Ex-Teammate: Iverson Would Throw $40K on Stage at Strip Clubs

Former Sixer Matt Barnes says he used to scoop up the money Allen Iverson would throw on stage at strip clubs. Also, A.I. stopped him from beating up Mo Cheeks.

There’s a good profile of Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes in Sports Illustrated this week. Barnes is one of the most hated players in the NBA by opponents and one of the most beloved by his teammates. He’s works hard, he elbows opponents, he talks trash. He’s one of those grinders.

Barnes, who has played for eight NBA teams in his 11-year career, was with the Sixers during part of the team’s disastrous 2005-06 season. Barnes was in his third year when he played in Philadelphia, and spent just 50 games here. And in the story, he recounts hanging with Allen Iverson at a strip club in Philadelphia. (Iverson was legendary in the early 2000s among college kids in University City for frequenting Wizzards, now Atlantis, at 38th and Chestnut.)

“Allen was the first guy that showed me how NBA players spend money in strip clubs,” Barnes tells SI. “That guy went. HARD. He’d throw so much money, and this was when I was first in the league, that I used to take my foot and scoop the s— under my chair and either re-throw it or put some in my pocket. He’d throw $30,000, $40,000 every time we went. I’m like, ‘You realize what I can do with this money?’”

Barnes also had no love for former Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks. In the profile, by SI writer Chris Ballard, Barnes said Cheeks told him to not bother working on his shot — he wouldn’t be shooting the ball in Philadelphia. When Barnes later drained a 15-foot jumper in practice, Cheeks told him taking shots like that in practice is why he wasn’t playing in Philadelphia.

And then, Barnes says, he lost it. “I was going to chase him down and whoop his ass, so I took off after him and AI grabbed me and I got through him and Chris [Webber] grabbed me and bearhugged me and I said to Mo, ‘You’re lucky.’”

Says Barnes now: “I hated Mo Cheeks. He was a dick.”

The most amazing part of this story is learning that Chris Webber actually played some defense during his time in Philadelphia.

The story has a happy ending, but not for Philadelphia: While with the Golden State Warriors the next year, Barnes hit seven three-pointers against the Sixers and Mo Cheeks.