NBA great Allen Iverson is shooting down rumors about his financial troubles, claiming that his "struggling in any part" of his life is a "myth."
"I don't really care too much about what people who don't care about me say about me, but a lot of times, you know, I get tired of defending myself," Iverson said Friday on "CBS This Morning." "And I'll be 40 years old next month and I'm so sick of defending myself."
Iverson said he "definitely" feels misunderstood, and he's not the person that everyone makes him out to be.
"I'm a father; I'm a friend. I think I've got the biggest heart in the world," Iverson said. "A lot of times, that's not a good thing. It's a gift and a curse."
The former NBA MVP famous for his crossover dribble and bad-boy image is hoping to dispel rumors in a sports documentary called "Iverson" on Showtime, a division of CBS.
"The documentary does a lot because my fans care about me, and they hear these rumors too," Iverson said.
He said he wanted to show kids that "they can make it regardless."
"You hit road blocks in life, but I'm living proof that you can overcome those road blocks and become what you want to become," Iverson said.
While he was in high school, Iverson was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a 1993 brawl at a Virginia bowling alley, charged with "maiming by mob."
"I was recruited by everybody in the country, in both [basketball and football], and once that incident happened, everybody went away," Iverson said.
He felt it was unjust.
"But I mean, I felt like I couldn't cry about it," Iverson said. "All I prayed for and asked God for was another opportunity at life."
Iverson said journalist Tom Brokaw's coverage of his story "did a lot" for him, and he was granted clemency by then-Gov. Doug Wilder after serving four months in prison. His conviction was eventually overturned.
The lifeline for his career turned out to be then-Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson.
"All I needed was one chance, and God sent him to me," Iverson said.
Thompson, who Iverson said "saved his life," recruited the player to become a Hoya in 1994, and Iverson went on to be the number one NBA draft pick in 1996 and establish his career with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In a 2014 "Real Sports" documentary on HBO, former 76ers coach Larry Brown told Bryant Gumbel that Iverson was the "greatest competitor of all time, toughest kid of all time, maybe the greatest athlete I've ever seen."
That was something Iverson couldn't fathom during the height of his stardom.
"I didn't realize the magnitude of who I was at that time, because I was in the moment. And I had to fall down a lot of times to be able to get back up," Iverson said.
"At times I might have been too young, I might have been too naïve at times, and didn't understand who I really was to a whole culture," he added.
Now, asked whether the self-proclaimed "biggest Michael Jordan fan" knew anyone who had more sports skills than him at his prime, Iverson replied, "No. No."