Allen Iverson was at the top of his game back in 1996 when he became the No. 1 draft pick for the Philadelphia 76ers. His 14-season NBA career earned him a reported $154 million. On top of this, his endorsement deals brought in another $46 million — Reebok even signed him to a lifetime contract.
Known by fans as “The Answer,” it seemed Iverson had all the answers to living a life of celebrity fame and fortune. That is, until he almost lost it all.
Allen Iverson’s NBA career
An 11-time All-Star, the Hampton, Virginia native is one of the most iconic players in basketball history. Iverson earned the NBA scoring title four times and was named MVP in 2001. Then, in 2016, the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Iverson.
Graduating from Georgetown University, Iverson played for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1996 to 2006. The guard was traded in 2006 to the Denver Nuggets. Then, he bounced to the Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, and back to Philly. In 2010, Iverson played his last NBA game and officially announced his retirement from basketball in 2013. His No. 3 jersey now hangs in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Iverson’s careless spending habits
More than 60% of NBA players go broke within the first five years of leaving the league. Sadly, Allen Iverson was no exception.
He was a “baller” in every sense of the word, with a lavish lifestyle and extravagant taste. Iverson spent his money like he had an endless supply. He made horrible financial decisions, and no one held him accountable. Allegedly, friends and family enjoyed the gifts bestowed upon them, so they did not question him. He was a man out of control.
Iverson owned million-dollar mansions, expensive jewelry, and designer clothes. His prized possessions were his Bentley Continental GT and Maybach cars. He liked to party and was frequently seen throwing his money around at Philadelphia hot spots.
It’s reported that Iverson blew $1 million in one night while gambling at an Atlantic City casino. One time, he forgot where he parked his car, so he bought a new one.
The retired athlete’s monthly expenses far outweighed his income. In 2012, TMZ reported that Iverson was going in debt to the tune of $300,000 per month while spending an insane amount of money on clothes, dining out, entertainment, and more.
Iverson’s legal troubles
Iverson has had his share of legal troubles, but he always manages to emerge unscathed. In 1991, he was arrested for drug dealing. Then, in 1993, the high schooler got mixed up in a violent fight at a bowling alley. He received three felony counts and a five-year sentence.
Then-Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson went to the governor of Virginia for help. Iverson was granted clemency and later played basketball for Georgetown.
After a successful NBA career, it seemed like Iverson had hit hard times once more. In 2012, he and his wife, Tawanna, had a bitter divorce and custody battle. She sued him for unpaid child support and violation of a postnuptial agreement. When Iverson turns 55, Tawanna will get half of his earnings from the Reebok contract.
Courts also seized the NBA star’s bank account to pay a debt of $860,000 owed to a jeweler, and two of his houses went into foreclosure. Iverson’s excessive drinking resulted in several altercations, and unpaid gambling debts left him banned from Atlantic City casinos.
Iverson’s current checking account
Unlike most professional athletes who spiral into ruin, Iverson managed to hold onto one remaining egg from the golden goose. The lifetime contract he signed with Reebok will payout to the tune of $32 million in 2030.
In the meantime, he still gets paid $800,000 per year from this incredible deal. At the age of 45, Iverson is also eligible to start withdrawing from his NBA pension.