There’s no question that Allen Iverson is a basketball legend. Over the course of his career, he earned the title of one of the greatest of all time, and amassed millions of dollars doing so. Iverson consistently lead his teams into the NBA playoffs, once to the NBA Finals, and was even named League MVP (Most Valuable Player) in 2001. Unfortunately, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Allen Iverson’s current nest egg sits at a paltry $1 million. While this figure may seem like retirement money to you or I, $1 million is clearly a low sum for an NBA legend of Iverson’s stature.

So how did this happen? Reportedly, Allen Iverson underwent a series of life challenges and poor financial planning, leading him to blow through his entire $200 million fortune in less than two years, leaving many basketball fans to presume that Iverson is struggling for money to this day. Luckily, this is not the case, and NBA fans will be happy to learn the true story of how Iverson lost it all, and was able to secure a bright financial future for himself that won’t see him relying on a single million for the rest of his days.

The story of Allen Iverson is one that talks about turning tragedy into triumph as the NBA legend overcame his troubles to bounce back better than ever before, with wise investments to secure a financially stable future. Let’s take a look at how the NBA legend bounced back from what seemed to be the impossible.

Allen Iverson’s Rise

Allen Iverson’s financial woes weren’t difficult to predict, as the self-made celebrity never had the proper tools and guidance to invest his portfolio. Iverson was born to a single teenage mother, and found himself turning to sports from a young age as an outlet to avoid gang violence, which had already claimed many of the adults and children in his life. As a teenager, Iverson was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, before eventually receiving a clemency grant from the governor of Virginia. The conviction was eventually overturned for lack of evidence, and many people believe that Iverson’s incarceration was the result of racially-motivated profiling by the court system.

Regardless, the budding legend was able to maintain his composure in prison, and spent his time working out and being careful not to show weakness to the other inmates. This resilience would later translate effortlessly to Allen Iverson’s voracious on-the-court career. In College, Iverson led his Georgetown team to a Big East championship, and went on to be named a first-team All-American. Iverson was listed as the Hoyas’ all-time leader in career scoring average, by the time he finished college, having averaged a staggering 22.9 points per game.

Financial Peak

After putting on an impressive showing at Georgetown, Allen Iverson was chosen as the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, signing a $2.2 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. By 1999, the NBA pro was offered a six-year contract extension worth over $70 million, before going on to dominate on the court throughout his career until his official retirement from professional basketball in 2013.

By the time his NBA career ended, ClutchPoints reports that Allen Iverson had a $200 million net worth. This figure comes mostly from his NBA salary, with additional income streams such as brand deals and endorsements bolstering Iverson’s net worth each year. Like many other NBA players, Allen Iverson’s salary and endorsement day rate rose steadily as he gained more on-the-court notoriety, resulting in him taking in over $20 million in salary for the 2008-2009 season alone. With wise investments, that would have been more than enough to live off of for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, things did not turn out that way for the former basketball great.

His Downfall

Just two years after he stopped professionally playing, Allen Iverson blew through his entire net worth. As AfroTech previously reported, Iverson’s money troubles stemmed from him spending far above his means, and as an end result, he even filed for bankruptcy when he failed to make a payment to a Georgia jeweler totaling more than $900,000. Iverson is said to have travelled with an entourage of over 50 people, footing the bill for their flights, hotel accommodations, meals, and various other expenses.

Iverson was also widely known to provide lavish gifts to his friends and family members, as a sign of his incredibly generous nature. Allen Iverson’s mother was the recipient of the most gifts, which included cars, clothes, lavish getaways, and even expensive properties. While this is obviously not a show of sound financial planning, you truly cannot blame Iverson for shelling out for the woman who raised him all by herself.

Iverson’s Financial Redemption

Just as all looked hopeless for Allen Iverson, things turned around for the better thanks to Reebok.

According to a 2012 write-up in Bleacher Report, the shoe company set Iverson up with a business account worth more than $32 million that he can’t “touch” until he turns 55, but still pays him $1 million in dividends per year without ever touching the principal. This account, combined with an $800,000 per year annual contract in perpetuity and other business ventures including NFTs and cannabis, has given Iverson a new lease on life from a business perspective.

Allen Iverson was promoted to the role of Vice President of Basketball at Reebok in 2023, further growing his partnership with the brand. That same year, he announced plans to invest in a soul food/seafood restaurant in Virginia, though the business has not yet opened to the public.

Though Iverson came close to the clutches of poverty, the basketball legend has been blessed with a second chance. His net worth may not reflect it, but Iverson has gone above and beyond to stress to his fans and critics alike that he is not struggling in any way, shape, or form.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.