Former NBA player and a HOF Allen Iverson had an impact that transcended basketball, and throughout the years, he became a cultural icon. Iverson was never afraid to express himself both on and off the court. His realness was the main reason why many young kids wanted to be just like him and imitated everything he was doing, especially on the basketball court with his flashy playing style and killer crossovers. As years went by, Iverson made some wrong business decisions that affected his wealth, and he lost numerous million dollars which eventually forced him to file for bankruptcy.
In a recent interview for The Volume, the most powerful and probably influential basketball agent Rich Paul talked about why Allen Iverson had the potential to be greater than Michael Jordan, at least from a business perspective. Paul also believes Iverson’s impact was incredible when you consider what he achieved, especially early on in his life.
Allen Iverson’s impact post-Michael Jordan was second to none. I believe if you take Allen Iverson out of Georgetown, I want him prior to being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers number one. Give me Allen Iverson leaving Georgetown coming to the league, and today Allen Iverson would have a billion-dollar brand. Today Allen Iverson would be positioned much differently. He would still be a HOF, and I’m not talking about what he did on the floor because we can’t even talk about that. He’s just a one-of-a-kind person, and his impact, his ability, what he could’ve done in the community. He has never done anything for the show, and he helped so many people.Rich Paul, via The Volume
Paul talks about how he would handle Iverson’s business opportunities and why it would be essential not to concentrate on the money upfront. He went that far as to conclude Iverson would have a billion-dollar brand as soon as his career was over, which is much different from what he has now. Iverson had a tremendous ability to appeal to the ‘White America’ in which young kids wore arm sleeves and cornrows, which was unbelievable to see at that time. There weren’t many professional athletes in other sports who had the charisma and impact similar to the one Iverson had on the younger generation.
The business to be built with Allen Iverson, and that would’ve been still sustainable today. I think it would’ve been neck-and-neck with the Black Cat. He had White America wearing cornrows, the arm sleeve. He just had a different impact. I probably would’ve done things differently because I would’ve said, ‘Allen, I’m not focused on the upfront money. We put too much focus on the upfront money with guys that you can build a business with. I’m building a billion dollars business with Allen Iverson; there’s no question about it. His retro business with the right product would probably have been second to Michael Jordan’s today.Rich Paul, via The Volume
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) March 26, 2021
When you put things into perspective, Iverson had all the tools to have successful brands under his name that would eventually bring him a fortune even after his career was over. It’s not like he is broke at the moment or that he made all the wrong business decisions, but he definitely didn’t monetize the potential he had throughout his career. If he surrounded himself with better people around him that would consult him in the right way, things could’ve been different, and that is the potential Rich Paul sees in Allen Iverson.