He always did have a craving for ice and rarely hesitated to indulge it.
That ice is melting now. So diamonds, it turns out, really are not forever.
A Georgia judge has ordered Allen Ezail Iverson to pay a jeweler about $860,000. But apparently he can't, so his bank account has been commandeered, and his earnings, whatever of them may be left, are to be garnisheed.
The King of Bling, it would seem, is about to become the Prince of Pawn.
The man who is the best small scorer in the history of the NBA, who lit up Philadelphia nights with his pyrotechnic play, is said to have worked his way through the better part of - big inhale here - $150 million.
He's 36 years old.
According to the website basketball-reference.com, his income from his rookie year with the 76ers to date is - another big inhale - $154,494,445.
A man has got to really do some serious shopping to blow through a buck-fifty mil. You'd think.
Worse, it looks as if he has run out of potential employers. No one is interested in the services of the man who once dazzled his sport with his freaky speed and captivated the city with his grit and fearlessness.
Even worse, how galling it must be to see his old team with a new coach turning the city back on, and doing so by playing exactly the opposite of A.I. ball, sharing the ball, getting everyone involved, giving everyone a touch.
In 1996, Allen Iverson arrived in Philadelphia, which is precisely what Philadelphia wanted.
"Everywhere I went before the draft," Pat Croce said, "people were yelling at me, 'Iverson, Pat, take Iverson.' "
He did as requested, and that skinny little assassin in baggy pantaloons proceeded to win us over. He was made for Philly. This was his explanation for how he played: "Well, basically I just throw my heart out on the floor."
Problem was, it was A.I. and "who that?" Almost every night, single-handedly, he would win or lose a game. That's not the way basketball is intended to be played, even if Larry Brown said it was so, too, the right way. Forty points are impressive. Taking 30 shots to get them is not.
The current 76ers routinely have five players in double figures. They play manic defense. They switch. They set screens. They are the anti-A.I.
The current A.I. is struggling with life, still puzzling out how to get by without the ball. His family is shattered and scattered, a churning, domestic whirlpool.
"Never shall innocent blood be shed. Yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river. The three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful striking hammer of god."[img]