We live in a world filled with a variety of different societies and customs, but even though we are all very different from each other, there are still some similarities that we all share, and one of those similarities is our love of sports. No matter where you find yourself in the world, you will find some kind of sporting event taking place, but if you live in North America, you are especially fortunate because the continent is home to the four biggest sports leagues in the world. As far as worldwide popularity goes, the National Basketball Association is in a very good place, because many countries play the game, and provide quality players who sometimes find themselves in the league.
The NBA has been around for 70 years now, and over all that time, it has given the world some of the greatest athletes to ever play the game of basketball, and although there are some who will disagree, Allen Iverson was one of those athletes. Iverson was a point guard/shooting guard who played in the NBA for a combined 17 seasons, where he accumulated 24,368 points, and amassed a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP award, and 11 All-Star Game appearances. Last year, Iverson was inducted into the Hall of Fame, an honor which he deserved despite never winning a championship, but as good as he was at basketball, he is an ordinary person just like the rest of us, which means that he too has gone through some crazy ordeals.
15 15. The Real Reason Behind His "Practice" Rant
Over the decades, the NBA has given us some pretty great soundbites, especially during media sessions, and when it comes to Allen Iverson, his rant about practice is probably one of the best soundbites in all of sports history. “We talking about practice!? Practice? not a game, not a game, practice?” those were the words Iverson used, and when he said them, people thought he was just another bratty athlete, and it was not until he announced his retirement that he explained the real reason behind the rant. According to him, the 76ers had told him that the media session was to discuss why he had not been traded, so he was not expecting to be asked anything about practice, and if you wondered why he looked like he did not want to be there, it is because one of his close friends had apparently died that morning.
14 14. He Lost To Nelly In A Game Of H.O.R.S.E.
When you are a very talented professional athlete like Allen Iverson was, than you are essentially a celebrity, which means that there is a high likelihood that you will befriend other known celebrities. Allen Iverson is no different in that regard, as he has been friends with Nelly for a long time, a rapper who happens to be an avid basketball player in his own right, and in 2016, Iverson surprised people when he stated that Nelly was actually able to beat the former MVP in a game of H.O.R.S.E. with embarrassing ease. Apparently Iverson was drunk at the time, which is why Nelly beat him quite easily, and when Nelly began gloating about it, Iverson made sure to film their next game, a game which saw a sober Iverson wipe the floor with his friend.
13 13. He Has A Rap Album
Iverson may be friends with rappers, but that is not the only connection he has to the music industry, as he actuary tried to release his own rap album back in 2000, under the pseudonym Jewelz. This album never officially saw the light of day though, as most of the songs had lyrics that were either overtly sexist, or contained very strong violent imagery, which is why the NBA and former commissioner, David Stern got involved. According to Stern, Iverson had the constitutional right to produce those lyrics, but he did not have the right to play in the NBA if the commissioner believed that he was engaging in conduct deemed offensive by the league. Essentially, Stern threatened to kick Iverson out of the NBA if he released the album, and although he chose not to release it, he still released a four-track album 10 years later.
12 12. He Was Caught Speeding With Drugs & A Gun In His Possession
In 1996, Iverson was the NBA's Rookie of the Year, and the fanbase of the Philadelphia 76ers were thrilled with their team's apparent future, especially the following year when the team brought in a new coach and general manager, but Iverson managed to shroud that newfound excitement during that year's offseason. While back home in Virginia in 1997, Iverson went out for a drive and was pulled over by police, which is something he really did not want to happen because he had a concealed gun and some marijuana in his possession. Granted, Iverson was able to rebound from this arrest with a great season, but he did still create a rift with management, who were not too pleased with his actions, as evidenced by the team's president at the time saying, “I’m very upset right now. With all the changes that have taken place, all the hard work that’s been put in by this organization, I’m very disappointed by what has transpired.”
11 11. He Skipped Over A Third Of A School Year
It ultimately does not matter whether you come from a poor family or a wealthy one, because in either case, you will not be able to properly succeed later on in life if you do not have a decent education. When it comes to the NBA, virtually every player has at least a high school-level education, even though most of them have attended college for some length of time, and when Allen Iverson was in high school, he played a significant amount of both basketball and football. Iverson credits his former football coach, Gary “Mo” Moore, for turning his life around, because after failing a grade, the coach threw Iverson on top of a car and gave him a thorough lecture. The main reason why Iverson failed was because he skipped too many classes that year, 69 to be exact, which is over a third of the school year.
10 10. His Bodyguard Cost Him Over $250,000
When you are a wealthy public figure like Allen Iverson, you want to make sure that you are constantly protected whenever you go outside, so it makes sense that he would have his own bodyguards. While in Washington D.C. in 2005, Iverson went to a nightclub with his entourage, and when they got there, he tried to get the entire VIP section for his group, but there were already some people in a part of the section. Jason Kane was one of his bodyguards, and he went up to one of the men in the VIP section and told him that he needed to leave, and when he refused, he proceeded to beat the man, giving him a concussion, a torn rotator cuff, a ruptured eardrum, and several other injuries. Following the incident, the man sued Iverson for $20 million, which he did not get, but he was awarded $10,000 for medical expenses, as well as an additional $250,000 for the pain he suffered.
9 9. He Once Partied For 72 Straight Hours
2001 may have been Iverson's best season, seeing as he was named that year's MVP, and considering how good he was that season, then it should come as no surprise that he also participated in that year's All-Star Game. He was actually named the MVP of that game, having scored 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals, which is a pretty good performance, but what made it even greater is the fact that he apparently played that game after coming off of a 72-hour long party. Yes you read that right, prior to the All-Star Game, Iverson had partied for three straight days, without getting any sleep, which means that he was likely extremely tired and possibly really drunk or hung over during the game, which goes to show just how great of an athlete he was.
8 8. He Urinated In A Trash Can
Every single year, millions of people all over the world visit at least one casino, regardless of their socioeconomic standing, which is why it should not be all that surprising to learn that you can sometimes run into a professional athlete at one of these gambling establishments. For most of his career, Iverson played in Philadelphia, which happens to be located rather close to Atlantic City, a city known for having its fair share of casinos, and as it turns out, he would visit some casinos there from time to time. One night, while at the AC Bally, Iverson decided that he wanted to play blackjack, and sometimes a person will spend hours playing at a table, which is what Iverson ended up doing, and like everyone else, he eventually needed to go to the bathroom. In this instance though, Iverson did not want to go too far from the table, so instead of going to a real bathroom, he decided to urinate in a nearby trash can, an act that got him kicked out of the casino.
7 7. He Was Charged With Assault
Based on the other entries on this list, it is obvious that Allen Iverson has made some mistakes in his life, but this time we will be talking about a mistake that got him arrested and convicted of a felony in 1993 when he was just 17. One night, Iverson and his friends went to a bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia, and apparently a fight broke out between them and a group of older white high school kids, after the other group allegedly started sending racial slurs Iverson's way because he and his friends were making too much noise. In the end, Iverson was arrested alongside three of his friends, where he was accused of hitting a woman with a chair, which is why he was later sentenced to 15 years in prison for "maiming by mob."
6 6. A Ref Really Did Not Like Him
Being a referee is a thankless job, because even though you are there to enforce the rules, you always end up getting someone mad at you, whether it be players, coaches, or the fans. Although they get yelled at and booed a lot, referees tend to always stay professional, but as much as they try, there are still examples of some referees playing favorites, and in Allen Iverson's case, he had to deal with a ref who legitimately hated him. Steve Javie is his name, and in 2007, Iverson, who was playing in Denver at the time, received a $25,000 fine for criticizing his officiating during a game, where he said that Javie has had it out for him since he started playing in the NBA. It turns out that Iverson was not imagining things, as disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy said in his book that Javie did indeed have a longstanding hatred of Iverson.
5 5. He Is Banned From More Than 1 Casino
A few entries ago, we talked about how Iverson was kicked out of an Atlantic City casino because he decided to urinate in a trash can in public, but he was not just kicked out of it, as the casino also decided to straight up ban him. Iverson liked to gamble though, and when he played for the Pistons, he would visit some of Detroit's local casinos too, and thanks to his actions, he ended up getting banned from two more casinos. Apparently, Iverson was a very sore loser with a temper, and he tended to lose a lot of money quite frequently. In fact, he was such a sore loser that one casino official said he would throw cards and chips at the dealers. He was also allegedly very rude to the waiters and other players, and it was reported that his bodyguards would find themselves getting into fights at the casinos as well.
4 4. He Had A System For Picking Up Women
The NBA is known for having players who all possess a unique set of skills, but the league is also known for having players who really enjoy the company of women, to the point that some players have multiple children spread across the US. While playing, Iverson was indeed in a committed relationship, but that did not stop him from frequently hooking up with random women too, except he made the entire process a bit more complicated than it should have been. Apparently, Iverson had his own system for picking up women, and it involved having a team of 10 people spread throughout the basketball arena: four up in the nosebleeds, four in the lower sections, and two at courtside. This system was so intricate, that a friend of Iverson said that watching the team work was like watching a pride of lions hunt their prey.
3 3. Tom Brokaw Saved His Life
Earlier we talked about a bowling alley brawl that saw a 17-year old Allen Iverson get a 15-year prison sentence, but seeing as he managed to spend those 15 years playing in the NBA, it means that he was saved from serving that jail time. Tom Brokaw is a legendary news anchor and journalist who got involved in Iverson's case after learning that the future MVP, who was a minor at the time, was given such a lengthy sentence despite not having any prior criminal record. The day after the verdict was given, Brokaw featured Iverson's story on the national news, where he highlighted the apparent injustices, and that interview, along with other factors, helped to ultimately reverse Iverson's conviction, which is why the former player is still grateful to Mr. Brokaw til this day.
2 2. The Incident With His Ex-Wife
Iverson played his final NBA game in February of 2010, but calling it a career was not the only hard thing he had to go through that year, as he and his wife separated, with her filing for divorce and seeking full custody of their five children. Later that same year, on July 3, Iverson and his soon-to-be ex-wife allegedly got into an argument that lasted for two straight days, and it ended with him apparently throwing her out on the street naked. Two days later, Iverson went looking for his wife with his uncle, and apparently barged into her cousin's apartment while carrying a gun. Luckily no one was seriously injured, but the entire episode did result in 14 felony misdemeanors being filed, including criminal trespassing, reckless endangerment of other people, and aggravated assault.
1 1. He Went Broke After Making Over $200 Million
No matter the sport, if you are a professional athlete, then you are probably making a pretty good living for yourself, but if you happen to be amongst the best players in your sport, then you will definitely be making millions of dollars every year. Allen Iverson was considered to be one of the best players of his generation, which is why he was able to earn approximately $154 million over the course of 17 seasons, but he also made an additional $50 million thanks to all of his endorsement deals. Iverson liked to gamble though, and spent a ton of money on his friends, who enjoyed taking advantage of his generosity, and when you combine that with all the money he lost to failed business ventures, then you can see how he eventually found himself bankrupt, and owing more than $1 million. He may have lost most of his money, but he does have $30 million hidden away in a trust fund, money he will only have access to in the year 2030.
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