NBA legend Allen Iverson: ‘I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger’

Allen Iverson wants the crowd to be louderAllen Iverson, one of the greatest NBA players of this generation who earned more than $150 million during his playing career, cannot even afford a cheeseburger today.

Just three years removed from the league that made him a multimillionaire, where the undersized 6-foot turbocharged dynamo earned the adulation of millions for winning against the giants, he has quickly spiraled into a pit of alcoholism, depression and bankruptcy.

Friends and family members say, however, that the seeds of his precipitous fall from grace and financial heaven were sown years ago.

Excerpt from the Washington Post:

“… For the past three years, as Iverson chased an NBA comeback, his marriage fell apart and much of his fortune – he earned more than $150 million in salary alone during his career – dissolved. Now, those who once ignored past signals have recognized that basketball may have been the only thing holding Iverson’s life together.

“He has hit rock bottom, and he just hasn’t accepted it yet,” says former Philadelphia teammate Roshown McLeod.

… Iverson stood during a divorce proceeding in Atlanta in 2012 and pulled out his pants pockets. “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger,” he shouted toward his estranged wife, Tawanna, who then handed him $61.

Check out the Twitter responses to Iverson’s tragic fall from grace:

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.

66 Comments
    1. As someone who has seen what addictions do, that is a horrible thing to say. Sadly, something incredibly sad could indeed happen to Allan. I was not a fan of his even when he played for the Pistons but he is a human being who needs to say help from the depths of his soul. Only then will he start on the way back. I guess he should not count on you anytime soon.

  1. damn AI sorry to hear that …but you gotta be strong and pick yourself back up…there’s lots of other leagues u can play in to make money if the nba doesn’t work out again

  2. AI, I hope you can read this: We all make mistakes in life. This process will be a part of your story. I wish you could see my face, please do not give up. Be open to your lessons and remember that everyone has a process, no one is perfect or have arrived. We all have something to work on or overcome, this is just your path be it because of your choices or circumstances not in your control. But, Allen I’m encouraging you to live. You can do this, live through this rock bottom place and find peace, and you’ll be richer than you ever were before. – Peace, Ressurrection

  3. All that money and you couldn’t afford a financial adviser? Sorry, no condolences. There are people dying on street corners who deserve my sympathy. You’re still Allen-fucking-Iverson, get up off your sofa and sign some advertising contracts; go to rehab or make a reality TV show. Shit is too easy for him to have us here saying boo-hoo to a former millionaire. Stop the madness; get the help, promote someone’s company, get into sports broadcasting, and sit on a talk show. Case closed.

    1. Why do the people on the street corners DESERVE your sympathy and AI don’t? The same way you basically said that AI should shut up and get a job is the way I feel about the people on the streets. They don’t have to be there, most CHOOSE to be!!! Oh yeah, in case you haven’t heard it’s not that easy to get a contract, become a sports commentator, or sit on a talk show.

  4. Maybe he should just leave off the cheese and stick to the regular hamburger then. Hard to feel sorry for people who were stupid with their money. I liked him a lot when he was on the sixers, but we all need to be responsible with our lives and quit buying what we can’t afford! I guess too many people are following in the government’s example which is why we are in the mess we are in today.

    1. It’s easy to judge people when you only see a glimpse of their life on television or read an article in a paper/magazine. I would not say that he was STUPID with his money, but when you feel LOYAL to the people who took care of or vested in you it’s hard to say no. He took care of his WHOLE family and then some!!! Whether he had a financial advisor or not, it may not have made a difference at all. He had the bad case of not being able to say no, but when you come from NOTHING and then all a sudden have it all it becomes too much.

      1. I wasn’t judging. Like I said I liked him as a player. One of my fav’s (wasn’t the tallest on the team, but he could run circles around the best of them). The reality is harsh sometimes. Only thing I said is that he was stupid with his money. Whether he had the best intentions or not that is all. We have to be responsible with what we get or you might end up with nothing like in this case. As I mentioned again below he can always get a regular job. No one is above that.

  5. People hate on people but I Pray the Lord will turn your life around and lead and direct your path put him first in your life because no matter what any one says are smart comments they make with God all things are possible and these people wanting to throw stones there is no-one perfect Prayer is the key Faith unlocks the door Be Blessed

  6. Allen, read Matthew 6:34. You can pick yourself up. It people out here sleeping in there cars, some familes are picking up moving in with friends. If it takes doing retail, fast food. Do it God does not put no more on us than we can bear. Stay positive, Stay prayed up and keep the Faith.

  7. The man got depressed and lost his work ethic. Now he’s stuck in a rut and just plain lazy. He’s an NFL athlete he obviously has skills and insight why not get into teaching or training kids, anything! Even the reality route, Dancing with the stars, doctor drew… there are so many couch potatoes that would love watching this guy. The worst part is…. what the fuck was his family doing while he was spending all his money on drugs/hookers/clubs/bills… they should have stepped in at some point, thats what family does. I don’t know the story at all just raising questions because this seems like it could have been preventable! Get well tho Allen

  8. I’m sure he had a financial adviser but not every financial adviser is ethical or competent. Also financial planners can’t make a grown man whose making millions stay on a plan. You have to be financially discipline with or without a financial planner. I think its safe to say that Allen Iverson wasn’t a disciplined person. “We talking about practice!” Allen Iverson played reckless in basketball and lived recklessly in life. Unfortunately his story is too common amongst professional athletes. “When keeping it real goes wrong!”

  9. Athletes die twice, once in their careers and finally in life. Mr. Iverson has to redefine himself and take that lion’s heart and refocus and I guarantee him that he will excel even further then he did in basketball. We still love you as a person, but we celebrated you as a celebrity.

  10. I’m going to say this one time since I don’t normally comment….We all make mistakes however most of us understands life owes us nothing! The only person who owes us is the person staring back in the mirror. Iverson made mistakes however he never wanted to listen when people tried to tell him. The game of life is like a big circle, YOU ARE NOT THE CIRCLE, we as people have to fit in the circle. Part of growing up means understanding that we have to balance who we are while also adapting part of who we are to fit in the circle of life, mature grown folks learn how to do it. He thought it was the other way around he blackballed himself out the league and made himself unmarketable to a lot of business. Back in the day people was trying to get out the hood not get out and bring it with them(with regards to attitude and how you conduct yourself etc.). I think my point has been made fast forward to today and now we see the results of the his thought process and actions and refusal to grow up. As a human being it is a tragedy however personally I can’t feel for him. Oh one other thing…he did get a second chance, third, and fourth…his refusal to be a bench player because of the above mentioned things blew any more chances. His own doing! Done!

    1. I agree with you, Maurice. However, I will add that most athletes who enter into the NBA, NFL, MLB, ect., do not look at it as their JOB. If they thought about their off court actions and how it would affect their endorsements, team, and future earnings maybe they would be more appreciative. You have to leave that street life and friends behind. Unfortunately AI & Mike Vick had to learn the hard way!!!

  11. The life of a pro athlete is false advertising to keep young and strong men from focusing on reality. If they were encouraged to spend as much time learning to handle money and have a life long usable skill they wouldn’t end up so broke. But no one, not the parents, teachers, coaches, schools, universities, counselors, fans, or team owners guide them. They are used up and spit out like used tissue.
    We as a society are wrong to idolize, patronize, or participate in something that is only a game. Yet we spend millions and get mad when they are not capable of living normal lives.

    1. I have to disagree with most of your comments. When young athletes come into the business they are provided with mentors and orientation in regards to money management and things of that nature. Most athletes have a financial planner, but when you are not use to making money, no savings, and being able to spend freely who can reign you in to reality? The universities are looking for donations, coaches are looking for handouts, and team owners want to make sure that you don’t do NOTHING that will keep you from playing a game. Sure some families are looking for handouts as well, but it’s up to the professional to say that NO everyone can’t live my lifestyle because when its over who’s gonna take care of you. I do agree with the last line of your sentence.

  12. $150 mil in salary? That’s just the NBA salary. Do not forget the endorsement deals he had. Most people will not see this kind of money in a lifetime. “To whom much is given, much is required.” I don’t feel sorry for this dude. He was paid millions to do something he loved and most people go to work everyday to jobs they hate making $30,000/year. Sorry, but he just threw his money away and is a grown man. He was a gifted athlete and one of the best PGs to never win a title, but he was also pretty much a brat in college and apparently is still a brat now. He was just plain irresponsible.

  13. He had a sorry attitude and he is one of the main reasons I don’t even watch basketball anymore. $150 million and he’s broke. Guess that thug life isn’t very smart. Bet his so called “posse” have abandoned him as we’ll. tough!!!

  14. We all can take a fall from grace but that does not mean life is over! I’m praying that he’ll connect with the good Lord and let him order his steps & that he know and understand that money is not everything. For what profits a man to gain the world & lose his soul? So Allen never mind what folks talking about b/c people will talk. God can and will make miracle out of a mess (all folks got to do is look @ themselves in order to know this is true). He does it everyday! Ignore them, regroup and trust in the Lord. He’ll take you right where u are suppose to be. I’m not talking about what I think.. I’m talking about what I know. Stay Encouraged. Nothing but LOVE 4 ya!

  15. I was never a fan of you Iverson, but you’re a human and my advice is to start from rock bottom and make a comeback by simply just being a decent human being, volunteering, and using your connections! You know how many people would love to buy a car from you in the philly area! You could be a great salesperson for many products furniture, cars, etc… and probably make a great 6 figure salary doing so, I just hope you don’t think you’re too good for it. Attitude is everything, It’s why I never liked you, but you can always change that!

  16. I believe AI is playing a game. I live in The A (ATLANTA) and I see AI frequently at Hooters and different clubs. He is riding clean and looking sharp and he has his goons on deck. Plus he just recently started endorsing his signature REEBOK shoes again, so check the resume…THAT MAN IS NOT AS BROKE AS HE MAY WANT PEOPLE TO BELIEVE!!!

  17. All is not lost. He’s got a $30 million dollar “rainy day” trust fund set aside by REEBOK. Only problem is he can’t touch it until he is 55 which is about another 18 years for him. In the meantime, if he can straighten up, he should be able to land a reality gig, and maybe some other endorsements to tie him over until then.

  18. Dude thought the money train was never going to stop coming. The window for a professional athlete to make money is very short. And when the gravy train stops, it stops hard!

    Pro-tip: when you show up to a parental fitness evaluation reeking of alcohol, the judge isn’t going to have a sense of humor about it.

  19. This is common amongst low IQ black athletes. Instead of handing it all over to an investment firm, where they could make 5% return (150 million at 5% = 7.5 million/year, 50+% tax rate, so about 3 million left), they buy bling, fancy cars, houses on whims, drugs, and hookers.

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