Allen Iverson was my hero. Growing up Shaq always was (and is still is) my favorite player of all time. But I wasn’t no big man. So by the time I started playing basketball FOR REALSIES (13 LATE START). I was into street ball (And1 & the Rucker tournaments) & Allen Iverson. I was a 5’6/7″ and everyone was taller. Naturally I was a pretty great athlete. I was just short and skinny with an attitude. OF COURSE! I was gonna gravitate to The Answer. While some of the finer points of the game were harderto grasp and time a lot of hard work, my handles came about pretty nartually. It took time for me go learn how to dribble growing up, bit once i did? game over. Handles got nasty quick.
Eighth grade I got my first pair of Iverson’s. The white & red Questions Mid. Top 5 shoe I ever owned. Comfort, durability, looks. EVERYTHING. From then on I only bought Iverson’s while everyone else bout Jordan’s. I became known for it. And I developed my game in his image too. Slick crossovers. Acrobatic drives. Setting up teammates based on my offensive talents. I couldn’t shoot for shit (lol). I got names like baby Iverson, Mexican Iverson or just Iverson. Thanks to my shoes and game. Even the grown folk I was destroying at the park at 13-14-15. “Who’s gonna guard Iverson?!”.
These days my game is elsewhere. When I’m in shape I like to say my game is a mirror of Gilbert Arenas circa 06-07 when he was a monster. And before I became GA, I honed my shooting and PG skills and my friends started calling me Nash haha. But Iverson is still in my heart. He’s a warrior. He did some dumb things. But on the court he’ll always be a legend. A “6 Foot” combo guard that never had a great team. One of the greatest pure scorers ever. Under rated passer. A wizard at picking pockets and playing the passing lanes for steals. He single-handedly carried the 76ers to the finals and won a game against one of the all time great teams. He stole that MVP from Shaq and I’m ok with it. He’s the man. So thank you Allen Iverson. You made me who I am as a basketball player. Your legacy will always live on. A true warrior.
**the lasting image in my head will always be stepping over Tyronn Lue, and not him crossing over Jordan two times in a row and sinking the jumper in his face. And even though it’s just Tyronn Lue. It’s the magnitude of the moment. Clock winding down. The crossover. The shot. The finals. Then he fucking steps over the guy with the evilest of stares! Jesus. I’ve seen god and his name is Allen Iverson.