Allen Iverson offered to get his kicks by Indoor Soccer Team

National Basketball Players aren’t well known for their financial planning skills. The league’s players’ association has said that close to 60 percent of players end up broke within five years of retiring from the game, even though some of them made tens of millions of dollars during their playing careers.

So to hear that former NBA All-Star and future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson is looking for work isn’t too much of a headline. Iverson reportedly earned about $155 million during his 15-year career in the NBA before the taxman took his share. However, it still means he’s blown through millions over the past decade and a half.

What do you expect though from a guy who bought several cars and houses and had a huge group of hangers on traveling with him from town to town? It was also reported that he had a personal hairdresser travel with him and had a weak spot for jewelry. He was recently ordered by a judge in Georgia to pay one of his favorite jewelry shops the $850,000 he owes them or have his wages garnished.

But since leaving the NBA two years ago, there hasn’t really been any wages to garnish. He did sign with a basketball team in Turkey for two years at $4 million, but only stayed a few months. This could perhaps be the reason Iverson was offered a pro contract to play indoor soccer. The recent offer came from the Rochester Lancers, a New York-based team that plays in the relatively unknown Major Indoor Soccer League. What’s even stranger is that the club has just two home games remaining in their regular season. Nonetheless, the Lancers have offered the grand sum of $40,000 to play in those two games for them.

The contract offered to Iverson would pay him $20,000 for each game and he could also earn a bonus of $5,000 for each goal that he manages to score. Bonuses for the sales of merchandise and team wins would also be worked out with him. Rich Randall, the vice president of the Lancers, explained the offer by saying in a press release that Iverson’s one of the world’s best athletes and has exceptional athleticism to go along with his competitive hunger. He said the former basketball star would fit in well with the Lancers as the team pushes for a playoff berth. He added that Iverson’s presence would be appreciated by the team’s fans and it would give the sport of indoor soccer some good exposure.

There’s not really any arguing that the 36-year-old Iverson is a world-class athlete, but it still takes time for players to adapt to and learn the intricacies of different sports. It’s hard to pick up a ball and become a skilled player in a sport you’ve never played before. Pro soccer players even have a hard time adjusting to the indoor game from the outdoor version of the sport.

While Randall may be trying to help Iverson by allowing him to earn some extra cash, it basically smells like nothing more than a publicity stunt. It’s doubtful that any MISL players would be too happy about it since they don’t earn anywhere near the money that has been offered to Iverson for just a pair of games.

Iverson is still hoping that he can return to the NBA someday soon, even if he has to play in the minor leagues to work his way back and it’s believed that he’s been offered a deal by a Puerto Rican basketball team. If it does make it back to the NBA, he should seriously consider hiring an efficient financial advisor or pick up a pair of soccer shoes just in case.

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About justinwelton
Justin Welton, founder of BaselineHoops, has been writing about a variety of sports for more than three years. He has been featured on latimes.com, philly.com, stltoday.com, SFGate.com, Chron.com and seattlepi.com.

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