Top 10 Sports Breakups of All Time

Most people like to spend Valentine's Day with a special someone, or at the very least, reflecting on past relationships.

But sports fanatics like me would rather use the day to think of the top athlete breakups of all time (and I'm not talking about the romantic type of split).

10. Bo Jackson dumps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs were so excited to draft Jackson in the first round of the 1986 NFL draft, they offered him a five-year, $7.6-million contract--huge money for a rookie at the time. Although Jackson would later play for the Oakland Raiders, he passed on Tampa Bay's offer, instead electing to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

9. Ricky Williams dumps the NFL

After several failed drug tests and facing major repercussions, Williams retired from the Miami Dolphins in 2004, and began studying holistic medicine. This second career didn't last long, as Williams played football in Canada and eventually made his way back to the NFL. In fact, he was still active as of the 2011 season, which he spent with the Baltimore Ravens.

8. Floyd Mayweather Jr. dumps Floyd Mayweather Sr.

Before he was regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time, Mayweather Jr. was trained by his father. But a deep rift developed between the two, and in addition to their training relationship collapsing, they didn't speak to each other for a full seven years.

7. Notre Dame dumps Charlie Weis

Lots of college football coaches have been fired. What's remarkable about Weis' departure is the $6.6 million buyout he received. Who says getting the axe is always bad?

6. Andre Agassi dumps his hair

In his early years as a tennis pro, Agassi was known as much for his flowing mullet as for his play. So it was a shock when he shaved his head in 1995, though his clean look happened to coincide with his most productive years on the court. However, in his 2009 autobiography, Agassi revealed his famous mane had actually been a wig designed to hide his receding hairline.

5. Shaquille O'Neal dumps the Orlando Magic

Shaq began his career as a dominant center with the Magic, but he turned down a big extension offer and joined the Los Angeles Lakers, who gave him even more money. Despite a rocky relationship with Kobe Bryant, O'Neal helped the Lakers win three championships.

4. Barry Sanders dumps the Detroit Lions

The great running back still had a lot of play in him when he abruptly retired shortly before the 1999 season. He would later explain Detroit's culture of losing was too much for him to take. Judging from the Lions' struggles, Sanders probably made a wise choice.

3. Michael Jordan dumps basketball

Arguably the most successful NBA player of all time, Jordan shook up the sports world when he quit basketball for baseball in the prime of his career. After struggling for the minor league Birmingham Barons and Scottsdale Scorpions teams, Jordan thought better and made a triumphant return to the Chicago Bulls.

2. LeBron James dumps the Cleveland Cavaliers

If James had quietly signed with the Miami Heat, this wouldn't have been a controversial move. However, his decision to announce his change of teams during a live TV special proved to be a historic blunder, as he infuriated the entire city of Cleveland.

1. The Boston Red Sox dump Babe Ruth

The Red Sox must have thought they were taking advantage of the New York Yankees when they sold Ruth to them for $100,000. Oops! Ruth went on to become one of baseball's biggest legends, while Boston went on a legendary World Series drought.

Floyd Saunders is a sports nut. He frequently observes, plays, and writes about a wide variety of sports.