Allen Iverson built a career off flashy crossovers and his underdog mentality. He won a regular season Most Valuable Player Award, along with taking the modestly talented Philadelphia 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals to get crushed by Shaq and Kobe’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Along the way, Iverson never picked up a championship, but he made nearly 200 million dollars through contracts and endorsements as his image began to cement. However, as Father Time caught up to him, the contracts became shorter and smaller.
Nonetheless, Iverson spent his money carelessly. He used it to purchase gifts for his friends and family and also fell into bad habits. He reportedly kept money in garbage bags around his mansion, some of which went missing. At one point, he bought a new car because he forgot where he parked the old one at the airport.
Eventually, Iverson was out of the NBA’s main league, scraping together G-League appearances and indoor soccer tournaments in Turkey to make ends meet.
Iverson’s money problems became inflated in the public eye after he could not pay a court-ordered $859,896.46. His monthly expenses totaled nearly $360K, although in 2012, he brought in only $62.5K each month.
Once the flashiest player in the league, Allen Iverson had become synonymous with wasted potential and high hopes that were not realized. He became a broke baller in the eyes of many. Even hip-hop artist Post Malone took note: “I need that money like that ring I never won.”
However, that perception is somewhat detached from Iverson’s real-life situation.
Although Iverson does not bring in the massive amounts of money he used to, he is far from poor. Because of the expectation that newfound wealth would overwhelm Iverson and inflame some of his worst tendencies with spending, his endorsement deal with Reebok still has nearly $32 million to disperse when he turns 55 in 2030. It should be noted, though, that his ex-wife is due half of that money because of a postnuptial violation on Iverson’s part.
In the meantime, Iverson still brings in $800K per year from the lifetime Reebok endorsement. Current CEO Matt O’Toole told Bloomberg that he still believes Iverson is worth the money.
The structure of the deal prevented Allen Iverson from diving into the account and spending even more money. Without it, it’s possible that he could have spent money the same way he spent the rest of his riches.
When Iverson turns 45, he can start withdrawing from his NBA pension as well.
So, make all the “poor Iverson” jokes you want, but it turns out he doesn’t need the money as badly as he needed an NBA championship.