Music Feature

The Mess That Allen Iverson Is In

by Brandyn Campbell
Things haven't gone so well for Allen Iverson since his NBA playing days ended two years ago. Photo via gossiponthis.com

Things haven't gone so well for Allen Iverson since his NBA playing days ended two years ago.

Over the course of his time as an NBA superstar, Allen Iverson made a total of $200 million. $150 million from his playing career and $50 million from endorsements.

But now? He's broke. The 11-time All Star and ridiculously talented guard has nothing left of the financial fruits his talents afforded him.

How exactly does one squander $200 million dollars in a matter of years? By acting as if money would always be there. For instance, Iverson reportedly didn't like to be bogged down by the travel implements that the rest of us use, like luggage. So AI would simply buy new clothes at each destination he visited. When it was time to leave, he would leave the clothes behind or give them away.

My guess is that he wasn't hitting Old Navy when seeking to continually restock his wardrobe.

Iverson's conundrum is one faced by the 60% of NBA players who go broke within 5 years of their careers ending. This is no secret. It's pointed out to all NBA rookies. Yet somehow the words aren't heard enough to change the decision-making, or lack thereof, of so many young men suddenly presented with immense amounts of wealth.

Now, Iverson owes $860,000 to a Georgia jeweler, plus court costs and attorney fees, for an unpaid bill for a large amount of bling. The ruling allows for the company to access AI's bank account directly to recoup the costs, as previous attempts to collect payment were ignored by Iverson.

But who knows how much this will help them to get their money.

Iverson's NBA career ended where it began, in Philadelphia. He returned to his final stop in the NBA  for the 2009 - 2010 season, leaving the team in February of 2010 due to his daughter's health.

In the two years since Allen Iverson's last stint in the NBA, the 36-year old's life has totally fallen apart without it. Forbes contributor James Marshall Crotty hit the nail on the head when describing the sadness of the situation. "As much as I admired Iverson as a player and guiltily enjoyed his inimitable, incorrigible bad boy charm, it is still tragic that someone, anyone, in his expansive network of takers, enablers, handlers, and sycophants did not at some point pull the 11-time All-Star aside and be a genuine financial friend."

Who knows. Perhaps someone tried to talk to Iverson but was continually ignored. Or maybe, if there was such an attempt, the person was cast aside from trying to tell him something he didn't want to hear. But for some reason, like so many celebrities, AI chose to invest his fortune into groups they consider friends who gladly accept money and gifts but are mysteriously gone when financial ruin is near.

Where are all of Allen Iverson's supposed friends now to help him get out of this mess?

Could Iverson still play in the NBA? Perhaps. There was talk of interest from the Lakers in having Iverson join their development league team, which could have ultimately have Iverson called up to the Lakers depending on his progress. Iverson promptly refused the offer.

Allen Iverson is not meant--or willing--to be in the background. He has to be the main event. Which is exactly why no one in the NBA will bother. Despite his assurances, AI is a whirl of drama and attention at all times. Former Sixers team president Pat Croce said of AI, "He redefined high maintenance."

There's no way that a short two years out of the league has changed a lifetime of drama. As much love as Philadelphia still has for AI, it's hard to fathom squandering such success. What on Earth is the man going to do to pay his debts--and, more simply, to live?

Iverson is still getting offers from teams. Just not ones that interest him tremendously. He had that stint playing in Turkey last year but that was doomed from the start. Iverson didn't even arrive into the country when scheduled due--he missed his flight from the U.S and arrived in-country two days late.

Just this week Iverson received an offer to play soccer for the Rochester Lancers, a Major Indoor Soccer League team. Unfortunately, he had to move swiftly on that decision because the team's season ends on today, February 26. Iverson would only had been able to play in a maximum of two games.

Can AI even play soccer? It doesn't seem to matter. Of their interest in Iverson, the Lancers Vice President Rich Randall stated, "Allen Iverson is one of the premier athletes of our time," said Rich Randall, Lancers vice president.  "With his athleticism and competitive hunger, I think he can be a great fit with our team and fans as we make an important playoff push, while also driving interest to an exciting, growing sport."

Probably not a great loss on his part but again, the man has bills to pay. What is Iverson going to do?

A basketball team in Puerto Rico reportedly has interest in AI. The team pays $20,000 a month as well as living expenses. The report of discussions between the team and Iverson came out in early February. The team's season begins in March and so far, there have been no updates on whether possibility for Iverson will become a reality.

There is also a rumor that Iverson is in "advanced negotiations" with Guaros de Lara in Venezuela. The team claims that the deal with Iverson is 80% complete. This as of February 10--there has been no further word on possible progress between the team and Iverson.

ESPN personality and former Philadelphia Inquirer Stephen A. Smith presented a sobering prospect of Allen Iverson's future on 94 WIP this week. Smith expressed concern about Iverson's emotional well-being in the face of the life to which he had grown accustomed crashing around him.The posse has disappeared, but you hope that Iverson has a few true friends and family members to support him and help guide him through the mess that he has created. 

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