Originally written on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 4/22/13

When A.I. is 55 years old, money that Reebok put in a trust for him (as much as $30 million & Tawanna gets half) will become available. Iverson’s family and friends are worried, that if he isn’t careful, he won’t make it to 55 to get that money. This is a very disturbing overview of Allen Iverson’s present day life done by Kent Babb of The Washington Post. It starts with Iverson himself, yelling at his now former wife Tawanna, during a divorce proceeding. 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. He has been described as a recluse and there seems to be genuine concern about his well-being. He has had opportunities to work himself back into the NBA, but he has declined and no teams are interested in just putting him on a roster, until they see he is really dedicated physically and mentally to play. Even then, the chances of a return are small and in all likelihood his NBA career is over. On the one hand, you want to feel sorry for Allen Iverson, just for the fact he is Allen Iverson. A lot of young men could relate to A.I., more than they could Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.  I was one of those young men in the 90′s and early 2000s, who saw myself more in Iverson, than any other player in the NBA. On the other hand, the mirror doesn’t lie. A lot of Iverson’s problems are of his own doing. You can only hope that he has positive people around him now, to help him navigate through this tough part of his life. Because while Iverson was known as the Answer, it looks like for a long time he wasn’t asking the right questions, about what makes him a happy and healthy person not just in basketball, but in life.

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1 Comment:
  • How many times have we seen this happen to professional athletes? Too many, I am afraid. The common thread in all of them, I believe, is denial - denial that they have a problem, denial that their careers will some day end, denial that the gravy train won't always be there. Iverson is just the next guy in line. It will happen to others and we'll all shake our heads at the unbelievability of it all.
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