Allen Iverson: A Biography

Allen Iverson: A Biography

by Dave Stanley
     
 

ABOUT THE BOOK

p>To many, however, Allen Iverson is more enigmatic than his moniker implies. He represents a host of other conflicting things: talented, troubled, enigmatic, self-destructing, benevolent, and kind.

So who is Iverson, exactly? When looking at the landscape of current NBA players, through the patina of black tattoo ink and sometimes… See more details below

Overview

ABOUT THE BOOK

p>To many, however, Allen Iverson is more enigmatic than his moniker implies. He represents a host of other conflicting things: talented, troubled, enigmatic, self-destructing, benevolent, and kind.

So who is Iverson, exactly? When looking at the landscape of current NBA players, through the patina of black tattoo ink and sometimes outlandish hairstyles, it�s easy to forget that A.I. was the one who started it all. Body art is almost a prerequisite in today�s game. Back in 1996, however, people didn�t know what to make of the kid from Bethel High School in small-town Hampton, VA. He was a bad boy and bad news for a league that was in an awkward transition phase and wondering what to do next after the retirement of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, who were the relatively wholesome poster boys of the previous generation.

In comes Iverson, with his cornrows, baggy shorts, and hip hop style that alienated some fans and endeared others. Looking back, the whole situation was paradoxical in nature: One the one hand, here was a player who had an outward appearance and off the court antics that were off-putting to the old- timer fans and players. On the other hand, his style of play was actually a throwback to the old-timers� era. His selflessness and disregard for his body or injury was unparalleled by his that of his contemporaries. He was more Larry Bird than Larry Johnson.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK



Iverson crossed over once on His Airness, creating a bit of space. If the play ends there, it�s already a moment for the highlight reel, regardless of how the 76�ers possession ends. But Iverson wasn�t done yet, as that first crossover dribble was just a teaser. He crossed over again, making Jordan look downright foolish, left standing about four feet out of position. He helplessly watched as the diminutive rookie point guard pulled up to make the jump shot as time expired on the shot clock.

The announcers were thrilled, if not exuberant, and a few hoop geeks noted the play as a subtle ushering in of the proverbial �new guard� (no pun intended). The play may be legendary, but it�s worth noting that there was relatively little fanfare at the time. This was pre-YouTube and a different era that preceded the 24-hour news cycle.

Love him or hate him, Allen Iverson�the Answer�had arrived. He was not going to be just a flash in the pan, a spark on the horizon of the Roy Tarpley variety that would fall prey to his own demons. That late-winter evening was the exclamation point on an impressive rookie season, a moment that let the world know that A.I.�s ability to polarize basketball fans was matched only by his otherworldly talent.

The remainder of his career would follow a similar arc: an MVP award (2001), several scoring titles, and a NBA Finals appearance peppered by run-ins with coaches, a failed rap career, a marijuana arrest, and, most recently, financial ruin (after earning $154 million over the course of his playing days). For every on-court feat, there seemed to be two eyebrow-raising incidents that placed you on either the �love� or �hate� side.

All of which brings us back to The Question: will history be kind to the Answer? In terms of measurables, the most definitive metric would be entrance into the Hall of Fame. The sports world is littered with players whose eligibility was questionable because of a sour public image (see: Lawrence Taylor, former NFL linebacker).

This isn�t a fair stance, but sports writers�i.e. the voters�are only human and sometimes let personal opinions get in the way. Simply put: Iverson should be accepted into the Hall of Fame when he files for retirement from the NBA and the requisite time has passed to be eligible for enshrinement.

To paint the picture in more broad strokes, it needs to be said: he should be remembered as one of the best to play the game. Not necessarily the all time best, but what he did on the court speaks for itself.

�I play every game as if it were my last� is one of his most oft-repeated�quotes, and it wasn�t just idle, idiomatic post game drivel. He played with an uncanny sense of urgency, even during the garbage time games in mid January when the interest of both the fans and players tends to wane. For him, there was no such thing as a meaningless game. Every time he suited up, he felt it deserved the same effort as the NBA Finals. If he had a basketball in his hands, and someone was trying to prevent him from scoring, it was go time, regardless of his team�s record, the time of year, or the venue.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015027587
Publisher:
Hyperink Allen Iverson Bio
Publication date:
07/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
31
Sales rank:
1,284,095
File size:
0 MB

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