Allen Iverson is not making any Top 10 players lists, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who made as significant a cultural impact as he did. And that’s not to say he was an atrocious player. He was a cold-blooded killer and so relentless in his prime while also being the most marketable player at some point. But since his official retirement in 2013, what happened to Allen Iverson?
For one of the most colorful characters in NBA history, AI’s life off the basketball court is nothing less than scintillating. Here is Allen Iverson’s roller-coaster story, from his career at the top of the basketball mountain to his nasty downfall and inspiring recovery.
Who is Allen Iverson?
Any basketball fan in the late 90s and early 2000s knows who Allen Iverson is. Nicknamed “The Answer,” AI was the one who turned basketball into a culture of its own. He became popular enough to sway society to his desire and point of view, sporting visible tattoos, cornrows, shooting sleeves, and more.
Overview of His NBA Career
If not for how good he is as a basketball player, Iverson would not have bent the norms inside the NBA. It was only made possible because he excelled as an electrifying player who sacrificed his barely 6-foot, 170-pound frame on the floor.
Picked first overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, which also featured Kobe Bryant, Iverson made noise right away coming from Georgetown. Right out of the gate as a rookie, AI was already one of the league leaders in points (23.5), assists (7.5), and steals (2.1) per game. Iverson made a giant leap forward during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season by leading the league in scoring (26.8 PPG) and making the All-NBA First Team.
In the 1999-2000 season, Iverson again took his game to the next level. That dropped his assists totals and averages, which allowed his scoring to flourish even more. He made his first All-Star team, eventually improving their playoff seeding from the previous season.
Then, in 2001, Iverson established himself as a serious preseason performer. They earned the first seed in the Eastern Conference as Philadelphia secured a 56-26 record. He again led the league in scoring (31.1 PPG) and steals (2.5 SPG). For some reason, his scoring output increased in the playoffs (32.9 PPG) while maintaining his steals rate (2.4 SPG). Iverson led the Sixers to the Finals that year, and even though they lost to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers, NBA fans and players knew “The Answer” had arrived.
The following five seasons were a roller-coaster ride. AI put his usual numbers and made All-Star and All-NBA teams; however, Philly underperformed in the postseason. They got bounced in the first round three times, in the second round once, and were a lottery team in 2003-04. Iverson made a hobby out of clashing with coaches, so his departure from Philly was a long time coming.
After 10 and a half seasons with the Sixers, Iverson was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played 135 games with the Nuggets and did just as well as anyone would have guessed: Get his usual usage rate and numbers but no postseason success to show.
Iverson was eventually traded to the Detroit Pistons in 2008-09, and that’s when the writing on the wall began to emerge. His physical decline can longer justify the role he’s asking for.
At the start of the 2009-10 season, Iverson stubbornly refused a bench role in Memphis. He returned to Philly for 25 games after a three-game stint with the Grizzlies but then had to take an indefinite leave to attend to his daughter’s health. He played his last NBA game on February 20, 2010, and officially announced his retirement in 2013.
Despite a rough ending to an otherwise stellar career, Iverson deservedly had his jersey retired for the Philadelphia 76ers on March 1, 2014. He was an 11-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA (three 1st team selections), Rookie of the Year, four-time scoring champion, and three-time steals leader.
Allen Iverson’s career stats reflected his accomplishments: 26.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.2 steals.
Retirement From NBA
If you think Allen Iverson is a guy who would have done well after retirement, well, you’re wrong. Iverson amassed over $154 million, generational wealth if you ask 99% of the world’s population, but he almost blew it all.
How did someone who made $200 million dollars almost go broke? Well, it’s no secret that Iverson is not living a frugal life. He has a habit of overspending, drinking, gambling, and having a good time. He’s not big on acquiring assets, so the nine-figure fortune almost dried up.
While Iverson made many bad monetary decisions, he made one that saved him from a financial rut. He and his camp decided to sign with Reebok on a lifetime deal that paid him $800,000 annually. He may not have the money he once had today, but that’s still a lot of dough to live your life decently.
In his time away from basketball, many fans and basketball players have come to appreciate how genuine an athlete Iverson was. Giannis Antetokounmpo, upon meeting Iverson in the 2022 All-Star weekend, gushed and went full fanboy mode on AI. He sang his praises and revealed Iverson was the reason why he played basketball. “I used to have the cornrows and stuff,” Antetokounmpo said.
Apparently, it’s not only Antetokounmpo who Iverson influenced while still playing in the NBA. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 on the first ballot.
What Happened to Allen Iverson?
Allen Iverson’s net worth went from nine figures to roughly six in a few years. But that being said, he is doing relatively well. According to Iverson, it took a while before he learned how to balance his finances and realized that it’s not his responsibility to take care of everybody.
Where is Allen Iverson now? Iverson currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his three children. Because of his prominence as a beloved former athlete, he makes numerous media and paid engagements. Every now and then, the Sixers still pay AI to appear in live games and events that revolve around old Sixer greats.
At the very least, A.I. is now doing great. Even though he didn’t win a title, Iverson says he doesn’t regret retiring from the NBA. He seems genuinely content about where his legacy stands and his impact on modern basketball, as he should.
Allen Iverson’s Life After Basketball
A retired Allen Iverson is still Allen Iverson, so his current endeavors have something to do with who he is. Iverson is in high demand for appearances because of his Hall of Fame career and appeal. After all, he was one of the rare culture-shapers the game has ever seen.
Another business venture of Iverson’s is the cannabis business. He hooked up with former NBA player Al Harrington for this undertaking, and the company is called Viola. Iverson also partnered with Authentic Brands Group to grow his entertainment business.
As pointed out earlier, Iverson is doing relatively well after almost blowing his whole career earnings. The previously-mentioned Reebok deal he inked while still paying also guaranteed him a trust fund of $32 million which he will collect when he turns 55. Needless to say, Allen Iverson is still blowing by folks in the game called life.
Wrapping Things Up: What Happened to Allen Iverson?
During his playing days, there was nobody as cool as Allen Iverson. Sporting visible tattoos, shooting sleeves, cornrows, and headbands, AI epitomized the hip-hop culture in the NBA. Some may have issues with that, but “The Answer” never veered away and stayed true to himself.
That proved to be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing for Iverson’s cultural impact and legacy points, but that eventually led to his demise in the NBA. After refusing to play a supporting role in the latter years of his career, he found himself without a team in 2010 and officially retired three years later.
What happened to Allen Iverson after hanging up his sneakers? He almost squandered his career earnings because of his lifestyle and poor choices, but thankfully, he seems to be doing well for himself. He lives with his family in Charlotte and earns a decent amount because of the Reebok deal and various business ventures. After falling into a deep hole he dug for himself, it looks like “The Answer” have figured it all out.
If you’re interested in learning Allen Iverson’s story, check out this basketball biography book.
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