Featured Gallery, NBA, Pat's Sixers Blog / Feb 14, 2012 / 12:30 pm

Report: Allen Iverson Blew Through $154 Million

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson (photo. Gary Land)

As an unabashed Allen Iverson fan, this news truly hurts my heart. It’s long been rumored that A.I.’s finances are a total mess (and/or non-existant), but when word came out last week that a judge ordered that Iverson’s bank account can be commandeered to pay off a $860,000 jewelry tab, what we all suspected became sickeningly real.

It’s now being rumored that his financial distress goes way beyond that jewelry account. Way, way, way beyond. As in all of his money, an estimated $154 million in earnings, being pretty much gone.

So how did it get to this point? The answers are plentiful, but to topline a few, let’s go with many, many years of recklessness unchecked, poor management, hard-headedness, and blind, utter loyalty and devotion to those seen as family. Loyalty is truly a virtue, but there’s a limit to everything, especially when it has been a key component to the dismantling of your life and the live of your family. It’s obviously a sentiment that Allen Iverson would fight to the death.

In a Sunday article on Iverson’s situation, Bill Lyon, one of my favorite sportswriters ever, broke down his take on how we got to this point for the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Croce, calling him by his nickname, said: “Bubba Chuck is who he is, and he will not change.”

And he wouldn’t, even if he could.

Because he had the Posse to support, the ones whose loyalty was guaranteed.

Their numbers varied day to day, week to week, most of them from the old neighborhood in Virginia. There might be as many as 50 for tickets to a home game. There was a hair stylist who traveled, did his corn rows two to three times a week.

Moderation was not in vogue.

There were excursions to see the Ice Man, whose handiwork included a platinum pendant made in the shape of a ‘3’ as a tribute to A.I.’s jersey number, with 63 diamonds embedded on it. You could land airplanes on it. It was worn on a gold chain, by A.I.’s mother, Ann.

Told that she was “a real trip,” Ann Iverson said: “Honey, I’m the whole package.”

She was the buffer. Her word was law for the Posse. She could intuit trouble, of which there always seemed to be too much.

A.I. said: “They made me.” He meant they had protected him from all of the casual violence, especially in the early days, allowing him to get where he was. Literally, they kept him alive.

And he owed them.

One night, during the playoffs, in a hotel suite darker than a coal mine at midnight, you saw the depth of his debt: There were bodies everywhere in that suite, all the furniture occupied, the floor, too, the snoring rivaling a 747 takeoff. It was the Posse and assorted hangers-on and remoras, and this thought struck you:

It may take a village to raise a child, but in A.I.’s case it has been the other way around.

Heartbreaking, yes, but sadly, not surprising. For the record, I have reached out to Iverson’s camp multiple times to get an official comment on his situation over the last several weeks (including this morning), and after some back and forth, I finally got this text from Allen’s long-time manager, Gary Moore (who up until VERY recently appeared to still be acting in that capacity): “I have no idea what u r talking about Pat. I’m not involved in Allen’s or anyone else’s finances.”

So there you have it.


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  • Michorizo

    MO Money…MO Problems

  • NTstateOFmind

    interesting. he shared EVERYTHING but the ball.

    all jokes aside, a pretty sad and all-too-familiar story with athletes that make their way out …they get pulled back in by the people who they trust most

    cant say i would/wouldnt do the same thing bc ill never be in that position that he was in, but its gotta be hard to one day wake up and cut these people off that have started living off of you since your rookie contract

  • beiber the bounty hunter

    How do you go through $150M? Even if he had 100 people looking after him and gave them all $1M, he’d still have $50M.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Jesus christ that’s alot of money. Richard Pryor had a harder time spending less than that in “Brewter’s Millions.”

  • Da man

    It’s bad because when u get some money people act like its their money also. He could have gave each 1 of his crew a million but that still wouldn’t be enough. When u have a certain image 2 uphold it’s hard 2 let go of it.

  • stefan

    or out of that 100 maybe one of them invested in a successful business and they can live off that guys money?

  • yoda

    why would i be sad for a guy who’s ready to spend 860k on jewelry? i’m sad because there is people who bust their ass working as coal miners and yet they make only around 250 dollars a month (in my country, i know there are worse cases all over the world). i know about cases of people living in ruined houses, with kids who have nothing to eat. i feel sad for them. for iverson? not for one second.

  • Celts Fan

    OK, to all of you that don’t understand the economics here, take about 10% of that number (pre-tax but out of his post-tax $$$) to the agents/mgrs, there’s $15.4. Also, chop that # in half since the gov’t takes about 50% in taxes from guys at that level. We’re left with about $60M. Still a staggering amount of $$$ to blow through, but def not the same as $100M+ This is a sad day. I’m guessing he thought he had one more NBA payday left and didn’t think it’d be possible he’d be blacklisted like he has been, albeit due to his own faults and bad decisions.

  • control

    Can’t act like it was all “posse” and shit that got him like this. When he was in Detroit, he’d have some of the local casinos here ON LOCK. The guy would have the entire high roller area to himself, that ain’t cheap and that ain’t no one but him.

    The sad thing here is that AI might go down as one of the biggest wastes of talent ever. The guy DID have the court vision and skills to be one of the greatest point guards ever in history, but instead he went out as probably one of the most inefficient, selfish and boneheaded ones. As mentioned in Smack, he probably had one of the most negative impacts for basketball in general, with his retarded, selfish and inefficient style of play becoming popular with idiots.

    I don’t feel even one ounce sorry for this guy, he had shit that people only dream of, had the life that anyone would envy…and HE fucked it up. Sorry bout your luck buddy, fuck you and peace.

  • Rafael De La Ghetto

    He may have made $154M in salary, but just like the rest of us (and even more because of his higher earnings) probably half of that was taken for taxes. Now think about $80M over the last 17 years, that’s only about $4.5M a year. That doesn’t go a long way if you are supporting 20-30 people, and there were probably even more than that.

  • Rafael De La Ghetto

    I see Celts Fan beat me to it. Plus, I didn’t consider the agent’s cut.

  • control

    Celts Fan

    If you are paying 50% tax rate in that bracket, you need a whole new accounting team. Anyone who makes over 250k/year has some options that are completely legal, and can get their taxable income down to 15-18% (ask Mitt). Even billionaires pay about 10-20% in taxes, max.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    @Control – Just as long as your careful not to end up like Wesley Snipes ^ lmao

  • Celts Fan

    @Control – incorrect. Mitt’s tax bracket is that low cuz ALL of his $$$ comes from trust funds or some other BS, only-rich-people-can-afford-this kinda crap, and those are only taxed at that 17% give or take due to some BS tax loophole that’s become a HUGE issue in this campaign. If you’re at that level as actual job earnings, you’re paying roughly 45% (my dad’s an accountant…)

  • rob stewart

    what does “commandeer” mean?

  • First & Foremost

    ^^^Stop acting like you don’t have google^^^

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PeeJay310

    A.I. coulda still been in the league if he hadn’t burned all his bridges, completely his own fault.

  • Celts Fan

    @PeeJay – I agree completely, and dude was a huuuuuuuuge jerk to my buddy when we met him in AC, but still. His game was not built to win at all, but he was the most entertaining act in sports for a long, long time. You simply didn’t turn the channel when he was at his peak out of fear you’d miss something. Whatever the circumstances, it’s sad.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PeeJay310

    We gotta look out for A.I., whenever they say a black celebrity is broke and doin drugs they always end up dying just like Whitney, Michael, etc.

    But also I thought A.I. had a lifetime deal with Reebok, shouldnt he still be getting money every year from them?

  • First & Foremost

    @Peejay, Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but I think lifetime deal is a misnomer. It just means a longtime deal. I want to say those deals are 10-years.

    T-Mac being out of the spotlight isn’t going to be paid huge gobs of money for life by Adidas.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PeeJay310

    @ First & Foremost but they’re still selling his shoes and using his name so I’m pretty sure he still has some kind of contract with Reebok.

  • First & Foremost

    And if it is based on sales, reports of AI being broke re fitting. The NBA gave him a platform to broadcast himself to markets worldwide. Since he stepped/got pushed out of the spotlight, whatever his deal was has to be running out soon. He isn’t the draw he once was. THey might pay him maybe in the high 5 figures for a marketing spot, poster, cardboard cut out, but Reebok has a new face.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PeeJay310

    Whatever the case may be, I hope its not true. It’s hard to see someone you emulated as a kid become the real life Kenny Powers

  • Big Island

    I don’t even feel bad for him at all. You got dudes clowning Sheed for driving a Bronco around, but you got dudes burning through cash like Joe Johnson. OK, about $150 – 15% for the agent is about $23, say 30% for taxes on the $150 is another $45. So he actually took home $150 – $68 = $82 million. He spent over a mil on jewelry!!! Dude was blowing through cash.

  • Celts Fan

    @big island – joe Johnson’s broke???

  • vbswte

    This is not the first time Allen was in trouble. I use to work for the law firm that represnted him back in the 90’s and it was almost an identical story about the car impounded (when I first heard any of this going down in Atlanta over the car, I thought “here we go again”) and the jewlery bill..almost identical. One day one of the lawyers put the jewelry on that Allen had dropped off to pay for his bill since he was broke then. Yes, big bling. There was a “comeback” for him to make then, but yes, that was then, when he was younger. It was about playing ball and doing what you wanted to do APPARENTLY, more than the money. His life. Just in my personal opinion, and my dad’s, who is no longer with us: these very talented players are given ridiculous amounts of money/contracts anyway. It has gotten really nuts. What does anyone expect???

  • Big Island

    Celts Fan – Not that I know of, but he spends a ton. He seems like he stays out of the big party scene though so he should be good.

  • Joe

    I have seen AI over the past 3 years living in Atl GA…more specific the hotels in Buckhead with his posse. He drives around Buckhead in his grey Lamborghini or black maybach dining out at the finest restaurants and dragging his posse with him.

    He has been kicked out of 2 hotels that I know of an never allowed back.

    He lives a sad life and even though he has his posse he is lonely and only has his daughter to live for.

    It’s really sad to see this actually happen in front of you especially wen you idolized the dude for years.

    Good luck to AI

  • the cynic

    sadly no surprise

  • Franchise

    Damn…..questionable decision-making financially but i wont judge. Still rooting for you tho AI, thanx for ’01.

  • Yeb

    This is really sad. I’m a huge AI fan and can’t believe this is out this is ending…To the guys talking about taxes etc. How can you say he ended up with “only” 50 mil or so. ONLY 50 mil?? That’s still a A LOT of money, and anyone with any sense should not end up broke after having so much money.

  • yoda

    can’t remember about which nba player was this story i read was about, but it was fine example of how broke they can get really fast after only few years of nba. anyway, guy explained how he used to buy cars, bling, houses, paid everything for friends and family and only couple years after he retired he was broke. after few years of working hard (college diploma helped him) he bounced back in a way that he was able to live decent life, like rest of us i guess. guy used to live in his car for some time.
    it seems that after so many cases of players being broke after nba is done (antoine walker anyone?) players still refuse to think what they are doing with their money.
    one more example of how players can be stupid when it comes to money. gilbert arenas took a loan to buy some fancy car before draft, because he thought he will end up in first round. he got in second and he was in deep trouble over that car.

  • K Dizzle

    This is even worse when you realize that the 154 mill doesn’t even include endorsement money…

  • yep!

    not surprised at all…his ego was the size of the US alone…remember….we talkin bout “practice”…

    the sad part is this…how many people can barely afford to live…cant afford a decent meal per day…and you have people like this spending a million dollars on jewellery…sad…really sad!!!

    give it a few more years…he isnt the first…and definitely wont be the last…

    these “role models” just dont learn!!! they live in some sort of dream world…

  • yourdribbleizcookiez

    Allen Iverson: Incredible hooper. Equally poor manager of money.

  • da real

    he made way more than this. i know for a fact that he made at least 75mill from reebok on top of his NBA money and a few million more in appearances, camps and hosting night parties over 10+ years (all which was mostly untaxed). add another few mill fom trading card companies and smaller endorsements +NBA licensing checks and after taxes he cleared at least 100 mill. what a loser. hes not even 40 yet and he is already washed up and broke.