Allen Iverson's post-basketball life has been almost as full of intrigue and frustration as his time in the NBA. The latest chapter being written as his ex-wife tells police that Iverson has abducted their five children.
Iverson's days in the NBA were filled with excitement, but ultimately disappointment as he tried time and time again to come up with something more than personal achievement.
He was never able to come away with a championship, even though he'll be remembered as one of the most thrilling shooting guards in the history of the game.
Ever since his last days in the league, Iverson has been looking for a way to get back, ultimately failing up to this point.
Bumps in the road have turned into full-blown roadblocks, and it's starting to seem as if any kind of return to the league is a far-fetched dream as personal troubles begin to mount yet again.
Read on to really get an understanding of what's gone down with Iverson ever since he left the NBA.
Alcoholism, Gambling and Divorce
At the end of his tenure in the NBA, reports were flying in from every direction that Iverson's life was slowly crumbling beneath his feet.
After his last game with the Philadelphia 76ers on March 20, back in 2010, Iverson's private problems quickly became dirty laundry flapping on a clothesline.
A column from Stephen A. Smith branched off from an interview with Iverson's business manager, Gary Moore, who told Smith that Iverson was not only dealing with a well-reported gambling problem but also alcoholism, all while going through a divorce with his wife Tawanna.
All this came while his final days in the NBA were moving quickly away from him, as
Smith's column was almost haunting, as he called for somebody from Iverson's past to reach out and help him, something that may have never come.
Iverson in Turkey
While it was sad to see him go from the NBA, even if he was a shell of himself, Iverson received an offer to play for Besiktas back in the fall of 2010.
The Turkish Eurocup team signed Iverson to a two-year, $4 million deal that allowed him to opt out after the first season if he decided to make another run at the NBA.
Carmelo Anthony told reporters that playing basketball in Turkey wasn't Iverson's first choice, but at least he was still getting paid to play basketball.
In the seven games that he did register with Besiktas in the Turkish league, Iverson averaged 14.3 points and 4.7 assists before things went wrong.
The Quick Fall
After his seven games for the Turkish team, Iverson had to return to the United States in order to treat a calcium deposit in his right calf.
Dr. James Andrews told reporters that Iverson tried to play through the pain that the deposit was causing, increasing the damage done to his leg.
The injury was enough to keep him out for the rest of the regular season, and while Iverson never seemed all that jazzed about playing in the second-tier European basketball league, he was dedicated to helping the team signing his checks.
understand that this procedure is quite complicated because of where the lesion is located in my leg. I feel like I am in the hands of the— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) January 31, 2011
very best in Dr. Andrews and with the help of the Good Lord, this problem will be corrected at I can go back to Turkey and help my team just— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) January 31, 2011
in time for the playoffs.— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) January 31, 2011
Generally, when we see an NBA player doing whatever it takes to get back into professional basketball, the first assumption is that they're looking to make another hefty paycheck to cover the remnants of their formerly lavish lifestyles.
The story was no different for Iverson.
It seems as if everybody but the man himself wanted to talk about his financial woes, which went well past his home being foreclosed.
Kate Fagan of The Inquirer followed Iverson's foray into Turkey very closely, including the reasons behind his international efforts.
Her most telling words came just after his Besiktas debut:
The 76ers' former all-everything guard is broke - by all accounts except his own - and playing here in Istanbul for a number of reasons, none of which is to become an ambassador for Turkey's solid, but often overlooked, professional league.
Of course, this all led to Iverson denying the rumors of his financial demise, despite it coming at him from every angle.
Sued and Spirited
Following the surgery and his final few games, the Turkish transplant decided enough was enough, and wanted to get back stateside to revamp his attempts to get back into the NBA.
A bump in the road came and took a toll on his public image when he was sued for his role in a bar brawl in Detroit back in 2009.
Although the case was eventually thrown out, it was the deposition that really did Iverson in, as he told the federal lawyer arguing against him to, "Go to hell."
His efforts to get back into the NBA were put off until earlier this year, when he was offered a D-League contract by the Texas Legends, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
Respectfully, Iverson declined, sounding like a much more humble, self-aware man:
I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration and while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me.
I realize my actions contributed to my early departure from the NBA, should God provide me another opportunity I will give it my all. ... My dream has always been to complete my legacy in the NBA.
He was criticized for not wanting to work his way back into the league through the appropriate channels, but perhaps he was right in passing up on what seemed to be little more than a publicity stunt.
Perhaps most startling over the past three years is the recent news that Iverson is being accused of abducting his own children.
After taking them on a vacation to Charlotte, North Carolina on May 22, Iverson told his wive Tawanna, who has full custody of the five children, on May 26.
Iverson failed to bring the kids back, so Tawanna attempted to organize an exchange for June 4, to which her ex-husband never showed up.
It's just another valley in a ragged decline following Iverson's final days in the NBA.