The Underappreciated Answer. Allen Iverson.

ddecroti

What’s going on everybody! It’s your boy Big D back at it.

So, I asked the viewers “what would you like to read about” and I received feedback requests from a few good friends that would like to hear more of my thoughts on basketball. You want basketball? You got basketball. As I said, I can talk about anything.

To start, my interest in basketball and the NBA compared to football and the NFL is almost laughable as it doesn’t even come close however, I do believe I have some credible knowledge that I would like to share. There are a few topics that I have pretty strong opinions about that I would like to discuss with you. Today, we will discuss my man Allen Iverson aka AI aka The Answer.

ALLEN IVERSON

As you know if you have been paying attention, I am an honest guy so I will give it to you straight when I admit that I am biased in my opinions here. Allen Iverson is without a doubt my favorite player period. There is no 1B. It is just him sitting high at #1.

Even though I am old enough to say that I was around to watch Michael Jordan and witness him win ring after ring, the love that I do have for basketball is solely based on Iverson and the 76ers. Not Michael Jordan and his career. Personally, yes, Jordan was exciting to watch play the game as he has had countless great moments however, he just never won me over the way that AI did.

Jordan grew the international game and provided exposure to the sport of basketball more than anyone who has played the game but, Allen Iverson grew the domestic game. Allen Iverson is the most underappreciated athlete in all of sports.

“Allen Iverson is the most underappreciated athlete is all of sports.”

“Why is that?” you ask? Allen Iverson had tattoos, wore a durag, had his hair braided, wore a big white tee and a fitted hat and due to that, the media quickly categorized him as a “thug”. Well, he was the first “thug”  to win Rookie of the year, win MVP. The first “thug” to take his team to the finals unfortunately a loss to the great Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. That step over on Tyrone Lue though still best play of the series.

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Iverson was Iverson. That is why he had my respect. He didn’t try to fit into a pretty little world and conform to the “norms”. That was not him. Do you remember the practice quote? “Practice we talking about practice man.” The media destroying Iverson… AI is NOT A TEAM PLAYER. AI didn’t try at practice. As a matter of a fact, he didn’t even show up. He didn’t care about winning, the 76ers or his teammates. Will Iverson be traded? I remember hearing about this for days maybe weeks and I am sure a lot of you do as well. He DID CARE and probably more than he should have. Did you ever listen to the entire quote? Probably not because we trust tv like ESPN. Well let me enlighten you.

Iverson had just lost a playoff series and more importantly on a personal level, he had lost his best friend too. Now of course nobody likes to lose (again, unless you are Doug Peterson) but imagine that the one thing holding you together is basketball, you lose the playoffs, and then to top it off you lose your best friend as well simultaneously. I couldn’t imagine what kind of emotions he was going through during that time.

Iverson deserves a lot more respect and we as Philly fans have nothing but love for him however, the rest of the league may have forgotten about how fun and great this guy was for the game of basketball.

He was the inspiration for all the athletes who were deprived of the “perfect” home life. This man is an example of rising from the ashes. He was more or less adopted and then had the good ole South arrest him. A 17 year old kid arrested and tried as an adult for a fight in a bowling alley. I am not going to say why he was arrested… Come on man. Luckily his sentence was overturned and he spent only 4 months of his 15 year sentence . Iverson eventually did get his opportunity to show his skills in college when Georgetown and John Thompson took the chance on a kid with a troubled past. Boy did Iverson prove that was the right risk to take. Showing he was the best player in the country and after 2 years in college being taken #1 overall.

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IMPACT ON THE GAME

How many people ranging from kids to adults of all ages did you see in that parking or driveway practicing that crossover? Come on, admit it. No matter who you are or where you came from, you attempted it. EVERYONE with a basketball in their hand wanted to master the AI crossover. I know I did it but no matter how much I practicedit was NEVER as sexy as an actual Iverson cross.

As a short and small guy myself, Iverson gave me the motivation and confidence to know that I can hold it down in a game of backyard basketball if this man was able to do it in the NBA. Fear was not an option and playing as hard and as fast as you can was all you can give. All heart. I learned that from him, and I took that mindset with me to the court, the gridiron and life every time.

The trends have altered in the NBA as they tend to do in all sports but these players can now dress and be themselves without being concerned about disciplinary action being used against them. Iverson should also be credited with introducing the hip-hop world to the NBA game which is now considered a norm at all levels. Hip-hop and basketball are one in the same in the year 2021. Dame Lillard is a rapper, and another guard just like AI was, and one of the best in the NBA today. The small guard has an opportunity in the NBA today because of the greatest pound for pound basketball player of all-time. We ALL KNOW ABOUT THE SHOES. WHATTT!!!!! STILL FIRE!

Thank you Allen Iverson aka AI aka The Answer. And of course I thank all of you for reading. Be safe and come back soon.
-Big D

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