The messy post-NBA life of Allen Iverson continues to get more and more difficult to parse and read about without feeling a sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach.
According to TMZ, his ex-wife, Tawanna Iverson, has filed court documents accusing the former Philadelphia 76ers star of refusing to return their five children, of whom she has sole legal custody, after a planned vacation that might never have actually happened:
Tawanna Iverson just filed legal docs claiming Allen recently asked for permission to take their five kids on a short vacation to Charlotte, N.C., from May 22nd-May 26th (and Tawanna agreed) but when May 26th rolled around, the children hadn't been returned.
The kids range in age from 3 to 16 years old.
In the docs, Tawanna says she tried to set up an exchange on June 4th at a neutral location — a nearby Target store — but A.I. never showed up.
Tawanna — who has sole legal and primary physical custody of their children — now believes Allen never took their kids to Charlotte at all ... and is currently keeping them at a Sheraton hotel in Georgia. [...] She now wants the court to force him to return the kids ... and punish him as well, even suggesting the judge lock him up in jail.
TMZ also reports that Allen Iverson has filed his own documents denying his ex-wife's claims.
Tawanna Iverson received custody of the children in February as part of the couple's divorce proceedings, which ended their 11-year marriage. The presiding judge in the case ordered Allen Iverson to see a psychiatrist and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a year, and granted him visitation rights only under specific conditions, including that he not drink alcohol within 24 hours of a visit.
"[Iverson] does not know how to manage the children," the judge wrote in the case's final decree. "[He] has little interest in learning to manage the children and has actually, at times, been a hindrance to their spiritual and emotional growth and development."
Allen Iverson called the ruling "one-sided" in a subsequent statement and appealed the decision. His appeal was denied in March, according to Kent Babb of The Washington Post.
After losing custody of the children in the divorce settlement, Iverson also lost his $4.5 million Atlanta mansion to foreclosure, failing to keep up with his payments and defaulting on the mortgage. It was just the latest in a long line of off-court failings for the former All-NBA guard, who hasn't played professional basketball since a brief stint with the Turkish club Besiktas in 2010, and whose persistent post-career struggles Babb chronicled for the Post back in April.
“He has hit rock bottom, and he just hasn’t accepted it yet,” former 76ers teammate Roshown McLeod told Babb.
Those who suggest they know exactly what's going to come next in the life of Allen Iverson are probably kidding themselves. Let's just hope it includes his kids being safe and OK.