If you’re a basketball fan—even a casual one—there’s no way you don’t know Allen Iverson. Unless you’re 12. The diminutive baller was a scoring machine in the NBA—so prolific, as a matter of fact, that he is now a member of the sport’s ultra-exclusive Hall of Fame.
Besides his unparalleled ability to put the ball through the hoop, Iverson was also known for being a big spender. He didn’t hold back when it came to his money. He often had a retinue of hangers-on accompanying him wherever he went. He wore big-ass jewelry and drove fancy cars. Word has it that he found himself in a financial bind (which he denies) after his retirement from the NBA in 2010 precisely because he was generous to a fault.
Included in his garage were Bentley cars, one of which he gave away to a Philadelphia 76ers teammate—at least according to Iverson’s own story, which he narrated in a recent article for The Players’ Tribune.
The teammate in question was Larry Hughes, who was a rookie during the 1998-1999 season when (Iverson claims) the Bentley-giving incident took place. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
A Bentley, it’s nothing to me. You know what I’m saying? It’s just a car. But it’s funny, because it’s not like that for everyone. If you’re AI…it’s a Bentley. If you’re not? It’s a BENTLEY. So anyway, for Larry, it’s like, OK—we’re walking up to a BENTLEY. And he’s got this look. I’m saying, Larry is standing there, and he’s in this…daze. He’s in a Bentley Daze. Just looking at it…and then looking at me…and then he’s just, like, “Yo…AI. I have to get me one of these.”
I don’t even hesitate. “Bro, you can have mine.” I’ve never seen anyone so grateful.
So AI tossed Hughes the key, and the latter giddily drove the automobile away. Here comes the twist: As Hughes was driving the luxury car in the middle of nowhere, he ran out of fuel. As in the Bentley stopped dead in its tracks. Apparently, Iverson hadn’t refilled the tank when he decided to give his expensive ride away. So Hughes had to sit awhile in the car as he waited for someone to rescue him.
The following day, Iverson wrote, Hughes accused him of pulling off an initiation prank traditionally done by the league’s veteran players to their rookie teammates. But AI swears it wasn’t a practical joke—that he simply wasn’t aware that the Bentley had no fuel left. Here’s how he explained it:
I just don’t think I ever paid attention to gas in a car before…I’ll tell you two things: One, I have never, ever, ever, ever stopped for gas…and two, I always make it home.
Indeed, if you have sycophants with you all the time, why bother with life’s mundane tasks? Fuel? We talkin’ about fuel?! But seriously, if someone gave us a Bentley, we wouldn’t complain even if we had to push it all the way to the gas station. Come on.