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Iverson going through 'tough times'

Exiled Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson says he's experiencing "tough times'' a week after it was decided he would not return to the team and his wife filed for divorce. Iverson posted four messages Monday night on his Twitter account telling fans he expected to overcome the most recent obstacles in his life. "To my fans: You all know that my life isn't perfect. I am going through some very tough times right now, like I am sure that we all do from time to time,'' Iverson wrote. "However, I will stand tall like always with 'rhino' thick skin.''

The remarks come on the same day that several media outlets published reports based off a column that ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer . Writer Stephen A. Smith cited sources that claimed the troubled Iverson would "either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away." Iverson had been mostly absent from the 76ers for a month, returning to Atlanta to be with his family as they deal with an undisclosed illness of his 4-year-old daughter, Messiah. Iverson and the Sixers decided last Tuesday he would not return for the rest of the season. The former NBA MVP and four-time scoring champion averaged 13.8 points in 28 games this season. He started the season with Memphis but only played three games before he announced a short-lived retirement. Tawanna Iverson filed for divorce the same day. She said their 8 1/2-year marriage is "irretrievably broken,'' in papers filed in Fulton County Superior Court. She asked for full custody of the couple's five children, child support and alimony. The youngest child is 17 months old and the oldest is 15. Allen Iverson said on Twitter it hurt to hear stories about his personal life that aren't true. "Even though I have become used to hearing people say things about me that aren't true, it still hurts,'' Iverson wrote. "I encourage you to continue your ongoing support and I want you to trust that this is another obstacle in my life that, with God's help I will overcome.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.