Former Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Allen Iverson has no doubt fallen on hard times since his exit from the NBA some years ago, but just how hard have those times been? A new report claims that Iverson was seen begging for change outside an Atlanta mall, but you might want to think twice before you get too caught up in schadenfreude and post it to your Facebook wall.
The latest "report" comes via TheNewsNerd, which claims that Iverson, who made more than $200 million in salary and endorsements over the course of his 15 year career with the 76ers and other teams, was spotted outside Lenox Mall in Atlanta, begging passersby for change. Iverson supposedly had to be escorted away from the premises by mall security.
"One of the hardest things I've ever had to do," a mall security guard supposedly said, "was asking my hero to leave the mall."
Could Iverson really have spent $200 million that quickly, though? To the point that he has to panhandle to afford enough money for a cheeseburger?
The Iverson story has been making the rounds on social networks, with TheNewsNerd's take so far topping 28,000 shares. There's one little thing you might want to read before you go posting it and saying "such a shame, such a shame."
"The stories posted on TheNewsNerd are for entertainment purposes only. The stories may mimic articles found in the headlines, but rest assured they are purely satirical."That's right: TheNewsNerd is a satirical site. Like The Onion, but less funny. The deadpan delivery of the Iverson story has many believing that the former MVP is just a beard and a bindle away from riding the rails like a hobo, occasionally tooting on his harmonica as he swigs from a bottle of Mad Dog and reminisces about that time he crossed over Jordan.
That's not the case.
A few days ago, Iverson showed up on Instagram looking decidedly other than disheveled. Instagram user bellamilagroserrano posted a selfie with Iverson at a private nightclub, and Iverson is shown rocking crisp clothes and probably an average American salary's worth of gold chains. No, Iverson's not begging for cash here.
That's not to say that everything's rosy for Iverson. Allen lost his $4.5 million Atlanta home to foreclosure last year, and Iverson's been dogged by creditors and attorneys for considerable sums of money.
Still, sources reportedly familiar with Iverson's situation say that he has an account worth $32 million that he cannot withdraw in bulk. Iverson won't have full access to the funds until he turns 55, but it reportedly pays him $1 million annually. Iverson will also have access to his NBA pension in about five years. That pension will pay him roughly $8,000 per month.
And if Allen Iverson can't keep himself off the street earning that much, well, The Answer would need to ask himself some serious questions.
[Images Via wallown.com and The Urban Daily.]