For a good 8 years, from 1995-2003, I could honestly give an argument as to why I was the biggest Allen Iverson fan out there at the time. I was in 7th grade when I caught my first glimpse of “The Answer” and I would never be the same. I always tend to root for the “little guy” … but his talent was bigger than life! AI was lightning in a bottle, a blur with uncanny ball-handling skills and to this day, still … the sickest crossover the game has ever seen (albeit illegal) …
He revolutionized the game, both inside and out. Although no longer the trend … 3 years ago, spawning from 1998, every NBA player had corn-rows. Guess who started it? About 67% of the league have multiple tats … guess who originated it? I mean, numerous players still sport the protective arm-sleeve despite having no injury to it … who was the first there? AI influenced the league and it’s viewers the way MJ did when he was rockin’ the black & red Nike Dunks despite being fined for it, or like how the “Fab 5” were the first players to officially link basketball with hip-hop.
Regardless of how AI changed the image of the NBA to how we know it today, he’s still one of the all-time greats because of his play. Probably in the Top 3 listed at 6 feet and under. He’s a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer and a first ballad one at that. Unfortunately for him, his career is now cornered. Don’t count him out just yet, but at the same time, don’t expect much from him. I wish he went out on his own terms, but his pride won’t let him. If NY took him, he would have started, he would have played 35 + min. a night, and he would have scored 25 a game. He would have been on a losing team, but he would have been fine with it. His career would have come full circle.
I just find it funny that as the NBA escorts one of their most popular faces out the door, they welcome someone who has the talent to replace him.
Brandon Jennings. Is this kid for real? I’m almost tempted to say, just keep Redd out. The Bucks are rolling, and Jennings is the only reason. Bogut’s out. There’s absolutely no one else on this Bucks team aside for the aforementioned. Jennings reminds me of a young AI. Will he have the same success? Only time will tell, and hopefully he could be so lucky. Will he transcend to super-stardom like AI? I doubt it. AI was special in that sense as well. He was a media sensation. But it’s just funny the way things work out sometimes. It’s a sad time for my generation of hoop fans … we lose AI, but with this kid Jennings stepping into the spotlight … it’ll feel like AI never left.