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Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 2:04 pm  |  70 responses

Do It For The Culture

Allen Iverson’s greatest impact isn’t in the record books.

by Quinn PetersonAllen Iverson

A lot of people might try to tell you that the most important important person in the League since Mike is LeBron. Or maybe Kobe. DWade, KG, or Melo perhaps? Bottom line is they’d be lying.

No, the most important person to the L post-His Airness is AI — Allen Iverson. And this has nothing to do with stats, or wins and losses, or the fact that he’s the best scorer sub-6-feet ever. Nor is this isn’t about him as a person, his recent demise or possible return. This isn’t about AI vs. The League, per se, either.

This is simply taking a critical look at what Mr. Iverson did to the world.

Quite simply, no player has come close to having the cultural impact AI has had. Looking back on his career after hearing of his possible retirement, as gaudy and impressive as his numbers are, they don’t him the least bit of justice when assessing his true value.

What’s more important is the influence he’s had on the culture — how we act and think everyday. NBA culture and, more significantly, American culture.

On the NBA tip, look at the rule changes he brought about. Namely the attention that began being paid to the crossover — by refs and players. For refs, the carrying call started being enforced more than ever. People had seen supreme crossovers before, of course. Until, Iverson, Tim Hardaway’s version was the deadliest we’ve known to man. But it was AI’s signature, shoulder high edition that caused the League and the Zebras to blow the whistle. From that point on, every other player that used the move in the same way, Steve Francis, Steph, Larry Hughes (remember he was supposed to be the second-coming of AI? Not quite, huh), etc., were all forced to tone it down. Kind of ironic, because for hoopers, Iverson brought a whole new life to the crossover. One that players from Small Fry to the League would try to emulate and master.

So as players were adding a new element to their game, the game was simultaneously attempting to put a cease and desist on it.

See the League was fully aware of the magnitude of his cultural impact. They knew how many people he had a hold on. And they couldn’t just have somebody, with that much power, teaching all these kids and grown men, a move that, when done properly, could leave one on the wrong end of a SportsCenter highlight. It was too flashy. Did it actually break the rule? Sometimes. But the enforcement was more about trying to submerge something before it became an epidemic . And because AI was the leader of the movement, he had to be stopped first before the rest of the people could be expected to do the same.

And don’t forget about the implementation of the zone. Shaq was predominantly responsible for that one, but AI deserves some credit, too. I mean, no one could keep him in froAllen Iversonnt. Not Mike, not anybody. If that’s not enough proof, Jadakiss said it and he’s top 5 dead or alive. That counts for something, right?

Or how about that dress code? This may be the grandaddy of them all in terms of how he’s affected the League itself. Now AI was not the only player coming to games in throwbacks and chains. That was widespread. But he was certainly the most visible ad, and he damn sure was a main target of the League’s ban on jerseys, jewelry, Timbs, hats, etc. I’m not here to pass judgment on whether “the code” and its origin were right or wrong, or discriminatory or whatever. That’s whole ‘nother article. But the rule was made, end of story, and taking it for what it is, there’s no denying the direct correlation between Iverson and the rule.

See the League was fully aware of the magnitude cultural impact, that’s why they had to tame him. It was like he was too powerful. Kinda Malcolm X-ish. Can’t have somebody inciting people to revolt against The Man. In AI’s case, the NBA just couldn’t have somebody with so much influence on the people doing what he wants. Especially if its unreservedly contrary to their best interests. He was a cult leader to them.

So the Du-rags, baggy clothes, and everything else my man Bryan Crawford touched on (dope article, by the way), had to go.

As he said, one could take a trip to, “Anyhood, USA back then and you could see the impact that he had on the people.”

And this is the most significant mark of AI’s career. His numbers are tangible, his behavior controversial. But Like Mike, the everlasting impact he would have on an entire generation of ballers and general public is too immense to ever be measured. He too, would have millions of people mimicking his every move. Though MJ was, no doubt, a larger global icon, the mere strength of their influAllen Iversonences, especially in America, is nearly equal.

Mike went bald, stuck his tongue out, shot fadeaways, and people mirrored his every move. AI had his headband and braids, and tried to tap fools every rep and the everybody followed suit. Not to mention the arm sleeve. You know, the one your mans would wear despite having no clue what the hell it actually did.

He single-handedly carried (and probably saved) Reebok.

He’s a large part of the reason we have media outlets like SLAM.

He pioneered the streetball heatwave that took place in the early ’00s. Without his swagged out play, AND 1 mixtapes and Nike Freestyle commercials would have never come to national fruition.

“I ain’t crossover I brought the suburbs to the hood, made ‘em relate to your struggle, told ‘em bout your hustle” – Jay-Z, Come And Get Me.

He completely merged the worlds of basketball and hip-hop. Mike’s career coincided with the rise of hip-hop. But AI embodied it. The man was a living music video – no facades. He could have been saying “I am hip-hop” WAY before Wayne. He even tried his hand at it. Shaq might have been the first, but AI put the parental advisory sign on it.

He made Kobe think he had to rap to be cool, too.

And the tats? C’mon.

If this isn’t enough proof, take a look at the League now. Mike wasn’t tatted up, but LeBron is. Why? Mike didn’t wear headbands, but Melo does. Why? And those arm sleeves are as ubiquitous as ever. Why?

The Answer is The Answer. The guy that, as my man Phil GaryAllen Iverson said best, “made Mike human.”

The League is actually comprised largely of players who grew up seeing, watching, and hearing about AI. His impact is still going strong. Even if he’s done playing, (which he’s not) to a certain extent, it doesn’t matter. His influence is out there. Way out there. Directly or indirectly, and it can’t be curbed. It ‘s too high to get over, to low to get under. And that’s something that will never have to worry about being in a starting lineup or signing a contract. There’s no rule that can stop that.

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  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    What do you mean “and the tats? C’mon.”
    Are you saying no one had tats before aI?

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    He did it for the nookie.

  • Weapon X

    The mutha f’n Answer!!

  • Zach Smart

    Couldn’t let THE ANSWER slip away
    at 34 he can still carve up cats and snipe
    the NBA gets its former Poster Boy back

    Everything is right in the world

  • don

    good read! now me back to work.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    And the different balls they tried to use was because of Iverson. And the reason Toronto and Vancouver got expansion teams was because of Iverson. And the three point line was added all those years ago in anticipation of the coming of Iverson. And this article is dumb.

  • peter

    niQ…no one was tatted up like AI before he was (in the NBA)…you can’t argue the influence on tattoos and cornrows that AI had…for a while there practically every player in the league had them

  • LA Huey

    @niQ, I think Quinn means that he forced the casual fan to accept that their superstars could have a ridiculous amount of tattoos. Before AI, the most visible dude, with a bunch of tats was Rodman…and the casual fan just saw him as an oddball.

  • http://nada lexx

    GREAT READ! some typos, but i got the point… Ivo is the reason i ball wit an arm sleeve, my crossover isnt as deadly, but effective none the less! i grew up watching ivo and @ age 34 i look foward to his 1st game back with Philly, the push for the playoffs and the PROPER farewell to my favorite player (next to kobe) getting done the right way… @ HOME.

    We all thought it was hard watching Jordan leave year after year sh!t they might throw roses on the court when AI leaves his last home game

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nothing new here (I have made this argument on many occasions on the site) but it was still pretty well done.
    Know how big AI’s crossover was? As the author noted, they built an entire shoe campaign around teaching cats that one move.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Ohhhh I really liked this article until the crossover part. The crossover part was not cultural, that should have been excluded from this.

  • Hussman25

    @doyouwantmore: U missed the whole point to this story… Great read Quinn… He not only transcended his sport, but our culture as well… “Dare to be different, Dare to be Great.” AI: Mission Accomplished!

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    I just keep thinking about AI’s ‘practice’ rant. He kept going because he thought that the reporters were laughing with him; that they understood completely how ridiculous it was that he should have to practice. That’s his cultural impact. I respect his skills, but I can’t stand the way people glorify his ‘cultural impact.’ Mcdonalds, South Park, and radical religious terrorism have also made ‘cultural impact.’ So?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    CARTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Nah….let me stop….this is pretty well done….but Quinn tries to hard in his wordplay to make his connection to the “culture” AI basically developed on his own and then dozens of other guys started following suit. Example: “You know, the one your mans would wear despite having no clue what the hell it actually did.” Is that a typo on mans or are you trying to make some overexaggerated point that “urban” cats speak with some form of grammatical inconsistencies? And when you reference “mans” was this article geared toward woman…because I’m not sure what “mans” you are eluding too, so that’s a bit odd too.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Do You Want More
    If you thought the practice rant was about not practicing then you need to work on paying attention better.
    Actually watch the full video again. The rant is about the media using the final presser of the year to berate Iverson for missing practices after Larry Brown started feeding the media tidbits to ease his transition out of Philly. Sure Iverson misses practices. Guess which other players were HORRIBLE practice players.
    Bill Freaking Russell and Wilt Freaking Chamberlain.
    Y’all need to do your damn homework.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy
    The phrase is “my mans and them.” It was made popular by DMX before his tragic descent into crack.
    You would have caught the reference if you weren’t 50. Also, young kids call undershirts “wife beaters” just in case you missed that one while chilling at the retirement home in Miami.
    lol.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    My mans an them can respect this, cause it has long been our contention that AI’s only significant impact has been on the games culture and not the floor itself. (The point about Bron and his tatts is spot on. Theres no way hed have gotten this much play without AI laying the foundation.) Unless setting the precedent for MVP’s who shoot 40% from the floor counts for something. Modifier: IN THE MODERN ERA. First motherf*cker to mention Bob Cousy gets slapped.

  • Prophecy_projectz

    Anyone peeping the press conference? I dont think I’ve seen AI cry so much in the last 6 months. And I aint laughing at him either. If this really is his ephiany moment, more power to him.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Word.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Bob Cousy Bob Cousy Bob Cousy Bob Cousy Bob Cousy. You ain’t gonna’ slap me, Myles Brown.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    “What did the five fingers say to the face?!”

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, I ain’t a muthaf*cka, muthaf*cka.
    You know who else shot in the low 40′s percentage wise? YOUR MANS KOBE BRYANT, YOUR FAVORITE PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I love how people keep referencing Kobe as though he has anything to do with Allen Iverson’s problems.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What’s the modern era?
    Cause Jason Kidd was a serious MVP candidate shooting sub-40 percent from the field?
    Is Elgin Baylor modern enough?
    And hell, Iverson put up better numbers in several years besides that MVP year, while shooting a better percentage, but don’t let that affect a good argument.

  • Robb

    Yeah AI, thanks for bringing the ghetto to the NBA. Some culture.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Robb
    I think you missed the exit for the Klan meeting. You wanted to get off at ESPN, not SLAM.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    Allenp: Do your eyes glaze over a little when you choose to ignore what you see and hear from Iverson’s own mouth? You can interpret and spin the ‘practice’ rant any way you want to defend the guy, but the bottom line is that AI showed the world what a knucklehead he could be in that moment. (No wonder he’s so guarded. Imagine if people found out he wasn’t a ‘cultural icon’ or ‘misunderstood genius’ after all, but just another rich athlete with a sense of entitlement because some bonehead bought his sneakers.) Yet people still find a way to see and hear only what they choose to. I don’t give a sh%# if AI went to practice or not. That’s not the point. The point is this: “How am I supposed to make my teammates better by practicing?”

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    And Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain might not have been good practice players, but they are/were probably bright enough to realize when reporters were laughing AT them and not WITH them.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Hold on… Chamberlain would get BERATED for missing practice and would get in CONSTANT fights with his coaches over this. He took a BIG FRIGGIN HIT for missing practice. Don’t think the dude got out unscathed by doing that.
    Also, by his thirties, Chamberlain was actually going to practice and being a good role model. Not skipping it to eat more turkey.
    Stop bringing in other players when talking about AI, for chrissakes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    FG percentages since 2001: 39.8%, 41.4%, 38.7%, 42.%, 44.7%, 44.2%, 45.8% & 41.7%.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I always thought the best part of that infamous rant was when he incredulously asked, “How am I supposed to make my teammates better by practicing?”

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Myles, c’mon. Have you seen his resume? Have you?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    This article says everything I have been saying for so long. Look around the league and there are ATLEAST 6 players on each team that have something on them that was started by AI. Anyone who thinks this guy did not change the league is wrong Iverson brought to the hood to the NBA weather you liked it or not. Myles hes top 30 ever check his resume like Jukai said.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Pardeep, glad you’re using me to back up your point, but I was mocking AI.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You know what, Myles? Kobe Bryant is a good player, therefore Allen Iverson is too.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Its the transitive property, d@mmit.

  • Hoodsnake

    Too bad he didnt bring winning to the league the jerkoff. Im waiting for the other 9 iverson pieces that slam is gonna write over the weekend *throws up*

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    QP, great read. ‘Preciate the love too fam…

  • erik

    good article dude

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If you have a problem with me discussing other players when discussing Allen Iverson, I never want to hear any of you use player comarisions again. Cool?
    If you’re going to berate one person for a particular action, but then give another person doing the exact same thing a pass, then you’re a hypocrite. Spin it how you want.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Context is important.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You saying I didn’t consider context?
    Come on now.
    Iverson wasn’t a great practice player. I just read a book that talked about how Bill Russell used to be laughing and joking and resting at practice because he was playing 45-48 minutes most nights for the Celtics.
    Wilt told a coach that wanted him to show up for shootaround that he only came to the arena once a day, it was up to the coach to decide which time he wanted him to show up.
    Iverson and Larry Brown clashed about some of his practice habits. Iverson went on a televised rant…
    If people believe that Iverson’s practice habits were the reasons why Sixers players didn’t develop, or have offensive cohesion, then I really can’t argue with you because you’re living in a fantasy world that is disconnected from reality.
    Provide some proof that Iverson’s practice habits caused problems for the Sixers. Provide some proof that failing to practice proves you’re a selfish player who doesn’t care about anyone else.
    I provided examples of two of the greatest players of all time who weren’t great in practice, but came to play and played well during games.
    I’ve watched the practice video numerous times. Iverson is railing against the media chastising him for practice issues that were overblown by his coach, when he pointed out that the Sixers had the EXACT same team that went the Finals the year before and just didn’t get things done. Practice wasn’t the problem, but the media was making it the problem. Talent was the problem…
    If we gonna talk about context then lets talk about the whole picture not quotes taken out of context and used as proof.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    They were also centers who shot better than $0% from the floor. And Bill Russell won ELEVEN RINGS. Allen Iverson has been out of the first round once since 2001. One of them shouldve been practicing a lot harder than the other. Im not going to get into the proof providing business with you unless you can provide some proof that they didnt cause problems, which is a reasonable perception. Is it honestly that far removed from reality to assert that he couldve been a better shooter with more practice? That he couldve been even more durable with proper weight training that he shouldnt have skipped? That team chemistry oculdnt have gotten worse with more practice? It isnt taking a quote out of context when someone is dumb enough to actually ask how he can make his teamamtes better by practicing. Its a quote that encapsulates someones attitude towards the game that has been confirmed time and time again by their thoughtless actions. Which is why hes in the twilight of his career bouncing from team to team, not looking for a ring, but a job.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    40%. Meh.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I think what Myles is trying to say is that Allen Iverson never really had to “work” for anything. He was always the best player in HS, the best player in college and for a time, the best player in the NBA and he did it all on God-given ability. So it goes without saying that had he worked harder on his game he could’ve accomplished more from a basketball standpoint in his career beyond all of the individual accolades that he won and that he’ll forever be known for. However, the flip side of that is you can’t deny what he was able to do in his career despite all of his professional shortcomings. That is still worth noting and can’t be taken away. He can’t just be boxed in and dismissed as being nothing more than a “cultural” figure because like him or not, he was one hell of a basketball player too and he was very important to the league and to the teams that he played with the obvious exceptions being Detroit and Memphis. Yes, he could’ve worked harder. Yes he could’ve taken practice more seriously. And yes, he could’ve been more receptive these last couple of years to playing a role and being more “team” oriented instead of always being Me, Myself, and Iverson. But in spite of all that, his place in the game is set and is pretty much unarguable at this point.

  • tavoris

    I guess all the posters dogging the culture want to see 15 John Stockton’s on every team.

    side note: even your favorite player would agree with this article 100%. The comments they made following his “retirement” solidified that FACT.

  • tavoris

    Bryan, if Myles is trying to say that, then he is wrong. AI grew up in Hampton VA-where black people “disappeared & were found to have mysteriously” when confronted by cops at night AS LATE AS 1997. HBO did a special on it. In addition, his mom had(s) a serious drug habit. Do you know how many of his classmates (Bethel High School c/o 94)are dead or in prison? Trust that he’s paid his dues and earned EVERY BIT of his success. If you think his gift makes his success not-as-well earned, then you’re crazy, because it’s the same for EVERY PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    And I dont think anyone is dogging the culture per se. But you have to admit that the “culture” posed a lot of image problems for the league and its players and doing away with it was in everyone’s best interest, even though it ednded up dying anyway.

  • tavoris

    (left out “passed away” after mysteriously)

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    No Tavoris, you’re wrong and that’s exactly the type of attitude that is problematic. That “sense of entitlement” that some people seem to have because they came from rough beginnings. That’s not “paying dues” just because you were fortunate enough to make it out of those circumstances. Don’t get it twisted.

  • tavoris

    @Bryan-so was he “lucky” (or fortunate) to make it out of that situation? Should he be proud of all he’s done-and given back-or, should he just feel “relieved? You’re sooooooo wrong for thinking that he is merely just fortunate. And every NBA player that has emerged from precarious situations (which is probably about 85% of them) would disagree with you-as would ANY person who has pulled themselves out of the doldrums by their own bootstraps.

  • tavoris

    @Bryan-who would be better fitting to emulate image-wise? Kobe? Wade? Howard? Because I can give you a dozen reasons why none of the “chosen ones” would be HORRIBLE role models.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Tavoris: Yeah, Allen Iverson was lucky. Are you kidding me? If Gov Wilder hadn’t pardoned him, he’d just be a HS legend. There would’ve been no Allen Iverson in the NBA. And a dozen reasons you say? I’m waiting…

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Tavoris: BTW – Kobe, Wade, and Howard all work very hard during the season and in the offseason. And 2 of the 3 have rings. So if that’s “HORRIBLE” and you can give me reasons why Allen Iverson is a better basketball role model, then be my guest. Have at it…

  • tavoris

    He was pardoned-and then the conviction was overturned. Becuase, he…um…didn’t do what he was convicted of. This could turn in to a lengthy discussion of how certainly nationalities are routinely convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. No need to go into that.

    He was fortunate to be pardoned-yes. But that doesn’t mean he lucked out of a guilty situation. There is a huge facking difference, dude.

  • tavoris

    @Bryan-I guess u missed all the partying & philandering Wade has been doing rather publicly over the last year or 2. Or, how Howard-the devout Christian-knocked up a Magic cheerleader, lied about it, then paid her off to shut up.
    These players are practically deified by the NBA (just like Jordan was), so those things are grossly overlooked.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    So you’re really gonna slam D Wade and D12 for that?! Really? When AI did all of that and more. C’mon son… And as far as AI’s jail situation, it doesn’t really matter that he was found guilty at all. Most people aren’t so lucky to be convicted and then pardoned by the State Gov and go on to college and be a professional athlete and become a multi-millionaire. Once again, c’mon son…

  • tavoris

    I’d venture to say that he was more “unfortunate” to be put in that situation to begin with. However, our opinions differ-and nothing will change that if you haven’t been there…

  • tavoris

    I’m not slamming them-I’m bringing it to your attention. As far as I’m concerned, a REAL-if someonewhat unpleasant-image is far more worthwhile than a tightly controlled, glossed over personality that may be FAKE.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bryan Crawford
    I’ve made your first comment many times to Myles and others.
    I’ve acknowledged that Iverson failed to reach his potential, and gotten killed by people who think I’m crazy.
    Trust me, I have no illusions about what Iverson failed to do and what he accomplished.
    That’s why I consistently refute assertions that he was an unrepentant chucker who sh@tted on his teammates and the game basketball.
    Could he have done more? Of course? Did he fall short as far as what he could have accomplished in his career? Yes he did. But, Myles is in the habit of downplaying Iverson’s exploits on the court to “one good year.”
    I don’t but that. The stats don’t by that. He built a franchise from the ground up in Philly. That team was nothing when he got there and within three years they were in the playoffs. That says something right there to me. And while they didn’t get out the first round after 2001, they had never failed to get PAST the first round up until that point.
    Iverson was a great player. Period.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I can’t call it lucky when the Governor overturns a racially biased conviction. I call that Justice.
    First, I don’t get down with “luck” anyway. As a Christian, I prefer “blessed.” Iverson is “blessed” to have been given the talent and opportunity to play basketball. He went through a lot of rough stuff during his life to get to this point, but that doesn’t excuse him from proper behavior. Yet, I don’t think his behavior is that much different from the behavior of most NBA players. Kobe is the EXCEPTION he ain’t the rule.
    I mean, you telling that Iverson and Shaq couldn’t have made it happen like Wade and Shaq did? First time I saw Wade play I thought “He’s a bigger, stronger version of Iverson.”
    Like I said, Iverson could have done more. But, that doesn’t meant that what he got was handed to him out of “luck.” He worked at times and he didn’t work at others.
    Hell, Andre Miller doesn’t touch a basketball the entire off-season, yet I’ve never heard anybody accuse him of failing to respect the game, or do what’s necessary to be good. I don’t know how Iverson’s career would have turned out if he had Kobe’s work ethic, but I know how it turned out without it, and dude has had quite the career.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Tavoris: S#!t happens. Whether I’ve been in that position or not, what happened to Allen Iverson happens to people everyday. The difference is, you’d be hard pressed to find guys with stories like his. Yeah, being Allen Iverson got him locked up. But being Allen Iverson also got him out. You can disagree all you want on that, but real is real. And I don’t care about some media crafted image or how “real” someone is or appears to be either. All I care about is what they do on the court because as far as I’m concerned, their talent is the only “real” you see when you look at these guys anyway. Everything else is smoke and mirrors when it comes to a lot of these players.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Allenp: I use the word “luck” so as not to offend any buddhists, atheists, muslims, etc who may read (j/k). But yes, Allen Iverson was “blessed”. No doubt about that. And you’re right, it doesn’t excuse him from proper behavior either. And, I’ve never knocked Allen Iverson the player, but it’s tough looking at a guy with so much talent who only tapped into one-fourth of it because his work ethic was so crappy. Like I said, I agree with Myles to an extent, but he definitely had more than one good year in his career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    2001 was the worst thing to happen to Allen Iverson. It made him truly believe that he could do things his way and win.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Myles: Now that, I’ll definitely agree with.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Myles: No argument there.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Do y’all really think that Iverson would have changed even if 2001 had never happened?
    I seriously, seriously doubt it.
    Who he is now, was partially imprinted on him growing up in a shack with a teenage mother who liked to get loaded. Sure, 2001 may have made him more stubborn, but I don’t think dude was changing no matter what happened.
    He felt like he was right, and with some people, that’s all that matters.
    Real talk, Iverson was one of the few people who could have had the success he had with that Philly squad in that city. I don’t think Kobe could have done what Iverson did. I don’t think he could have survived that long in that environment and then had that kind of success. I don’t know, I think dude is crazy unique as a player.
    But, I agree with Bryan Crawford that he could have been so much more with a slightly different mindset. Oh well, you can say that about a lot of great people.

  • tavoris

    funny thing is, that there are only a handful of players who truly maximized their talent. Jordan, Kobe, Stockton, Duncan, Bird, and Russell are pretty much it. You could throw that “coulda done more” argument out there with just about every other player.

    The point is that argument is pointless, because they are human, not puppets.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    it’s arguable whether Bird and Russell maximized their talents.

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