Spencer Dinwiddie is not the first professional athlete to have an odd clause in his contract.
Dinwiddie's contract with the Los Angeles Lakers includes a $1 bonus if the Lakers win the NBA Finals. That's not much of a bonus, though Dinwiddie — who has made over $60 million in his NBA career — may be willing to make a bit of a financial sacrifice for the chance to win a championship.
In light of Dinwiddie's recent contract clause, here are some other odd contract provisions that have been included in contracts throughout pro sports history.
Michael Jordan's 'for the love of the game' clause
Michael Jordan’s contract with the Chicago Bulls allowed him to play as much basketball as he wanted.
The famously competitive Jordan wanted to make sure the Bulls could not prevent him from partaking in a basketball game at any time. So he had a clause in his rookie deal that allowed him to play in any pickup or exhibition game that he wanted to. After he broke his leg early in the 1985-86 season, Jordan utilized the clause to play a lot of pickup basketball while he was rehabbing and missing much of the season.
The Bulls did not keep the clause in Jordan’s second contract and instead gave him a massive pay raise. After he made just over $6 million during his rookie deal, Jordan’s next deal was for over $25 million.
Sunderland didn't want Stefan Schwarz to go to space
Former professional soccer player Stefan Schwarz loved the idea of visiting space. And his final professional team wanted to make sure he didn’t leave the planet until he was done playing for them.
The Swedish midfielder played for numerous teams across Europe over the course of his professional career. He made 34 appearances for Arsenal over one season in the mid-1990s and finished his career with Sunderland.
When he signed with Sunderland in 1999 for what was then a club-record transfer fee, Schwarz believed that commercial space tourism was set to happen within the next few years. And he was eager to go to space. But Sunderland wasn’t keen on the idea, so it inserted a clause in his contract that prevented him from going to space.
The clause, as it turned out, was pretty easy to enforce. More than 20 years later, commercial space travel is still in its nascent phase.
The Rangers gave Rougned Odor two horses
Rougned Odor signed a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension with the Texas Rangers in 2017 that included two horses.
Odor is an avid horseback rider and loved to spend much of his offseason in Venezuela riding horses. So the Rangers added to Odor’s collection of horses by giving him two quarter horses in the deal.
The horses were probably the highlight of the contract for the Rangers. After Odor posted a .798 OPS in 2016 and hit 33 homers, his batting average dipped to .204 in 2017. He never came close to matching his production from the 2015 and 2016 seasons and was traded to the Yankees in 2021 before he was released with one year left on his deal.
George Brett became a landlord with the Royals
George Brett was already a Royals legend in 1984 when he signed a lifetime contract with the team a year before the Royals won their first World Series in franchise history.
As part of that lifetime deal, Brett received an ownership stake in an apartment complex in Memphis, Tennessee. The apartments were owned by Royals co-owner Avron Fogelman and the deal ensured Brett got annual cash from the over 1,000 units and the right to sell his stake back to the club.
The Royals followed a similar contract model in following seasons when they re-signed Willie Wilson and Dan Quisenberry. However, the deals didn’t flourish like the team and players hoped they would. Fogelman became deep in debt and the value of the players’ shares cratered. Fogelman was bought out of the ownership group in the 1990s.
The Cowboys' rules for Dez Bryant
It wasn’t necessarily a contract clause, but the Dallas Cowboys had a lot of specific stipulations for Dez Bryant after he was arrested for misdemeanor assault in an incident with his mother in July 2012.
The Cowboys mandated that Bryant could not drink alcohol, would have a midnight curfew and could not attend any strip clubs. Bryant also went to weekly counseling sessions and had a security team provided for him at all times.
Bryant played in all 16 games during the 2012 season and had the first of three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with 92 catches, 1,382 yards and 12 TDs.
Roy Oswalt got a bulldozer
Former Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswald didn’t explicitly ask the team for a bulldozer in his contract. But owner Drayton McLane made sure he got one anyway.
Oswalt received a bulldozer in December 2005 as part of a promise from McLane after the 2005 playoffs. Oswalt allowed just one run over seven innings in Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS as the Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals to make the first World Series in franchise history. Before the game, McLane told Oswalt that if the Astros won, he’d get him the bulldozer.
And sure enough, just a couple months later, Oswalt had a bulldozer with a reported price tag of $200,000.
Giuseppe Reina didn't get the houses he wanted from Armenia Bielefeld
When German forward Giuseppe Reina signed with Bundesliga team Arminia Bielefeld ahead of the 1996 season, he wanted the team to build him a new house ahead of every season.
The request was added to Reina’s contract, however, it was not put in the specific terms that Reina would have liked. Since the provision was so vaguely worded, the team built Lego houses for Reina as a way to fulfill its end of the deal.
Reina was not thrilled with the way the team held up its end of the contract. And though he stayed with the team for three seasons, he also sued for a breach of contract. The suit was settled out of court and players who made housing requests in the future made sure to not make the same mistake that Reina and his agents did.
Baron Davis missed out on $1 million by one win
When Baron Davis signed for the moribund Los Angeles Clippers ahead of the 2008-09 season, his contract included a $1 million bonus if Davis played at least 70 games and the Clippers won 30 in the same season.
Davis played in 65 games in his first season with the team as the Clippers went 19-63. A year later, the Clippers improved. But not by enough. Davis played in 75 of the team’s 82 games and averaged 15 points per game. However, Los Angeles won just 29 games thanks to two huge late-season losing streaks.
Los Angeles was 25-35 on March 1 after a win over the Utah Jazz and was on pace to finish the season with 34 wins. However, the Clippers went on to lose their next eight games and 10 out of 11 overall. After a win got the team to 27-46 on March 25, Los Angeles lost seven straight to fall to 28-52 on April 8. Four days later, a 23-point loss to the Mavericks guaranteed the Clippers wouldn’t get to 30 wins.
Manny Ramirez got unlimited sushi
Manny Ramirez’s time in Japan included a lot of sushi.
Ramirez, then 44, signed with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs in December 2016 after last playing in the big leagues in 2011. As part of his deal with the independent league team, Ramirez got to put his first name on the back of his jersey, was not forced to practice, and had a Mercedes car and driver provided for him.
Perhaps best of all, however, was the unlimited sushi provision in his contract. If you really like a certain type of food, making sure the team provides it for you is a pretty smart idea.
Spencer Dinwiddie’s previous $1 championship clause
This isn’t the first time Dinwiddie has received a $1 title bonus in his contract. Dinwiddie’s contract with the Lakers is actually a continuation of a joke that started when he signed with the Washington Wizards as part of a sign-and-trade. The Wizards have not been a serious contender in decades, so Dinwiddie had the clause added to his deal for the heck of it.
Now that he’s on the Lakers, Dinwiddie has a much better chance of collecting that dollar, even if Los Angeles is still very much a Finals longcshot. The Lakers are currently ninth in the West and are +5000 to win the title at BetMGM.