“For all of the small people, he gave all those people hope,” said Aaron McKie, a Sixers assistant coach and Iverson’s former teammate.

Years later, word has spread of Iverson’s family troubles and that he is essentially broke. Croce called more than a year ago, leaving a message through Gary Moore, Iverson’s longtime friend and business manager. There was no response.

“I just want to see him,” Croce said. “I don’t even know what he looks like.”

Larry Brown, who coached Iverson in Philadelphia, has called often recently, extending invitations to Dallas. Brown now coaches there, at Southern Methodist University, and two of Iverson’s former Sixers teammates, Eric Snow and George Lynch, are on Brown’s staff. Brown thinks it would be good for Iverson to be around the game and people who still care about him, but Iverson hasn’t visited.

“I worry about him,” Brown said. “A lot.”

McKie and others have texted. Iverson responds sometimes, although days or weeks often pass. Other times, there’s no reply. He keeps to himself, something of a recluse, and declines most interview requests. Last year his eldest daughter, Tiaura, asked to live with her father, according to divorce testimony transcripts. She was concerned about how few people her dad interacts with.

“I just don’t like to see it end this way,” Brown said.

Multiple attempts to reach Iverson for this story were unsuccessful; Moore said Iverson has been told to avoid the spotlight. But more than 600 pages of transcripts and court documents from the divorce proceeding suggest that spurts of questionable behavior during his career weren’t just layers to Iverson’s character. They were warning signs.