Allen Iverson: Family Issues Derailed NBA Career

by October 27, 2011

Allen Iverson continues to insist that he’d be willing to play any role for any team in the NBA at the age of 36, and he tells Yahoo! Sports that trouble at home is what caused him to lose focus on the court in the last few years: “That wasn’t me at all,’ Iverson said. ‘Obviously, I was dealing with the situation with my daughter and going through a divorce, and I wasn’t there mentally. In my career those last couple years were so hard for me because I wasn’t there. Mentally, I wasn’t there. During those 48 minutes on the basketball court, all I [ever] cared about was that time right there. Nothing else distracted me. But at times, I felt myself standing on the court just thinking about my daughter, thinking about the situation with me and my wife. I wasn’t giving [the teams] everything I had mentally.’ So what’s the difference now? ‘Everything is fine,’ Iverson said. ‘[My wife and I] are still going through the process. But it’s not like it was. … I just felt like the right thing – even if it’s not me and her [together] – we got to be friends and cool with each other because we got five kids together. That was the most difficult part. And then once I got to there, as far as that situation, then everything was basically cool. My kids are healthy. I don’t have anything to worry about but basketball.’ Multiple reports within the past couple years said Iverson has been troubled by financial, alcohol and gambling issues. He admitted there was some truth to his personal problems but declined to go into detail, saying it ‘would take all day’ to explain what wasn’t true. … Iverson’s accomplishments on the court merit his inclusion in the Basketball Hall of Fame. He’d just like to put one final stamp on his legacy that isn’t drenched in drama. ‘It’s not where I want it to be,’ Iverson said of his career. ‘When it does end, it’s going to end on a much better note than this right here. This is not the way it’s going to end. Even if I do have to go overseas to play in a competitive situation, it’s not going to end like this. I’m not going to let it end like this, and I don’t want it to end like this. My first step is doing everything I have to do to get back to that [NBA] level. But if that’s something that God doesn’t want from me, then that’s that.'”