Life isn’t always been easy for former athletes.
A prime example is eleven-time NBA All-Star, three-time All-NBA First-Teamer, and the 2001 league MVP, Allen Iverson.
Despite career earnings of approximately $200 million — $155 million of which came from his NBA salary — as well as a lifelong deal with Reebok worth $800,000 a year with a payout set for 2030 of $32 million, two years after his final game for the Philadelphia 76ers Iverson had little left, The Sun reports.
According to the Washington Post, in 2012 Iverson told his estranged wife, Tawanna, that “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger” during their divorce proceeding.
She then handed him $61.
So, how did Iverson, an NBA Hall of Famer, get to this point?
Well, as is usually the case in these scenarios, there’s no simple answer.
According to Clutch Points, Iverson likes to shop, and would previously spend $10,000 on clothes, the same on restaurants, and more than that every month on groceries alone.
He also reportedly had a crew of over 50 people at its peak who he would take care of, and they say that while Iverson kept cash in garbage bags around his home, some would occasionally go missing.
Iverson also had expensive habits when it came to nights out, with former 76ers teammate Matt Barnes explaining to Sports Illustrated just how loose he was with his cash.
Barnes said: “Allen was the first guy that showed me how NBA players spend money in strip clubs.
“That guy went. HARD. He’d throw so much money, and this was when I was first in the league, that I used to take my foot and scoop the s*** under my chair and either re-throw it or put some in my pocket.
“He’d throw $30,000, $40,000 every time we went. I’m like, ‘You realise what I can do with this money?”
Then there was Iverson’s enviable car collection.
To put into perspective just how vast his collection was, back in 2011 during a traffic stop, Iverson reportedly told the officer “take the vehicle, I have ten more.”
The vehicle in question? A Lamborghini Murcielago that was subsequently impounded.
Iverson himself also recalled a story in an article he wrote back in 2018 for The Players Tribune, in which he jokes about the time he gave his teammate Larry Hughes his Bentley.
Iverson explained that during Hughes’ rookie year the two were walking through the parking lot after practice when they walk up to his Bentley.
He continued: “A Bentley, it’s nothing to me. You know what I’m saying? It’s just a car. But it’s funny, because it’s not like that for everyone. If you’re AI……. it’s a Bentley. If you’re not? It’s a BENTLEY”
Iverson explained that after seeing Hughes staring “in a Bentley Daze” the rookie told him “Yo….. AI. I have to get me one of these.”
To which Iverson responded: “I don’t even hesitate. “Bro, you can have mine.”
Finally, there was Iverson’s aforementioned divorce, as well as his highly publicised legal, alcohol, and gambling issues.
Back in 2010, Stephen A. Smith wrote: “If numerous NBA sources are telling the truth—and there’s no reason to believe they’d do otherwise in a situation of this magnitude—Iverson will either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away.”
Just two years after Smith’s ominous prediction, Iverson declared bankruptcy.
Per Clutch Points, this call was made as he couldn’t pay the $900,000 debt owed to a jeweler.
Thankfully for Iverson, who now has a reported net worth of $1 million, he is now just eight years away from gaining access to the $32 million trust set up by Reebok.
Iverson was this week named Shaquille O’Neal’s vice president of basketball at Reebok after the NBA icon was given control of the apparel company’s basketball operations.
— This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission