I’ve thought more about Allen Iverson this week than in the last five years combined.
A.I. wants out of Philly, and I have to say, I can’t blame him. Iverson is stuck in a hopeless situation in the City of Brotherly Love. And the worst part – he hasn’t ever gotten his fair share of praise for the way that he’s given everything for the past 10 years to the city and franchise.
Allen Iverson is everything I’m not. He wears tattoos. I wear golf shirts. A.I. made rap records. I write blog entries. He cusses, snears, and can be downright nasty. I look ridiculous trying to look tough. Iverson was blessed with every athletic gift possible, yet hates to practice. My genes didn’t offer such a perfect storm, and all I got to do was practice.
People love to hate on Iverson. They say he’s a cancer, a locker room nightmare who is selfish beyond belief. To most folks, Iverson is everything that’s wrong with today’s hip-hop, one-on-one, standing and watch NBA. They’ll point to his trade demand as just another example of greed from someone who’s had it all.
But there are others who have seen the other Iverson. I won’t even attempt to explain the enigmatic nature of one of our generation’s most compelling athletes – that’s been done here.
What I will say is this: Allen Iverson has made more money than I’ll ever see by playing the game he loves. And that’s the thing – I truly believe that he loves the game. That’s why he’s willing to go out and give his all, play hurt, put his body at risk, do everything humanly possible to win. In Philly, his best is no longer good enough. So he wants out, and who can blame him?
Allen Iverson wants one last chance to savor the sweet taste of victory. Wherever he ends up, there will be some magic left. And undoubtedly, A.I. will leave nothing in the tank while trying to reach his championshipo goal.
Complicated? Yes. But maybe we should all hope to be so complicated.
My two favorite Iverson clips.