Allen Iverson was the heart and soul of an underdog Philadelphia 76ers team that went to the 2001 NBA Finals, and even managed to steal a game from Shaq, Kobe, and the big-bad Lakers. Despite not practicing on a consistent basis and never accepting a lesser role as a veteran, I thought Iverson would always have my mancrush because he left it on the court every night. But recently I’ve changed my thoughts on “The Answer”.
Before I go into exactly why I am soured on Iverson, the reason I am talking about Iverson at all is because according to Slam Magazine, Iverson is set to officially announce his retirement from basketball in the very near future.
To be honest, I’m surprised that Iverson is going as far as officially announcing his retirement. It isn’t that his hall-of-fame career doesn’t deserve to be recognized at what is sure to be an emotional presser, it’s just that I have had a chance to speak with two sources close to Iverson who have told me he wants to disappear from the public eye. He is tired of the media questioning him about rumors that he has blown through his money and wants to be able to try to be a father without the media bothering him. All of that falls into the category of what really bothers me about Iverson.
Iverson just now wants to clean up his act and start acting his age. It always slightly frustrated me that Iverson would never accept a lesser role to go play with teams like the Celtics or the Heat that could have used him to help win an NBA championship. Not that I am a fan of either of those teams, especially the Celtics, but it just never made sense to me how a competitor like Iverson wouldn’t want a chance to play on a team where he could get a ring at the twilight of his career. It wasn’t even like interested teams were asking him to be like what Tracy McGrady was to the Spurs last year and just take up space on the bench. They were simply saying he would only be an option instead of being the option. Or the answer if you will.
Either way though, I only felt slightly frustrated with Iverson’s inability to take a lesser role. I mean it’s only basketball right? It feels strange for me to say that because of the countless hours I spend playing basketball and watching basketball every year, but in the end it isn’t real life.
Allen Iverson’s real life is what really disgusts me. He’s reportedly blown through all of his money, is in debt to jewelers, is an alcoholic, and to top it all off just can’t seem to get his family life straight.
Who can forget June’s media battle where Iverson and his ex-wife Tawanna went through a public battle over there children, that went from Tawanna saying one day that Iverson had kidnapped the couple’s five children, to things being cleared up a week later and Tawanna saying that she had arranged for Iverson to spend more time with the children?
As I sad then Tawanna is just as much to blame as Allen, but I never worshiped Tawanna. I don’t see all of Philadelphia and the rest of the sports world reliving Tawanna’s greatest moments now.
I’d be lying to you if I said that after watching Andrew Bynum’s clown ass last season, well actually not watching him, that I don’t long for the days of Iverson in a Sixers uniform leaving everything that he had on the First Union Center court every night. But there is a real life beyond the game. A real life that Iverson never planned for, which has left his family hanging now.
I hear people all the time talk about how sad it is how far Iverson has fallen from being the guy that hit the jumper against the Lakers in the 2001 NBA Finals and stepped over Tyronn Lue with such swag. I don’t feel an ounce of sadness for Iverson anymore, because he fell from grace because he mismanaged his money and never got a drinking problem that reportedly spanned a majority of his career under control. You know who I really feel sad for? Iverson’s five kids who have to sit here this week and listen to everyone gush over their dad’s greatest moments, when he has blown through the money he should have used to raise his kids and half the time appears to busy drinking to be with them.
Basketball and sports in general seem to be everything to us, but in reality family should be first, if it isn’t. Allen Iverson has been a loser of a father and despite all the love I have for his career, I have come to the conclusion that he is a loser off the court that I’m just not willing to worship anymore.