I feel like I’ve committed an act of treason! I feel like I broke a law that I was never supposed to break, and I feel ashamed. I feel like I betrayed one of my homeboys, I feel like I’m being disloyal because I crossed the line. Allen Iverson is no longer my favorite basketball player of all time, Stephen Curry is, and this is something that I must except, and cope with.
I never thought that I would ever replace Allen as my favorite player, I didn’t think it was possible. I don’t have an emotional connection to many things, but I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of A.I, I was emotionally connecting to his game, and since he’s been retired, I’ve been a passive NBA fan.
LeBron has been nothing less than legendary, him and Kobe, but A.I was it for me. Allen fueled my basketball pursuit in high school, and yes I was nice, I had a nice game, but I was nowhere near Iverson skills, and that was ok to me, because I felt Allen was the best, so I didn’t mind that he was better than me.
I remember when Allen was at Georgetown, I was about eleven or twelve years old. I thought he was amazing, prior to that I didn’t have a basketball hero, in fact I didn’t have a hero at all, he was my first. He was short like me, he was rebellious, and he represented the trenches, he looked like all the homies that I grew up with, Allen was one of us..
When Allen got drafted in 1996, most of the basketball world was riding Jordan’s dick, but I wasn’t. Jordan was great but he always seemed corporate, Iverson was more of like a sole proprietor, that out preformed the competition, so when he did this to Jordan, it was like a Mom & Pop having a better fiscal year than wall-mart.
Allen was fearless on the court, most importantly though he was fearless with his individuality. Culturally he was taking the NBA into places that it hadn’t gone before. The way that he talked, his fashion statements, and his “thug culture” affiliations were making casual NBA fans uncomfortable. Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, were all corporate, they represented the “GOOD OLE BOYS” version of the NBA, but Allen represented, dice games, baggy jeans, tattoo’s, flashy jewelry, and the streets. The NBA didn’t really know how to market him to middle America, but Allen was so damn good, his charisma superceded NBA marketing.
Allen changed the game on and off the court. After Jordan retired the NBA needed to stand on someone’s shoulder’s, so they used Allen shoulders in a passive way. He never became the official face of the NBA for various reasons, mainly because of his image, so while the NBA was confused with what exactly to do with Allen, the streets wasn’t confused. The streets wanted Allen, and I believe Allen wanted the streets, the girls loved him and the guys respected him.
Allen was good for the culture, and good for the game, the only problem that Allen ever had was himself, he was too damn good. Allen was so amazing that he didn’t really have to push himself and work hard, he was naturally gifted. He had things no other player had, like heart and will, damn he was good, sadly though he was too good for his ability. Allen was the most talented player to ever play the game then, but he wasn’t the most hard-working. At that time, the most hard-working player was of course, Jordan but Allen had more talent than him.
Unfortunately though, talent has a shelf life, hard work doesn’t and that’s the reason Allen didn’t get to finish his career the way he wanted. Talent eventually wears off an when it does, hard work should take over, but I think Allen never thought he would get older, I think he thought he would always have youth and speed on his side, but father time always wins. His only flaw was his talent, I think his talent blinded him, so maybe because of that, he didn’t make good relationships in the league with other players. Those same players that Allen didn’t make relationships with ended up becoming coaches and assistant coaches, so when Allen at age 36, still wanting to play the game, he couldn’t because teams weren’t interested. I don’t think it was because of his skills, I think it was because of his talent, his talent pushed away a lot of teammates and connections that would have been useful later.
After Allen Iverson retired, I think I retired with him. I retired from being a fan of the league, my interest wasn’t there any more. Even though the NBA had new stars, I just couldn’t allow myself to become invested in them. Allen Iverson had my laser focus, and I refused to give that level of attention to another athlete.
I wasn’t a fan of the way Allen’s career ended, his last few years weren’t impressive. I believe he still had the heart, I believe he still had the will, but his body was shutting down on him, plus he was playing for teams that I think he didn’t have an interest in playing for, it just seemed like basketball wasn’t fun anymore for him, and if it wasn’t fun for him, it wasn’t fun for me.When he left, I left, until I seen Steph (THAT RHYMED AND IT WAS FIYAH)
The first time I seen him, I knew he was the truth. When Steph was becoming a national name at Davidson University, Allen’s star was dimming, and my attention wasn’t on the NBA anymore. Honestly I didn’t care about basketball period, BUT when I seen Steph Curry I knew it was something special about him. When I seen him for the first time, he reminded me of someone, but I wouldn’t dare compare the two, but deep down inside, I knew this guy gave me the same feeling as Allen.
Allen represented possibility and imagination, and I seen that quality in Steph immediately. I noticed his skill set and his ability to shoot jump shots off the dribble. His game stood out to me. He was a scorer by nature, but he seemed like he was easy to play with.
Allen was an under dog based on culture but Steph was a different type of under dog. Steph was an under dog because he wasn’t highly recruited, he wasn’t a McDonald’s All American, he didn’t have a national buzz coming out of high school, but he was bringing notoriety to a small college because of his play.
I caught myself paying attention to basketball again, staying up late to watch sports center highlights to see what Steph did. I caught myself becoming a fan of someone else other than Allen Iverson, and up until that point, that was treason.
Allen was a scorer, Steph is a scorer, but it was something different about Steph’s game that I liked, but at that time I wasn’t really sure what it was, but it would be become clear the more I watched this dude play.
Steph Curry being drafted by Golden State was bitter-sweet because I’m a Knicks fan and I wanted him in New York, but the Knicks probably would have fucked the pick up like they usually do, but hey that’s another story at another time.
A lot of people didn’t really get to see him play his first few years because the team sucked, and I don’t think him and Monte Ellis meshed well, plus the NBA had a lock out, and Steph missed about 40 games from an ankle injury, so unless you were a fan, you wouldn’t really know what how he was doing, but I did.
Every year though, his game was improving, even though the team wasn’t performing well. After Mark Jackson became the coach, I think he helped Steph go to the next level, so by the time Steve Kerr Arrived, Steph was ready to transcend.
Steph was improving his game because of his hard work, his hard work was fueling his talent, the results were showing, and the team was getting better. When Steph won the MVP in the 2014-2015 season, that wasn’t an accident, it was because of repetition, it was because of PRACTICE, it was because of tireless hard work.
He was playing the game in a way that people have never seen before, but it was based on the fact that he PRACTICED. Steph Curry is a league MVP and a Champion because of PRACTICE. * PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE*
I have been trying to get my son into basketball but he is giving me such a hard time. He is a Taurus child, so it’s going to take some time, lol – wish me luck –
Him and I had our first sports moment because of Steph Curry. He hasn’t been interested in watching basketball with me at all, but when the warriors play, he will actually sit down an be interested in the game, but this particular game was special.
This game was special because I was spending time with my son and we were on the same page, and that’s a big damn deal because this kid does things his way, but for this game though, he was calm and cool just hanging with his pops. The other reason it was special was because Steph Curry became a legend, he broke the internet on a Saturday night by diarrhea shitting on the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was insane that night, and that’s not my first time seeing him be great, but this was the first sports moment that I’ve had with my son thus far so the whole moment was epic. He cheered with me, we were rooting together, slapping fives, and yelling. While Steph was being great, so were me and my son, and that’s a memory I’m sure both of us will never forget.
That night I forgot about Allen Iverson.
Allen Iverson was always the man! He was a two sport athlete. Allen probably could have went to the NFL as well and succeeded, he was naturally talented.
Is Steph Curry talented? Yes he is, but Steph is winning because of his approach to the game. Steph puts the work in so when we see him making half court shots it’s not luck, his ball handling isn’t luck, his MVP wasn’t luck, averaging 30 points isn’t luck, the scary thing about Steph is, hard work doesn’t have a shelf life, so how good can this guy be? How better can he get?
It’s because of practice Steph Curry is a great player, and Allen didn’t think practice really mattered, but in hindsight though I guess I understand because Allen was so talented that he didn’t think it was important.
Fact is, talent will get us to our destination, but hard work will keep us there.Talent has a shelf life, it eventually wears off.
People with talent do things effortlessly when it comes to their craft, but the problem is, talent doesn’t drive a person to totally commit to the process, but hard work does, maybe that’s why people who work hard last longer.
What I learned from Allen is that, no matter how much potential I have, no matter how talented I am at something, without the drive, dedication and discipline, I’ll never arrive.
Allen was blinded by his own talent, he didn’t know that he wasn’t finished product yet. He didn’t know that the best was yet to come, he didn’t know that he was just scratching the surface with his skill.
Steph Curry is a product of hard work and imagination.
It seems as though he wonders to himself, how great he can really be, that wondering is pushing him to go further while simultaneously inspiring us to unlock our own greatness.My talent has faded away years ago, now my hard work must take over, and I think the same rules apply to us all really.
Just because your talented doesn’t mean your finished product, it doesn’t mean practice doesn’t matter, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to go through the process. Talent is just the natural ability to do something, but hard work and practice allows us to go through the process. It’s not the result that’s the master piece, no. The master piece is a by-product of mastery, and no one is allowed to skip steps, not even Allen Iverson.
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