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Allen Iverson, earning rights to be named one of the best NBA players of his time by winning numerous awards such as Rookie of the Year, NBA MVP, and All-Star Game MVP, has been turned away from the game of basketball and has become a self-obsessed, egotistical player who cares only about his public image in the public spotlight. His public image is one of a troubled child who escaped his troubled childhood through basketball and the NBA. Iverson’s image of a street kid who made it big appeals to many young kids looking to have a future in sports. He has his own line of clothing, under contract by Reebok, and he is one of the most popular players in the NBA. He is not a big man, standing at six feet, 165 pounds. However his ability to play is what makes him appear to be the biggest player in the NBA. But his ego is as big, if not bigger, than his appearance. Recent “misunderstandings” have led to Iverson’s quitting on his team for the latter part of the 2003-2004 season.
Born to a fifteen year old Ann Iverson on June 7, 1975 in Hampton, Virginia, Allen grew up living a troubled childhood. His father abandoned the family shortly after Allen’s birth, and his mom had a low-pay job, barely enough to provide food and pay rent for the family which also consisted of two sisters. Trouble lurked around every corner during Allen’s upbringing. Drugs were being dealt on all the corners, and no one would make an attempt to stop it. However Allen was too involved in sports to pay attention to drugs. To him, sports and family was life, and he planned to use sports to save his family. Early on in his childhood he became devoted to his future in sports to help his family out of the situation they were in. Stewart reports, even though he attempted to stay out of trouble, many people from his town regarded Allen as a trouble-maker. He
continues to say that on Valentine’s Day of 1993, Iverson’s dreams nearly died. Allen and some of his friends were at a local bowling alley when another group of people, jealous of Iverson’s fame and athletic ability hurled insults at him. Iverson claimed he left as soon as the tension rose but reports say that he had fled from the scene after having assaulted the group of people. He missed his senior year, spending it in jail. However he received his high school diploma because of a tutor who helped him out in jail. Shortly after, he headed to Georgetown where he would play basketball under John Thompson, a coach who had a reputation for taking in troubled kids and turning their lives around (Stewart).
At first, Allen wanted to be a football player. He was rated the number one quarterback in Virginia his sophomore and junior year. Had it not been for some luck, or bad luck, he would have probably been a football player instead of a basketball star. From early on in his childhood he saw basketball as a sport for the weak people who were not big enough or strong enough to play football. However, once he was forced to play basketball by his mom, his opinions completely changed. Yet, he retained his love for football as his favorite sport. Because of his jailing, though, he missed his senior year of football. Knowing no college would accept him, he turned to his second sport, basketball. (Stewart). Allen led the Georgetown Hoyas to the “Sweet 16” in his freshman year and to the “Elite 8” in his sophomore year. Because of the great stats he put up during his two years playing college basketball, he believed he was ready to enter the NBA draft and was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
During his rookie year in the NBA he averaged 23.5 points per game and he showed great potential and ability. As a result he was named Rookie of the Year. Overall he averages twenty-seven points per game and has a staggering career forty-two percent shooting. “Part of what makes him great is his devotion to the game. He spent
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Shooting guards, Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Finals, 200405 Philadelphia 76ers season
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