Do You Know Who I Am? Yes, You’re Allen Iverson.
It’s been a year and a half since Allen Iverson took the court wearing a Philadelphia 76ers jersey. What many thought would be a long tenure that would eventually lead into retirement and the NBA Hall of Fame has now turned into a sad downward spiral of bizarre behavior and poor decision making.
Since Stephen A. Smith publicly criticized Allen Iverson for having a gambling and drinking problem back in March 2010, Iverson has done everything he possibly could to live up to that speculation.
After a very weird, very abrupt departure from the 76ers last year, Iverson went on to sign with a 2nd-tier Turkish basketball team (mainly because he was getting absolutely NO offers from any NBA teams) called Besiktas. The contract was set to be a 2-year $4 million deal.
Since then it’s been a shit storm of bad things.
Earlier this year Iverson’s mansion in Denver was foreclosed upon after he failed to make payments on it. From what I’ve read, the house is now worth about $1 million less than he had purchased it for, and the total back-owed amount is roughly $2.5 million. Bummer.
In January, Allen left his team in Turkey to return to the U.S. for rehabilitation on his right leg. People were criticizing his poor play in the D-League of Turkey already, but his public appearances throughout Atlanta during the rehab didn’t help either.
What originally turned from a 4-6 week stint in Atlanta that was supposed to allow Iverson to return for the Besiktas playoffs, has now turned into an ongoing rehabilitation with no return date set, and no return announcement from the team. Basically, he’s not going back.
This is mostly hearsay, but reports were coming in from Sports by Brooks that Iverson was seen spotted at an Atlanta club almost every night, alone, wearing the same gear he was wearing in 2000. People claimed to have seen him watching the All-Star game on television with an incredibly depressing look on his face.
Then, most recently, Iverson’s Lamborghini was impounded after a traffic citation turned ugly. Allen was riding passenger while his friend, Antwuan Clisby, was seen ‘changing lanes without a signal.’ After the two were pulled over, police ran his tags that were 2 years expired, and Iverson wasn’t able to provide any documentation for the vehicle. Iverson was told the vehicle was going to be towed and apparently became irate. Reports were that he was cursing at officers, asking the now infamous “Do you know who I am?” question.
Sad, sad stuff. The days of Iverson being ‘The Answer’ for Philadelphia are long over. What seemed like a moving reception for his return back in 2009 now looks like a cheap, short-lived publicity stunt.
The sad part is that I think he still has talent. He probably could contribute in some way to an NBA team (or any team for that matter,) but his bad off-court antics have landed him a reputation that hinders any team’s willingness to find out.
Speculation is now looming that Iverson is bankrupt. Gambling, drinking, poor spending, stubbornness… it’s more than taken a toll on him. Iverson is now set to follow the cliche story of a famous athlete’s demise in the public spotlight. He’s denied several mentors and keeps a tight circle of ‘yes’ men around, so the outlook for this once amazing sports icon looks dismal.
Iverson…. take off the over-sized 2000-era velor jumpsuit, get a fitted that’s the right size, stop drinking so much, hit the gym, start doing some ‘practice’, and do something positive again. We miss you man.
This post was written by Randy Neil
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