’t be said about the former small forward’s appearance. Let’s just say he took his last name to heart.

Now: Larry Bird Now Looks Like A Bird Watching Games

Larry Bird Now Looks Like A Bird Watching Games
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

While he still draws a crowd (hey, he’s still a legend!) Larry Bird’s looks aren’t exactly what he used to be. Playing in the 80s, Bird had a bit of a Matthew McConaughey-thing going on with his blonde hair and tiny mustache.

Now, he just a normal-looking guy who, more often than not, looks like an over-sized bird, perched on the sidelines watching as his team, the Indiana Pacers, lose yet another game.

Then: Greg Oden, Confident On The Court

Greg Oden, Confident On The Court
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tall, fit, and confident, Greg Oden might have had a strange career in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t all about staying in shape and taking care of himself.

As a professional athlete, Oden made sure to stay in tip-top shape, even when he was riddled with injuries and couldn’t step out onto the court with the rest of his team. Actually, those injuries might be why he’s looking a little worse for wear nowadays.

Now: Greg Oden, Looking Lost And Out Of Place On The Court

Greg Oden, Looking Lost And Out Of Place On The Court
Stacy Revere/BIG3 via Getty Images
Stacy Revere/BIG3 via Getty Images

Now considered one of the biggest draft busts in the NBA’s history, Greg Oden is a shadow of his former self. After a career riddled with injuries, Oden finally decided to scrap the NBA in favor of the CBA, the Chinese Basketball Association.

Unfortunately for Oden, changing leagues doesn’t change the fact that he looks way older than he actually is. A few run-ins with the law will do that to a person, though.

Then: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, “The Phenomenon”

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images
Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images

“The Phenomenon” Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, aka Ronaldo, is wildly considered to be one of the greatest football (soccer) players of all time. Playing professionally from 1993-2011, Ronaldo is credited with bringing a new dimension to the position of striker.

But it was only a matter of time before age, retirement, and a lack of running crept up on the otherwise very fit athlete. After playing for so long, the three-time FIFA champ deserves not to care, though. right?

Now: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, “The Nom Nom Nom”

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Well, there is not caring, and then there is going full-blown retirement mode. After retiring in 2011, Ronaldo’s metabolism finally caught up with him. It seems that after years of running miles and miles a day, suddenly stopping is enough for a former professional athlete to put on a few extra pounds around the midline.

But when someone is universally loved as much as Ronaldo, looks are most likely the least of his worries!

Then: Ozzie Guillen Played 16-Years As A MLB Shortstop

Ozzie Guillen
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

During his 16 years in the MLB, Ozzie Guillen’s career was mostly playing shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. At the time, he was considered one of the best defensive men in the position, winning both a Golden Glove and Rookie of the Year Award.

Known for his passion and love for the sport, Guillen didn’t go far after his retirement, hanging up his own glove in favor of managerial positions throughout the league.

Now: Ozzie Guillen, Grumpy And Bloated

Ozzie Guillen, Grumpy And Bloated
Jason Arnold/Getty Images
Jason Arnold/Getty Images

Going from being one of the best in your position to a not-so-great-team manager probably wasn’t easy for a legend like Ozzie Guillen, and it definitely shows. The once fit, skinny, and all-smiles player now looks bloated, grumpy, and not overly thrilled with his career choice.

That probably has less to do with the stress of the job and more to do with the fact that he’s had more than a few controversial run-ins with the media. Now, that’s stress!

Then: Jason Giambi With A Model Jawline

Jason Giambi With A Model Jawline
Don Smith/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Don Smith/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Starting his career in 1995, former first baseman and designated hitter Jason Giambi was definitely something of a looker during his MLB career. Between the flowy hair, stellar jawline, and piercing eyes, he could have been a model if the baseball career didn’t work out.

It did, though, and Giambi went on to become a five-time All-Star, three-time Oakland Athletics Player of the Year, and a two-time Silver Slugger Award-winner.

Now: Jason Giambi With One too Many Stress Lines

Jason Giambi With One too Many Stress Lines
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Unfortunately for Jason Giambi, he looks like he stayed in the game a bit longer than he needed to. Starting his career in a time when baseball was riddled with scandals, Giambi wasn’t a stranger when it came to enhancing his career by any means necessary.

Well, the “increased production and productivity” levels didn’t do him any favors in the long run, as he looks more like an old bear and less like his former model-self.

Then: Tonya Harding Made Triple Axel History

Tonya Harding Made Triple Axel History
David Madison/Getty Images
David Madison/Getty Images

Former figure skater Tonya Harding wasn’t the typical glitz and glamour gal of the sport. She came from a single-parent household in the poorer side of Portland, Oregon. But she didn’t let that stop her from making waves in the sport.

She became the first-ever American female to land a triple axel in competition, the second in history. While Harding had a long career to look forward to, everything came crashing down in 1994.

Now: Tonya Harding Now Has A Cult Following

Tonya Harding Now Has A Cult Following
gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

In 1994, Tonya Harding had a bit of a run-in with the law, something that ended with the United States Figure Skating Association banning her from all future figure skating competitions for the rest of her life.

Going from making it to the winter Olympic Games to being banned from the sport she put all of her energy into didn’t fare well for the athlete. She wound up gaining a bit of weight through the years, but that didn’t stop her from gaining a “cult” following.

Then: Pete Rose Went Out On Top

Pete Rose Went Out On Top
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

From 1963 to 1986, “Charlie Hustle,” aka Pete Rose, was beyond a hot commodity. By the time the notorious switch hitter went into retirement, he was the recipient of two Gold Glove awards, one MVP Award, a 17-time All-Star, and a three-time World Series Champ.

Not to mention he went out on top with 4,256 hits during his career. An all-time high and record that, as of 2021, Rose still holds. While he might still hold that title, there are a few things he didn’t hold onto.

Now: Pete Rose, Now The Master Of The Receding Hairline

Pete Rose, Now The Master Of The Receding Hairline
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Harold and Carole Pump Foundation
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Harold and Carole Pump Foundation

Pete Rose might still hold a few titles from his time in the MLB. But if there’s anything he wasn’t able to keep, it was that thick head of hair he sported during his time as a professional athlete.

The thing is, having one too many run-ins with the law is a bit stressful and would most likely leave even the best man balding and a bit overweight and extremely pale from lack of sunlight.

Then: Dennis Rodman, The Ultimate D-Man

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

“Arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history,” according to NBA.com, Dennis Rodman played in the NBA from 1986 until 2005, a pretty long career. During that time, he became known for his defensive skills, something that earned him two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

Rodman always knew how to draw a crowd, have it be for his playing or what antic he was going to do next. He was always a bit eccentric.

Now: Dennis Rodman Took Individual Style To A Whole New Level

Dennis Rodman Took Individual Style To A Whole New Level
MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Apparently, leaving the NBA made him even more eccentric! After retirement, Rodman went full-force with his facial piercings, tattoos, and style. He also started to look a bit older than his actual age.

Then again, that tends to happen when partying and running on the wrong side of the law is a day to day occurrence. Learn from Rodman; becoming a self-proclaimed bad boy early in a career is not something to strive for.