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allen iverson

“Typical Allen Iverson,” my friend says with a sigh as he shakes his head over a plate of chicken wings. I shrug. We’re in a dimly-lit dive bar in Philadelphia and A.I. has just canceled on our scheduled interview.

While my friend—who worked with Iverson on a marketing campaign for a Philly-based retailer two years ago—helps me drown my sorrows over the wasted day with pints of beer and baskets of chicken, he recants his personal experiences dealing with The Answer. Some of his anecdotes are outright unbelievable. Others aren’t surprising at all.

I’d never met Iverson before. Like most casual basketball fans, all I knew about him was what I grew up seeing on television: The ankle-breaking crossover that made the G.O.A.T. momentarily look like a goat. The Reebok commercial where he rapped with Jadakiss over a Trackmasters beat. And, of course, the diatribe about practice. (Iverson later explained that his rant was sparked by the death of his close friend and the fact that he was embroiled in trade talks at the time.)

Check out the whole interview with AI3 here.

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