Soon We’ll Understand

By Jerold Wells Jr.
Updated: May 5, 2005

To try and to fail the two things I hate, succeed in this rap game the two things that’s great. H to the Izz-o, V to the Izz-ay, what can I say about dude I gets bizz-ay.

-Jay-Z ………to succeed and this rap game the two things is great……..

MINNESOTA–To succeed and basketball are two things he loves, we know that. You can see it in his crusades to the basket, sometimes by, through and over players a foot taller. You can see it when he explodes into a passing lane to turn some unbeliever’s poor pass into a basket for his team. You can see it when he draws two and sometimes three defenders then dishes to a teammate for an easy basket. Allen Iverson loves this game. He loves to play this game so much that he gives everything he has. He loves this game so much that he played in 75 contests this year, at a time when critics say his body should start to break down. He loves this game so much that he chooses to feed his family doing this. We all laughed when we heard Georghe Muresaan confess his love for basketball; that commercial should have included Allen Iverson…..and there would not have been a damn thing funny. You’ve got to respect him.

Jim Brown believed that “if you hit a person hard enough, enough times, that they would quit.” It’s seems as though the NBA is taking the approach with the Philladelphia 76ers star point guard. Well Allen Iverson hasn’t quit yet and because he loves this game, and succeeding, he won’t quit anytime soon. The performance of Allen Iverson this season should be ingrained into the fabric of every true basketball players psyche. He was in a word: Brilliant. To describe the foundation shaking performance he offered up this season could take an hour, but I will curtail my excitement. 30 ppg over the course of the regular season, a career high 8 apg average while making the switch to point guard, and lifting his team from out of playoff contention at the All Star Break to a 7th seed in the Eastern Conference.

This regular season started out with undersized forwards (Corliss Williamson, Kenny Thomas), an inexperienced center (Sam Dalembert) and a rookie to act as his backcourt running mate (Andre Iguodala). For mere mortals the preposition of starting out the season with such factors as “facts of life” for the upcoming season would have been reason enough to embrace low expectations and play down to the publics prediction. But that’s not Allen Iverson. Instead of taking that route, Allen led….his… He led them physically, mentally, and emotionally. There was never a night that the players of the Philadelphia 76ers could look up and not see the focused face of #3 ready and willing to do whatever it took to get a win on that night. He scored, he passed, and he defended. Most of all he provided the needed inspiration for his teammates to be a playoff team.

To try and to fail the two things I hate……… Watching Allen Iverson labor valiantly only to succumb to the machine known as the Detroit Pistons should inspire every basketball fan in the world. His daring, his bravery, his fearlessness cannot be overstated. To genuinely display valor is to know victory will not come easily, if at all, and still battle. Iverson was the Gladiator and even in defeat he received a standing ovation from the masses in the Coliseum.

One day the Hall of Fame will include a plaque inscribed with the name of Allen Iverson. Philadelphia’s favorite son and the rightful heir to the throne of Dr. J will be enshrined forever as one of the greatest to ever play the game. The query worth posing is this: what will his legacy be? Iverson went to the Finals earlier in his career and fell victim to the most dominant force our generation knows (Shaquille O’Neal)……along with his (trustworthy?) sidekick. This year he was eliminated by the defending world champions and even if he would have defeated them, Shaquille again waited in the wings……not to mention Tim Duncan later on down the line.

Truthfully, the odds of Allen Iverson winning a title before he retires are slim. He knows that and as fans of the game we know that too. To me one of the signs of a great player is that even if we don’t think he can win, we still watch. We watch because we know he will not fall short of our expectations. He will not succumb to the temptation to be an also ran. Allen Iverson will give 100% because that’s all he has. We are watching one of the greats and I just hope we comprehend his fervor, appreciate his exertion, and truly love his game. What more can we say about him? People my age would say: He gets Bizz-Ay