Practice! We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice.
I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice.
Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last, but we’re talking about practice man. How silly is that?”
-Allen Iverson, Sept. 5, 2002 rant about missing practice with the 76ers.
While Los Angeles Clippers star power forward Blake Griffin and Miami Heat All-Star LeBron James have been flying high over the competition, dunking on everyone who comes in their path, former NBA MVP Allen Iverson is living the disastrous tale of the professional athletes’ life after sports.
It’s reported that Iverson, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies, owes the Aydin and Company Jewelers a whopping $859,896.46 bill which resulted in a Georgia judge commandeering his bank account, garnishing his wages until the debt is repaid.
In his career, it’s estimated that Iverson made over $154 million throughout his 14 seasons. His highest paying year came in 2008-09 when he banked an impressive $20 million dollars.
No doubt Iverson was swept up in the white t-shirt, blinged out era of hip-hop, which would explain why he spent over $800 thousand dollars on jewelry.
It’s a tale all too familiar in sports; wealthy athletes attempt to keep up with the times by buying cars, homes, jewelry and clothes they don’t need, mirroring the rich musicians they wanted to become.
When will athletes realize that they can’t play forever? A.I. dropping $800,000 on jewelry is not a great investment.
The disasters that are professional athletes will always be a riddle to me; if Iverson would have invested that $800 thousand he probably wouldn’t have to work ever again.
These guys need to play the venture capitalist game like Mitt Romney, let your money assets work for you, and stop it already with the restaurants/sports bars, clothing lines and record labels, it’s a short stop.
When Iverson was at his peak raking in $20 million per year he was part of the 1 percent of wealthy Americans, but as his skills and career declined, his lifestyle didn’t change.
Iverson’s career was done after his stint in Denver; short stopovers in Detroit and Memphis were unacceptable to him after coaches decided it would be better if he came off the bench.
Being cast away to play in Turkey in October of 2010 didn’t last long either, as Iverson returned to the states in January of 2011 for calf surgery and reportedly hasn’t returned.
NBA executive director Billy Hunter explained that the league does have financial awareness programs for young players, but insist that the players nowadays are much smarter with their money than in previous years.
Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are the most notable NBA players that have exceeded their financial status, bringing in more money now than in their playing days.
Although Iverson will go down as one of the best to ever play in the NBA, his lifestyle choices and bad investments have ultimately etched his name alongside other professional athletes that don’t think about their financial future.
At 36, Iverson could still be in the league, being a productive player and making a substantial amount of money.
But bruised egos and bad investments have crippled his future, forcing Iverson to watch the premiere stars of the league he once dominated (i.e. Blake Griffin and LeBron James) rake in millions making spectacular plays every night.