Allen Iverson, Hall Of Fame, NBA, atbnews
The day before he would be enshrined with nine others in the Class of 2016, Iverson as if nothing had changed at 41 years old and 6 ½ years removed from his last NBA game, just as unvarnished as his personality and play as flammable 76ers scoring guard that put him on the path to induction. It was like an A.I. refresher course. He missed an informal ceremony with other inductees or family members because of what Hall officials said was a travel problem, showed up for the end of the media session, was asked right away about the absence, cited a family issue, and then…. “That’s the first thing you want to know about things? God, man. Why can’t it just be great, man? Why can’t it be a monumental moment?”
Source: – via NBA.com

 

It was only a light-hearted, stress-free event for everyone else, including fellow NBA headliners Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming. Not so for Iverson. A guest — not a reporter — asked him about the importance of teammates in his career, and it was over. A 15-second pause. The answer strangled in his throat. The words, when they did emerge, coming out wobbly and halting as he tried to keep his composure. “That’s the only thing that got me here,” Iverson said. “That’s the only thing that got me here is my teammates. My teammates and my coaches.
Source: – via NBA.com
Here’s the full transcript of Iverson’s response in the video above from MassLive.com: “That’s the only thing that got me here, my teammates and my coaches. That’s the only reason I’m here. All those guys sacrificed their games and sacrificed different things for me to be honored like this. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened. “Without my coaches putting me in a position to succeed, Mike Bailey did it, my high school level, coach Thompson did it, college level. And Larry Brown molded me into an MVP and a Hall of Fame player. Without those guys, I wouldn’t be here. I didn’t do this by myself, man. There was so many people, so many fans that came in there and cheered for me night in and night out, and so many people supported me and believed in me. They made it so easy for me to believe in myself because I didn’t want to let them down. I wanted my fans and my family and my friends to be proud of me, so it was easy for me to go out there night in and night out.”
Source: – via For The Win
Iverson was everywhere, late to the event but, really, as if he had never left the NBA. He was pure A.I. “I can’t tell you how many, because I don’t know,” Iverson said when asked about what emotions he expects Friday night when he officially becomes historical. “But how many nights I cried from criticism and people critiquing everything about me and my life and the choices that I made and the mistakes that I made. To be able to say after all of that, still to be recognized as one of the best ever to play the game was, and it still is, just a great moment for me, my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches. I just think it’s the best. And especially my fans. You know me. The real true ones. The ones that never gave up and never felt that I wasn’t who in my heart I know I am.”
Source: – via NBA.com
Allen Iverson wants to thank the haters, too. The former Philadelphia 76ers point guard said he will save time in his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech to mention the people who criticized him throughout his career, explaining that they are also responsible for molding the player that earned a spot in the Springfield shrine. “Even the ones that were negative in my career, obviously to try prove them wrong” was a motivation, he said Thursday after arriving late to a pre-induction press conference. “I had to overcome what they said about me. I had to overcome all that to be wearing this (Hall of Fame) jacket right now. The naysayers, they helped me, too.”
Source:– via USA Today Sports
Funny at times and emotional at others, Iverson acknowledged that he made mistakes, attributing many of them to entering the league as a 21-year-old with the expectations of a historic franchise on his shoulders. Listing former Philadelphia stars like Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham and Bobby Jones, Iverson lamented “having to come in there and fill all those shoes — when I was only a size 10 — and those guys are greats.” “I was a puppy,” he said. “All the mistakes I was making, I didn’t even realize I was making mistakes. I was poor all my life. Then all of the sudden you put your John Hancock down and you’re rich. I still don’t know. In the aftermath of being an NBA player, I’m still learning … I’m still finding my way.”
Source: – via USA Today Sports

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