NBA Renegade Allen Iverson

"I don't wanna be Jordan, I don't wanna be Bird or Isiah, I don't wanna be any of those guys. I want to look in the mirror and say I did it my way." Allen "The Answer" Iverson It

Allen Iverson NBA Draft 1996

Growing up sports was an integral part of my life. I played basketball, ran track, and cross country. I enjoyed watching NBA games with my father and brother. My favorite teams to watch were the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and Philadelphia 76ers. My brother was a staunch fan of The Answer also known as Allen Iverson. I was a fan of Allen Iverson for two reasons. My first reason for being a fan was because he brought excitement and speed to the game. My second reason for being a fan is because I thought he was cute and at the age of 40 he remains handsome. I remember Allen Iverson being criticized for wearing braids, wearing baggy clothes, and excessive tattoos. He transcended  professional basketball by merging his passion for hip hop culture both on and off the court. NBA coaches and team owners often referred to Allen as a "thug." It is safe to say that he was the league's black sheep.

I believe that NBA officials were uncomfortable with his dress attire because he did not want to conform. Athletes become pieces of property to the organization they work for. As much I enjoy sports I am not foolish. Professional sports resemble plantation culture. White men hold ownership over the names and bodies of black men. Both the NBA and NFL draft resemble the "slave auction block." Many kids admired Allen Iverson for  his talent and dress attire. Other players began to follow Allen's lead and it implanted fear into the coaches and team owners. Allen Iverson is the sole reason the NBA enforced a dress code. Now players are required to wear business attire while traveling and making public appearances. The real reason he chose to wear braids is because some barbers did not cut his hair properly so he decided to grow his hair out. He chose to wear baggy clothes because they were comfortable, he wore headbands to prevent sweat from rolling down his face during games, and used the tattoos as an expression for the adversity he overcame. While he was accused of presenting a hyper masculine image he was just being himself.

NBA Accomplishments
11 Time NBA All Star
NBA Rookie of the Year (1997)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1997)
NBA Rookie Challenge MVP (1997)
4 Time NBA Scoring Champion (1999, 2001-2002,2005)
3 Time All-NBA First Team (1999, 2001, 2005)
3 Time All-NBA Second Team (2000,2002-2003)
3 Time NBA Steal Leader (2001-2003)
NBA MVP 2001
NBA All Star Game MVP (2001 , 2005)
Competed in the 2004 Olympic Games
Fun Fact: When he was drafted in 1996 he became the shortest player in NBA history standing at 6'0 be drafted as the first pick in the first round.

Iverson @ Bethel High School Early 90's

Prior to the NBA
Allen was known to family and friends as "Bubba Chuck." He was raised by a single mother in Hampton, VA. His father was in and out of jail. Although he grew up in a dangerous environment he found solace in sports. His teachers said in class he was quite but among his friends was charming and playful. He became a standout athlete at Bethel High School. He was a dual athlete playing football and basketball. Allen Iverson has endured racial profiling in the criminal justice system. During his senior year while spending time with friends at a bowling alley some other teenagers harassed them and started a fight. It was all seen footage and he charged  for a crime he did not commit. Some people claimed Iverson was involved in the altercation and he assaulted them but the footage proved he did not participate in the brawl. In fact as the brawl he began he left immediately.  The court system did not care they wanted to make an example out of Allen because he was a popular African American athlete. He was held in juvenile custody until he turned 18 and was charged as an adult. He served time in a federal prison. Eventually he was pardoned by the governor. The incident made him lose many athletic scholarships although he was given a second chance and had an opportunity to attend Georgetown University from 1994-1996.

In May 2015 his documentary premiered on Showtime I really enjoyed watching I gained a better understanding about Allen Iverson. He is not perfect but he is not the villain the world made him out to be. I encourage more people to watch it. The film removed myths about him from my mind I admit I was foolish enough to believe he was broke after leaving the league. I'm glad to know this is not true.

Toni's Thoughts: I believe he is a calm, soft spoken guy. He achieved his dreams and did not conform to society's expectations of him. Regarding his family he really does love and protect his  family.  I believe he left behind a great legacy.

Iverson (Showtime Documentary 2015)


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