TIL how to blow $200 million dollars!

in #til7 years ago

For those of you who do not follow sports, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to Allen Iverson. He was a cultural icon in the late 90's and early 2000's. A professional basketball player by trade but also a budding role model to many of America's youth. 

He stood less than 6 feet tall, yet dominated a sport which normally was reserved for giants. 

Some backstory...

Allen was raised by his mother after his father had abandoned them before he was born. His mother was only 15 years old when she gave birth to young Allen. 

Despite his difficult upbringing, Allen was able to thrive in the athletic arena. He was a phenom in both Basketball and Football, winning state championships in both sports and being named the AP's (Associated Press) High School Player of the Year for both sports as a Junior in high school. You just don't see that very often...

However, trouble would arise shortly after...

In 1993, before his senior year of high school, and at just 17 years of age, Allen would be arrested after a brawl broke out at the local bowling alley. During the fight, Allen allegedly hit a woman across the head with a chair. He was tried and convicted as an adult for "maiming by mob", which carried with it a 15 year jail sentence. Things sure went south in a hurry for this budding superstar. 

Just when things looked the darkest, Allen's guardian angel stepped in...

Allen spent only 4 months in a correctional facility before the Governor of Virginia would grant him clemency and then the Court of Appeals would overturn the conviction based upon "insufficient evidence". Allen would then spend his senior year at a high school that specialized in troubled youth's. 

After Allen's arrest, no college wanted him. Prior to the arrest he was considered a star blue chip recruit for both basketball and football. Allen's mother had to work her magic in person to get the basketball coach at Georgetown to give Allen a shot. After doing some research, the coach decided he was worth the risk and offered Allen a full ride. 

Allen would go on to be a star at Georgetown, quickly making a name for himself with his amazing athleticism and outstanding scoring ability. He would declare for the NBA draft after his Sophomore year. 

Allen Iverson was selected with the first pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, ahead of the likes of Ray Allen, and a guy named Kobe Bryant. He would go on to win rookie of the year after averaging 24 points per game. 

After his 3rd season in the league, Iverson signed a $70 million dollar extension. Two years later he would be named the league MVP and advance all the way to the NBA finals before bowing out to Kobe, Shaq, and the Lakers. This would solidify Allen as one of the games top players and convinced Reebok to offer Allen an $800,000 per year lifetime salary, which meant that he was to be paid $800k per year as long as he lived. 

In 2003 he signed another contract with the 76ers, this one for $76 million, making his total NBA earnings to this point over $150 million. When you add up his endorsement deals his total NBA earnings are north of $200 million. 

Post Basketball days...

Allen had a terrible spending and gambling habit.  Certain casinos even barred him from entering because of his debts and rowdy behavior. Several years after retirement from basketball, Allen would find himself completely broke. Even to the point that he would have to sell his wife's (Tawanna) diamond ring and necklace just to pay the bills. At this point Tawanna had enough and filed for divorce in 2012. 

At the divorce proceedings it was revealed that Allen had expenses of $360,000 per month but only had income of $72,000 per month. He was even reported as yelling in his wife's direction "I don't even have enough money to buy a cheeseburger!" during the divorce proceedings. After hearing this, Tawanna gave him $61 dollars...

Luckily for Allen, Reebok thought something like this might happen...

The CEO of Reebok structured their original deal to pay him $800k per year AND give him a lump sum of $32 million all at once when he reached 55 years old. Reebok saves the day!

Everything looked great, until Allen decided he was going to use that $32 million to try and save his marriage with Tawanna...

He agreed to a post-nuptial agreement with Tawanna that stated if he violated any of the terms, she would receive the entire $32 million if she would agree to stay married to him. The terms were as follows:

"Allen couldn’t cheat, physically or verbally abuse her, had to attend marriage counseling and therapy for his drinking and gambling problems, he had to be home by midnight and finally, had to discuss with her any purchases he’d make over $5,000."

Of course, Allen violated the terms several times over the coming months and Tawanna again filed for divorce. She was awarded everything in the agreement including the $32 million dollars from Reebok. Allen was again broke...

However, Allen did actually do something very smart when he was younger...

He committed his heart to a genuinely good person. You see, upon receiving the money in the divorce proceedings, Tawanna agreed to give half of it back to Allen. An amazing act of kindness from a woman who really owed him nothing at this point... 

Allen was just inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in September and at this point in Allen's life, he has gotten things settled down. Him and Tawanna continue to work on their relationship, with it being clear that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make it work, and her making it clear that she is a compassionate woman also willing to work with him. 

You see this story wasn't just about losing $200 million dollars, it was a love story and about how placing your faith and trust in the right human being can be one of the best investments you can make! :)

Live well my friends!



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Many athletes have the same problem. They come from being poor inner-city kids then all of a sudden they have millions of dollars and are surrounded by "friends" and "family" that beg, borrow, and steal from them. Look up the story of Antoine Walker, another basketball player that blew tens of millions of dollars.

Yep! I am familiar with him as well. The part at the end about giving all his money to try and save his marriage is what make this story so amazing to me!

Really amazing post with so much to learn from, Nice one!!!!!

Amazing story...amazing that one can be so gifted in a sphere of life and so handicapped in others... a 'sort of' autism.

Yea, sometimes we have trouble getting out of our own way! :)

i think blowing 200m would be quite easy.

What about that last part... giving away everything that you have to a loved one, that is leaving you?

I always say it isn't about how much you make, it is about how much you keep! Great post jr :)

Good point and thanks! :)

There is a really good documentary on him on Netflix.. Don't have much of an opinion on his personal life - but he was one hell of an athlete.

Nice post.

Thank you and yes I agree! It is almost impossible to win state titles in two sports and be named AP high school player of the year in 2 sports in the same year?! That has only been done a handful of times... ever. An incredible athlete for sure...

I went to Phili on vacation last year - they still love him. His hall of fame induction speech was very gracious - there is something genuine about him despite some of the issues hes had. As far as Basketball goes - he certainly earned his way into the hall of fame. Hes one of those guys you cant help but hope the best for.

I agree. There has always seemed something genuine about him. Like you were seeing the real him. Not many professional basketball players will cry on national television... especially not ones with the kind of gangster rep he had at the time...

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Dam, tragedy and a comeback. They need to make a movie about his life.

There is plenty of documentaries/movies on him. You wont find it on steemit. Try google :)

I think he means a Hollywood feature film... not just a documentary. But yes, there are a few. I had no idea about this last part... the part about him basically losing all his money trying to save his marriage... not many men would give up everything they have to try and save a marriage...

Don't forget the love story! ;)

Great story. Latrell Sprewell, Lamar Odom, and others had even bigger problems to handle the money. This happens too often, and I really think that while getting those huge deals, players should also get a financial assistant, because most of them are clearly not sure what they are doing with the money.
As for Iverson, he remains one of my all time favorites. Was a true genius on the court and should have won that ring back in 2001. It would have made a good money to pay the Casino debts lol. But seriously, he was best scoring PG ever to play the game. Great read!

Good thoughts! I think the nba is actually providing something like that now... I know they are being more proactive than ever before when it comes to educating about finances.

The part about Iverson that I found so shocking was the part at the end. How he gave away essentially all his money to try and save his marriage... not many nba players would do that.

not many people in general would do it. However, let's be honest that it was a bit stupid move as he violated the rules in like 2 weeks... However, his wife is also a great one! I hope those two will have it all figured out for the future.

He could becom a coach, it is even more emotions than a Casino

Haha great point! And yes those were some strict stipulations that he was likely to fail on...

I am not a big sports fan and I hadn't heard Iverson's story before. It really is incredible how lucky he has been to get to where he is today and his story is pretty inspiring.

My initial thought is that it would be easy to criticize athletes like Iverson for the chaos they bring into their own lives with poor decisions. Then I remember that they are recruited right out of highschool or college and are immediately signed onto a contract with a huge annual salary when they are still basically just kids.

I think back to when I was fresh out of high school and I was an immature idiot with my money for several years. I can only imagine the kind of trouble I would have gotten into at 18 years old if I had been given millions of dollars to do whatever I wanted with. Honestly, I think it would have just further delayed my maturity.

I married a beautiful girl 7 years ago and I still know that it was the best decision I have ever made. Without the positive influence she has brought to my life, I would still be making a mess of things trying to figure life out on my own. The early years were tough. Being forced to find a way to scrape together enough money to make rent is what drove me to learn how to actually budget and manage my money and I would have struggled a lot more and for much longer if it hadn't been for her help. I am so thankful for my wife's companionship and level-headedness through the hard times. If I hadn't gone through those difficult times with her by my side, I know I wouldn't be the man I am today.

Wow. What a great comment! Thank you for sharing! It is critcal to have a great teammate :)

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