Stephen A Smith on Allen Iverson..

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His closest confidant asked the basketball world to pray for Allen Iverson, as if no one has all these years while seeing this train wreck coming.

He acted as if the former 76ers star hadn't needed a significant dose of prayer, luck, and divine intervention until now.



MATT SLOCUM / Associated Press

With his career and marriage in tatters, and no dependable person to turn to, Allen Iverson appears headed for disaster.

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And as the rest of us are forced to bear witness to a disintegration, the rapid decline of a career clearly lacking nurturing, the time has arrived for Iverson's inner circle to stand up and be counted, to provide some semblance of tough love - by any means necessary.

Unless those people are willing to write his epitaph instead.

Just listening to Gary Moore, Iverson's business manager and the person he trusts most, they may be doing so very soon.

Allen Iverson is in trouble, folks, deep trouble. The combination of alcohol and gambling - and a once-promising career in tatters because of the first two - won't culminate in anything short of disaster if help does not arrive in short order.

If numerous NBA sources are telling the truth - and there's no reason to believe they'd do otherwise in a situation of this magnitude - Iverson will either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away.

Moore, ever the protector, would never admit as much, of course. But that's part of the problem, isn't it?

Iverson's wife, Tawanna, having hired some high-powered Atlanta attorney and filed for a divorce last week, does not help matters. Nor does it help that she's already separated from her husband, with custody of their five kids and seeking both alimony and child support.

When you consider Iverson's well-known penchant for alcohol and his banishment from casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City, if disgust and sadness don't come to mind, at least one question does:

Where is Pat Croce when you need him? Or Iverson's coach at Georgetown, John Thompson?

Where is the person with the ideal combination of compassion and toughness who would shelter Iverson at the same time he's holding his feet to the flames? Someone whose vested interest is in Iverson's well-being, someone who doesn't need his money or cachet?

In other words, someone he does not have in his camp right now. Or someone who has an impact, and needs to utilize it.

"I think there's one guy, and his name is John Thompson," said former Temple basketball coach John Chaney, noted for saving souls as much as winning basketball games throughout his illustrious career. "John is the one guy who'll have a chance of slowing this train wreck down, who could wrap his arms around Iverson and have an impact, because clearly it has not been done. But there's still this one question: Will [Iverson] listen?

"See, too many of our athletes give lip service when someone is trying to help them. And as soon as you leave them, they find themselves dealing with self-preservation and denial. It's an athlete's biggest problem to overcome.

"When you were young and vital, there were a lot of hit songs on that side of the record," Chaney said. "With Iverson, there are no more hit songs on that side of the record. You've got to accept the fact that you've danced and boogied. Now that they've flipped it over and ain't nobody dancing anymore, it's over!

"The ball is deflated. So now you have to find another life for yourself."

Iverson's NBA life may be over, but he and the folks he keeps close to him don't seem to realize it.

Take the more than $200 million he has earned in his career, subtract Uncle Sam's take, alimony, child support for five kids, and no millions forthcoming, then ask yourself what the 6-foot guard has left.

With his lifestyle, his mistakes, his lack of preparation for a life beyond the glory.

Talk to anyone remotely associated with Iverson and they can't deny that he is ill-prepared for a post-basketball career. His cohorts still look to him as that mercurial box-office star who won four scoring titles and a league MVP award, not as someone who simply dreams about those days right now.

The one advantage Iverson acknowledged having all of these years was a wife about whom he publicly said, "I'd die for her. . . . I'd die without her." Now, she essentially has said, "Go right ahead."

No wonder Moore said, "Pray."

This is Iverson we're talking about. What else is there to do? Especially if he is forced to stand alone?
 
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Dudes have been writing for a few years now that it's gonna be interesting to see what A.I. finds to bide his time now that he's got 50 years of retirement life coming. Hope he can get things straightened out.
 
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If the story is true, his basketball next stop may be China... where if he wanted to could play till 40
 
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Best of luck to AI.  He needs to get a gig within the NBA, assistant coach, trainer, somethin.  Something that will keep him in the game, earning a living.  Hope something like that happens. 
 
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Originally Posted by cleansneaksonly21

If the story is true, his basketball next stop may be China... where if he wanted to could play till 40
He's going to win the MVP for like 10 years if he goes there.
  
 
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the thought crossed my mind at first CP, but...it's up all to him.

Come back to G'Town get the degree, grad assistant..whatever..there have been other past pro's NBA or NFL who have done that. Doug West is on the Villanova bench now after dealing with alcoholism and depression.

But Iverson just wouldn't.

Safe to say nobody in the NBA would reach out to him in that type of capacity.

Overseas at this point seems like the most logical destination.
 
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I hit up SAS earlier this morning to see if he had a podcast of this segment... 



I dont know every instance of whats goin on but from what Ive read Iverson's mom has despicably raised Allen as her "meal ticket".  He has a staff/entourage full of family members that is  bigger than MC Hammer's posse. He supports everyone who shares the same blood as him.
Anyone ever read the Iverson book?
In the book theres a described scene, where he's talkin with his personal bodyguard, and Iverson tells dude "outta all the people on my payroll, you're the only one who really knows me and we're the only two guys who has a real job" Body guard says to him, "thats f'd up man", and Iverson says "nah, %%!$#% up is what all  these people would be if I didnt have them on staff"  

alot of weight for someone to be carryin for such a long time
 

T0INE

formerly toine2983
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I hope AI can get his post NBA life on track.
 
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Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

In the book theres a described scene, where he's talkin with his personal bodyguard, and Iverson tells dude outta all the people on my payroll, you're the only one who really knows me. Body guard says to him, "thats f'd up man", and Iverson says "nah, +*+$%@ up is what all  these people would be if I didnt have them on staff" 
you forgot the best quote from that exchange...when he told the bodyguard "you and i are the only ones w/ jobs"

i'm willing to bet, he'll be in china next year...he'll be a HUGE star over there and he probably needs the money..
 
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Allen, you don't think Larry Brown would find a spot for him?  Or at least offer to help him land somethin? 

What about players reachin out?  @#%$ even NBATV would be a good spot, they have all sorts of former players in there to talk about the game, something like that to keep him going. 

Where he's at, is a baaaaaaaad spot.  It goes downhill real quick.  
 
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GUNNA GET IT wrote:
In the book theres a described scene, where he's talkin with his personal bodyguard, and Iverson tells dude outta all the people on my payroll, you're the only one who really knows me. Body guard says to him, "thats f'd up man", and Iverson says "nah, +*+$%@ up is what all  these people would be if I didnt have them on staff"  

alot of weight for someone to be carryin for such a long time



that's a pretty deep conversation. very sad.
 
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   Sad that some people can never grow up.
its just as  sad when people are forced to grow up too soon 

what kinda impact on your life would doing a yr in jail as a teen and then having  to support every MFer you know 

you know the old saying, "walk a mile in someone else's shoes ..."
 
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