When Allen Iverson took extended leaves of absence from the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers several times this season I was skeptical that it was really because, as was explained publicly, he had a young daughter with an undiagnosed illness and so needed to spend more time at home. That sounded suspiciously vague and a little too close to, "I need to spend more time with the family" to my ear. But I didn't expect the news today, which makes me view him more sympathetically.
Stephen A. Smith of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who has been close to Iverson for years, revealed today that Iverson is actually battling problem drinking and chronic gambling. "Iverson's gambling problem is serious enough that he has been banished from casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City, N.J.," according to Smith. I've embedded below Steven A. Smith's 5 minute interview on ESPN today about these revelations.