10 Lavish Athlete Parties Slideshow

The Love Boat

When you’re an NBA champion and gold medalist at 22 years old, why not ring in your next birth year with two grandiose parties? Thanks to Twitter reporting, James Harden first hosted an '80s Themed skate party, complete with themed costumes and gorgeous guests. His second bash was slightly higher scale, featuring an all-white yacht party, complete with with hot shot celebrity guests Eric Maynor, Kevin Durant, J.R. Smith, and possibly P. Diddy. With gallons of Ciroc in a party of movie-like proportions, this yacht bash was surely no small economic feat, though there are no reported figures available.

Party Like a “Baller”: If you want to throw a successful Harden-esque all-white party, then avoid faux pas like finger foods, dangerous sauces and dark-colored beverages. 

Turning Up the Heat

After the Miami Heat became national Champions in 2012, the celebrations promptly began. The team headed to the LIV Nightclub in Miami Beach at around 2:30 a.m. and ended the evening with an estimated $200,000 champagne tab, topping their rivals The Mavericks, who dropped a mere $147,000 at the same club the previous year. The team enjoyed a performance from the original party rockers, LMFAO, and were serenaded by the rap stylings of teammate LeBron James. Reportedly, all non-NBA attendees were charged a hefty $1,000 cover charge.

Party Like a “Baller”: Do you have a taste for champagne, but a beer budget? Don’t worry--even if you can’t drop $200,000 on enormous bottles of Ace of Spades like the Miami Heat--you can enjoy affordable, fun champagne with your friends at your next celebration.

Let Them Eat Cake

Speaking of LeBron James, the famous partier hosted a 27th birthday bash that resulted in an engagement and a cake controversy. While LeBron planned to propose to his longtime high school sweetheart at the party, behind the scenes a cake war unfurled. Reportedly, Alethea Hickman, the owner ofPassion For Pastry, was asked to bake a special artisanal cake for the celebration with the promise of publicity and event tickets in exchange for her services. Hickman quickly discovered that her cake was replaced by a competitor, stiffing her roughly $3,000 of product and labor for her work.

Party Like a “Baller”: While you may not have famous local bakers offering to whip you up signature cake, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one. Wow your guests by learning how to decorate your own cake like a real pro. 

An Olympic-sized Celebration

The Germans are not only now the top hockey players in the world--they may be up for top partiers, too. After winning gold in the summer 2012 Olympics, the team took over the German cruise ship “MS Deutschland” for an insane romp of partying. The team is now responsible for paying over €500,000 for post-party damages including everything from broken windows to stained upholstery.

Party like A “Baller”: Partying like a rockstar (or major pro athlete) may sound glorious, but often results in major damage control. Keep control of the situation at your next shindig by learning how to deal with damages and keep them from escalating. 

Party Like a “Baller”: If you want to throw a successful Harden-esque all-white party, then avoid faux pas like finger foods, dangerous sauces and dark-colored beverages. 

Hard to Say Goodbye

In June 2011, the 7’1,” 325 lb NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal ended his 19 seasons with an all-star bash at the Moon in Las Vegas’ Palms Casino. Shaq and family dined at Chef Geno Bernardo’s restaurant Nove Italiano, and promptly made media appearances before settling in at his VIP table where he and crew sipped on Dom Perignon and Patron all evening. The party was kept spinning by Jersey Shore’s DJ Pauly D and a 30-on-mic performance by Shaq himself. While the cost of the event was undisclosed, with a signature caked served up by Caked Las Vegas, appearances by NY Jets’ Mark Sanchez and illusionist Criss Angel, and a final performance by DJ Exodus, it was surely no two-bit event.

Party Like a “Baller”: Maybe Shaq’s baller bash isn’t something you can recreate, but you sure could eat like him (provided you work out just as hard). Learn about the incredible egg power Shaq has here

Break-Out Partier

If you have an amazing year on the court, you have a right to break out of your shell--at least if you are Wizard’s star Gilbert Arenas. In 2007, the normally tame Arenas celebrated his 25th birthday with roughly 7,500 “friends” at the Love nightclub. In addition to sports star guests like Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell, rappers Doug E Fresh and Fabolous were also in attendance. P. Diddy served as the evening’s host featuring performances by Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, The Game and T.I. Reportedly, reserved tables went for around 4,000 clams.

Party Like a “Baller”: Turn your home into a VIP lounge. With the proper lighting, decor, and tasty, bubbly drinks, you could host an at-home party worthy of a $4,000 reservation.

Host with the Most

Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, celebrated his birthday as the host of the 2011 Post-Fight Baller’s Ball, which naturally included a lush dinner at LAVO in Las Vegas and premium service all around. The Lakers star and crew were fed specialty dishes before heading to the VIP section at the club, where Artest celebrated his day with a few thousand of his "close" friends.

Party Like a “Baller”: If you’re a huge sports fan who likes to party like a star athlete, try hosting your own baller’s ball in lieu of a baller budget. You could deck your digs out with sports paraphernalia, give guests a fancy dress code and dance the night away.

Just Keep Swimming

When you're a 27-year-old retiring from your athletic career with no less than 22 medals (18 being Olympic gold), you have earned the right to celebrate. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps did just that with celebrations at Club Surrender in Las Vegas, where the party fittingly continued on to a pool party at Encore Beach Club the following day. Phelps was greeted with USA chants by fans and cake presented by bikini-clad servers in his luxury bungalow. Fellow Olympians Nathan Adrian and Charles Houchin were in attendance, along with other close friends and family.

Party Like a “Baller”: OK, so maybe recreating the lifestyles of the rich and famous in your own affordable way isn’t enough. Why not check into a hotel with a luxurious pool and lounge, and maybe run into some celebrity action of your own?

Show and Tell

As if you needed any more reminders of just how underpaid you are, sports athletes have sparked a new trend: snapping pictures of outrageous receipts. DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles snapped a photo of his $10,335.82 receipt after a whole 17 minutes at The Colony in L.A. Several expensive bottles later, Jackson allegedly bragged on Twitter that he dropped over $25,000 on the night’s festivities--just another day in the life.

Party Like a “Baller”: While you may not be able to snap a photo of your outrageous tab and  hundreds of friends to invite out, you can feel like a rock star by timing your partying perfectly to hang out on the best bar nights.

A Wedding for a Steal

Another Philadelphia Eagle, Michael Vick, showed off his ability to make his lady happy by dropping a reported $300,000 for security alone on a white-themed wedding. Vick spent his big day in the lap of luxury at Miami’s Fontainebleau Resort, where wedding packages start at $185 a plate. Guests were fed gourmet “chicken and waffles” and surrounded by white candles, flowers and blinged out centerpieces. Fellow NFL-ers and coach Andy Reid were in attendance and enjoyed a day relaxation, R&B tunes and available hookahs surrounding them. But after recently signing a six-year, $100 million contract, The Eagles quarterback's gorgeous South Florida wedding was just a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Party Like a “Baller”: You absolutely do not need $300,000 to have a beautiful day. There are tons of DIY projects to personalize your wedding from welcome baskets to easy, edible arrangements.