Allen Iverson‘s rebelliousness was embraced by fans and accepted by teammates during his playing career as a side effect of his exceptional play. Now it appears that his personality, which contributed so greatly to his success, has been his downfall.
Iverson, 37, is struggling to adjust to life after basketball, Kent Babb wrote Friday in a thorough yet depressing story in The Washington Post. Iverson’s generosity toward friends reportedly came with a price. Iverson is now mostly broke, Babb reports, and past associates like Larry Brown, Pat Croce, Aaron McKie and others are concerned about him as the four-time scoring champ increasingly retreats from the public spotlight.
“He never turned anybody down,” former teammate Roshown McLeod told Babb. “He was there to help everybody. He didn’t think about the future.”
Iverson reportedly spent $23,255.36 in one day, overdrawing his bank account in the process. Money was not all Iverson struggled with either, according to the Post. The story claims Iverson was not present for one of his children’s births, and “very intoxicated” during another. One weekend, Tawanna Iverson, his ex-wife, sent the kids to a water park with their father. She later picked them up at a hotel at 2 a.m., with their daughter still in her swimsuit and no sign of Iverson.
“I always thought that my kids needed their father,” she later testified. “And what I’ve learned is that they don’t need him if he’s going to be that destructive in their lives.”
A court later gave full legal custody to Tawanna, and another court later dismissed Iverson’s appeal. Meanwhile, Iverson has pushed a comeback no one seems interested in except himself. He declined a D-League offer from the Mavericks and an athletic trainer who briefly worked with Iverson reportedly pulled out earlier this year.
One piece of information stands out: As part of an earlier endorsement deal with Reebok, Iverson has a $30 million trust that he cannot open until he is 55 years old. If he has his life together by then, that could help him get back on track. If not, that money could be another sad chapter in Iverson’s post-playing life.