20 Years Ago, Allen Iverson Signed A Lifetime Reebok Deal That Came…

Over 15 seasons in the NBA, Allen Iverson made 11 All-Star teams, seven All-NBA teams, won an MVP and Rookie of the Year award (in different seasons), and led the league in scoring four times. He also led the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals, perhaps the most impressive feat of all—that supporting cast was…fairly roughshod, to put it nicely.

Throughout the course of his NBA career, Allen Iverson made $154.5 million in on-court salary. His top-earning season was toward the end of his career, when the Detroit Pistons paid him $20.8 million during the 2008-09 season. He also added more than $50 million in endorsements, putting his total earnings well north of $200 million.

All that money coming allowed Iverson to be fairly loose with his spending. He often traveled with a wide-ranging entourage reaching up to 50 people, buying them gifts like fancy jewelry, expensive cars, and luxurious vacations. He also enjoyed gambling, which is a quick way to blow through cash.

20 Years Ago Allen Iverson Signed A Lifetime Reebok Deal

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In 2012, Iverson’s wife of eight years, Tawanna, filed for divorce and sought custody of their five children. During the court proceedings, Iverson said his monthly income was $62,500. His expenses were about six times as much—$360,000. About a third of that money was going to various creditors, while another big portion went to paying off multiple mortgages. Iverson had two homes (in Denver and Atlanta) lost to foreclosure, and was ordered to pay $900,000 to a jeweler.

A little quick math means if Iverson is still living in the same way, he’s losing about $300,000 per month. That adds up quickly!

1654172208 112 20 Years Ago Allen Iverson Signed A Lifetime Reebok Deal

(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images for Reebok)

However, there’s hope on the horizon for Iverson. Back in 2001, he signed a lifetime endorsement and marketing contract with Reebok. The company had partnered with him since he was the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, giving him a 10-year, $50 million as a rookie out of Georgetown.

The lifetime deal pays Iverson $800,000 per year and comes with a unique caveat: a $32 million trust that Iverson can’t access until 2030, when he’s 55 years old. And because of those divorce proceedings, Iverson will only get half of that trust. His ex-wife Tawanna will receive the other half.

Since signing the deal, Reebok has pivoted away from the NBA and more into the consumer lifestyle market. Its biggest sports partners are the UFC and CrossFit. Yet Iverson still remains a face of the brand, and Reebok is rewarding him accordingly.

More recently, in 2021, Iverson began partnering with former NBA player Al Harrington’s Viola Brands. Together, the two are working on business initiatives for the company, as well as a line of cannabis products called “The Iverson Collection.”

He still has some waiting to do, but in eight years, Iverson will have another big collection of his own.

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