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Title:Allen Iverson Interview - Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith HQ Full Version (2005)
Duration:41:35
Viewed:250,342
Published:05-03-2013
Source:Youtube

You can never find a better version in the net for this long interview Stephen A. and Allen basically grew up together professionally, so their on-camera chemistry created an interview that basically put Bubba Chuck's entire life on the table. The result was rawer than anyone could have ever imagined. In an audience featuring men and women, black and white, young and old, Allen offered a side of himself that tugged at the heartstrings of each person. You could see it in their faces as a roller-coaster of emotions took over the entire studio. He wore an army fatigue shirt featuring Tupac and Biggie; symbolic in a sense because the two rappers, both loved and hated during their lives for the hope they gave people and the fear they instilled in middle America. Iverson, to an extent, represented that same dynamic. There aren't many 40+ minute videos on YouTube worth every damn second. The human attention span isn't built to be fixated on one object that long. Yet, the human brain has a way of realizing pure human emotion and often gravitates towards this. There was laughter as he recalled some of his finest moments in the NBA, inspiration as he spoke on the change he wanted to reflect on his community -- both in Virginia and Philadelphia -- and frustration as he lamented on the stereotype and image labeled upon him, one he was never able to escape. There were even tears as he spoke on the tug-of-war relationship with Larry Brown he admitted made him mature as a man both on and off the court. Even as all in attendance listened to the life that was, at the time, one of the NBA's most electrifying names, they were afforded the opportunity to experience life in Allen's shoes. Reflecting on John Thompson's father-like role in his life (so you know, Iverson proudly admitted his father played a significant role in his life albeit in and out of prison), he recalled a Big East road game -- in Villanova of all places. The ill-will of his bowling alley brawl years earlier was still fresh on people's minds at this point. Thompson threatened officials he would take his entire team off the court and forfeit the game if a sign was not removed. The sign said, "Allen Iverson: The Next MJ OJ," with several figures of prisoners in orange jumpsuits. Stories of this ilk explain why Iverson walked in basketball courts in Philly, New York, Chicago, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Miami and more with a chip on his shoulder. No scene scared him because he had already witnessed the evil men do. This fearlessness led to the adoption of his rebel-esque "me against the world" mentality on the basketball court. I remember telling someone probably four or five years ago I had never seen any pro NBAer play with so much unabashed passion with the exception of Kevin Garnett. In his own words, he played the game hard, but never dirty, and players around the league respected him for that. In turn, certain ones earned his respect. Vince Carter -- yes, at one time, Vince was one of the most exciting players in the world -- was high in Allen's book; probably stemming from their instant classic seven-game series in 2001 that saw them trade 50-point onslaughts. Shaquille O'Neal was the one he spoke most highly of because Shaq showed him love from the moment he stepped in the league. Other than a few other names, he had no problem revealing most of his peers were "corny." Yet, probably the most prophetic moment of the interview came when Iverson mentioned LeBron. Still only in his third season at the time, A.I. noted James as one of the younger players he admired. His words of advice, however, would only prove drastically eerie some four years later. "I always let LeBron know off top. Dog, they love you right now. They love you right now. But please believe me, the first incident, the first time something happen, they are waiting, man." Through all the nonsense, Allen Iverson remained Allen Iverson. For better, it paints him in history as one of the most dynamic players in league history and possibly the best "little man" to ever play. But, if I know Chuck like I've come to know him through basketball and interviews, subjecting him to simply a "little man" is doing the same thing people did his entire life -- label him. He's a basketball player. He's a lightening rod for controversy. He's his own bank of memories for those who remember basketball in the late 90′s, early 2000′s. Everyone's got a favorite Iverson memory like everyone has a favorite cousin. And like he preached to Stephen A., he was a human being sporting the same emotions as the people who paid to see him play every night in cities across America. For worse, being Allen Iverson remains a stigma of selfishness and someone unwilling to conform. Either way, he was and will always be comfortable in his own skin. And that's more than many people who woke up this morning can say.

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