Originally written on Jocks and Stiletto Jill  |  Last updated 11/19/14
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Allen Iverson is having a hard time adjusting to life outside of the NBA. Back in 2009, I wrote about how AI needed a transition plan for life outside of basketball. You never want to see one of your favorite players end up HERE. Broke, alone and still pining for the NBA spotlight. I feel as though people should’ve seen this one coming. But I guess the bottom line is know one can save you from yourself. More disturbing details have emerged about AI’s life after basketball in a piece written by The Washington Post’s Kent Babb. It’s a life where Allen doesn’t see friends or family too often – by his own choice – and barely has money to buy himself a burger at the local fast food spot. Iverson stood during a divorce proceeding in Atlanta in 2012 and pulled out his pants pockets. “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger,” he shouted toward his estranged wife, Tawanna, who then handed him $61. The rest speaks on a downward spiral that you wonder if Iverson can pull himself out of. For the past three years, as Iverson chased an NBA comeback, his marriage fell apart and much of his fortune — he earned more than $150 million in salary alone during his career — dissolved. Now, those who once ignored past signals have recognized that basketball may have been the only thing holding Iverson’s life together. Iverson hadn’t been present for Tiaura’s birth in 1994, and three years later, when Allen Jr. was born — they would call him Deuce — Iverson was “very intoxicated” and unable to drive her to the hospital, Tawanna told the court. Iverson kept living as if another contract was imminent, and Tawanna struggled to curb his spending. According to a bank statement submitted in the divorce, the couple’s checking account was overdrawn by more than $23,000 in July 2011. In a single day, $23,255.36 was deducted — at a diamond store, a hat shop, a steakhouse and a hotel. Before their home in Denver was foreclosed, Tawanna testified, she sold more jewelry at a pawn shop to pay toward debt. Iverson owed thousands to a Georgia home builder, was hit with tax liens, and his wages were garnished to settle a nearly $860,000 balance with a jeweler. Larry Brown, Aaron McKie, Pat Croce, John Thompson and others have reached out to Iverson, but rarely get a reply. What do you do when the person you want to help doesn’t seem to want to help himself? Where the only thing that seems to revive him is the attention of NBA fans and you know that dream is over? On an evening in late March, Sixers chief executive Adam Aron leads Iverson into the players’ entrance, through the Philadelphia locker room, and into a tunnel. At 8 p.m., the lights are lowered, and flames blast from tubes. The announcer’s voice booms through the arena’s speakers: “A 6-foot guard from Georgetown,” extending the syllables. The crowd erupts. Iverson stands at midcourt, wearing a throwback Philadelphia Phillies warm-up jacket and dark sunglasses. He smiles and soaks in these seconds, cupping a hand around his ear the way he used to.
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