If you want a full breakdown of how this trust fund came to exist, please read this article:
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How Allen Iverson Scored A Unique Reebok Trust Fund
And below is a brief summary of the major points:
Back in 2001, soon after winning the NBA MVP, Allen took a meeting with Reebok executives to strike a long-term endorsement relationship. Reebok came to the table with a very impressive lifetime offer that would allow Allen to continue making lots of money while he played, while also offering a nice little two-part retirement sweetener. Allen accepted what was one of the very first lifetime endorsement contracts in pro sports.
The lifetime contract came with three primary benefits:
1: First, Reebok would pay Allen $5-10 million per year as long as he was playing in the NBA. The full amount was dependent on milestones like playoff appearances, championships, All-Star appearances MVP trophies etc.
2: Secondly, immediately upon retiring Allen would be paid $800,000 per year for the rest of his life. No obligations, no expectations. Essentially, a pension.
3: Third, to absolutely ensure Allen’s financial success in his later years, Reebok put $32 million in a trust fund that would sit untouched for the next 29 years. According to the terms of the deal, Allen would inherit the trust fund on June 7, 2030. His 55th birthday. As I type this article, that magic day is 2,023 days away. Here, we made this handy countdown clock so you can keep track:
The world learned about the Reebok trust fund in the wake of Allen’s divorce from his longtime wife Tawanna. Tawanna first filed for divorce in March 2010. At the time of the divorce, Allen was one month away from playing his final NBA game. He was playing for the Memphis Grizzlies on a one-year $160,000 contract.
The divorce took three years to be finalized.
In a December 2012 court filing, Iverson told a judge that he was losing $300,000 EVERY MONTH because his monthly income of $62,500 was far outweighed by his $360,000 monthly expense total. At that rate, he was piling up $3.6 million in debt on an annualized basis.
Tawanna conceded that Allen was cash poor at that time, but she also knew about the Reebok trust fund. So she petitioned for a judge to give her half of the $800,000 annual pension and half of the $32 million trust fund when it is distributed in 2030.
Their divorce was finalized in 2013. Interestingly, Allen has claimed in several interviews that they actually reconciled ONE MONTH after the divorce was finalized. Assuming that’s true, it’s presumable that Allen and Tawanna did legally agree to divide his pension and trust fund, but if they still live as a married couple… does it really matter?