Allen Iv3rson: Against All Odds
Allen Iverson entered the NBA in 1996 and changed the game forever. The year is crucial because during his rookie season not only did Erykah Badu drop her debut album, but hip hop was robbed of both Tupac and Biggie within 6 months of each other. At the time, every kid we knew in high school had at least one tattoo and were rocking everything from ‘fros to cornrows. Allen was more than just a basketball player. He was the straight no chaser, “Yeah I said it”, most unapologetic professional athlete we’d ever seen; He was living his life like it was golden long before the song came out.
The kid from Virginia who held his own with the press almost didn’t make it out. In high school he was involved in a fight at a bowling alley. The prosecution delayed bringing charges in order to charge Iverson as an adult. He faced sixty years in prison but was set to serve five years. Allen Iverson was granted clemency by Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder after serving four months. He was in the fight of his life before stepping a foot onto anyone’s NBA arena floor. So against all odds he became one of the greatest basketball players to play the game.
Iverson was the underdog. Maybe that was part of the allure. Iverson and the Sixers beat teams they weren’t supposed to beat. Other teams had franchise players that were 6ft 6in or even 7ft tall. Allen stood just 6ft tall but dude was a beast. He played basketball like Barry Sanders played football. The steals, the fakes and his signature killer crossover is how he earned the nickname the answer. When we see athletes who came along a little later like Marshawn Lynch and Lebron James we see a glimpse of Iverson and smile.
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