The current Philadelphia 76ers could learn a thing or two from a documentary on one of the franchises’ all-time greats: Allen Iverson.
The best small scorer in the history of the NBA: Allen Ezail Iverson.
It might be a good idea for a mandatory screening of the documentary, “Iverson,” that is if Brett Brown hasn’t done so already. The film carries weight and expressive power and possesses the ability to inspire. Iverson’s view of the world and the game is highly instructive, interesting and compelling.
Look, I think Allen Iverson is by far, the most important, culturally significant athlete of his generation – going all in on that. To me, we’re talking about practice, [Iverson was mourning the loss of a close friend, not blowing off practice altogether] seriously, is a version of Mohammed Ali saying, I don’t have to be what you want me to be in the 1960s. Before Alan Iverson, every young, African-American athlete felt like they had to be like the child of Michael Jordan – Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter.This idea that we have to button up, wear a suit, play a certain kind of corporate game and leave your emotions back at your house. Alan Iverson played with it all out on his sleeve and forced the broader culture to confront a certain kind of African-American man as a human being who, otherwise, they might even cross the street to avoid. – David Zirin, NPR
Treated less than fair, humanely, and just, by the Virginia legal system, Iverson brought a persecuted legacy to the North, and thrilled us all with his heart, desire, and tremendous athletic feats. Iverson was a rare talent and played basketball in an extraordinary way. A player like Iverson rarely comes through the city. His personal journey, perspectives, and experiences are also extremely thought provoking yet straightforward:
“If you’re from Virginia then you know some white people from Poquoson don’t like black people,” Iverson says in the documentary.
“Iverson” teaches us the following lessons: loyalty to friends and family, how the system is inherent unstable, taking a chance on the improbable, and that one can learn from their mistakes. Iverson was a long shot at Georgetown, just in terms of initial acceptance, and he laments his own treatment of Coach Larry Brown.
The losing will soon end for the Sixers and the Hinkie Era draws near in turning the page. The Philadelphia 76ers have not won a title since 1983. The traditional way of getting a championship clearly was not working. They have not played in the NBA Finals since 2001, of which Iverson was obviously central.
“As a lifelong Sixers fan, I can say that Wilt won us a title, Doc won us a title, and Allen won our hearts.” – Mike Tollin, producer
Allen Iverson is a Philly sports legend and there have been many great moments since Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson, two icons and great players, but without titles. Hinkie should not be criticized for taking a brief moment to alter the course, as much as the media and elite writers pine for their own stories amidst the mediocrity.