- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
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NBA commissioner David Stern and legendary former Georgetown coach John Thompson recently expressed concern for troubled ex-76ers guard Allen Iverson, according to Iverson's longtime business manager, Gary Moore.
Stern telephoned Moore Monday and asked how Iverson was coping with the myriad problems that have come his way. Moore said the two spoke for about 10 minutes and he assured the commissioner Iverson is doing fine.
"David was genuinely concerned for Allen," Moore said. "He asked about his daughter and his wife. He said that if Allen needed him he knows how to get him."
Moore said Stern also asked about a recent Philadelphia Inquirer report that said Iverson was battling alcohol and gambling problems.
Stern confirmed the conversation through an NBA spokesman but refused to comment. No future meeting or discussion between Stern and Iverson was set up.
Thompson, Iverson's coach for two years at Georgetown, spoke with Iverson on March 7, the same day the Inquirer report suggested Thompson reach out to him.
Thompson did not immediately return a phone call from ESPN seeking comment.
Iverson's tough year began when he settled for a $3.1 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies after going largely unwanted in free agency. The deal represented a pay cut of nearly $20 million. Hounded by injuries and complaining about playing time, Iverson left the Grizzlies after playing just three games.
A month later, he re-joined the Sixers in a celebrated return that left Iverson crying at his introductory press conference. Iverson was again in and out of the lineup after injuries and an undisclosed illness to his four-year-old daughter, Messiah. On March 4, the two parties mutually agreed to end his second stint in Philadelphia. That same day, Iverson's wife of 8½ years, Tawanna, filed for divorce.
A few days later, Iverson said on his Twitter account he was going through "some very tough times."
Moore said he and Iverson aren't sure whether his NBA career is over and Iverson is currently focused on his family.
"Allen's personal life is at the top of his agenda right now and no thoughts about basketball will enter into his mind or thought process until he's satisfied that his personal life is in order," Moore said. "Basketball's not high on his list of priorities right now. But he hasn't mentioned anything about retirement to me."
Iverson is in Atlanta, living in the same home as his wife and kids while hoping to reconcile their marriage, according to Moore. Moore said Messiah's health is much better.
Chris Broussard is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.