What Iverson Meant to Philly
After watching Based's post of that Iveson Mixtape...I ain't gunna lie...as a Philadelphian...I felt tears damn near coming on.
Bringing about a question, has there ever been a player that meant more to a City than Iverson meant to Philly. Sure MJ is an icon in Chicago, but there was something more to Iverson for myself and I'm sure alot of other's from Philly. If you just watch the clip Based posted, I mean this city just LOVED A.I. and embraced him every chance we got.
He was everyone in my neighborhood's idol growing up. We'd all save up all our dough as youngins to cop his kicks or get a jersey. When I even got to go to games, it wasn't to see the sixers as much as it was to see what Iverson would do. He was one of the most emotional players of all-time and you could tell really put everything he had into every moment of every game. Blood, sweat, and tears. His "only the strong survive" tat is embedded into my brain for life. He was on the verge of obsession for my friends and I. He was the underdog as the little guy and Philly is thought of as the shadow of NYC it seems. Both Philly and Iverson seemed to go through life with a chip on the shoulder mentality.
Do you think bball player or athlete in general meant more to a city? If you really experienced A.I. in Philly I think it hard to put it past him and the love affair we had for him.
Greatest athlete that has ever played in Philly..IMO (Wilt put up greater numbers, but Iverson was embraced by the city like none other). The guy is the mirror image of the city itself.
said by the guy with a jason williams icon.
Let me clear this up before people wet their pants. Iverson's impact was bigger in philly than Mike's impact in chicago, because Iverson had a cultural impact on the people in Philly. What appeared to be a ghetto kid, with tats, braids, and a f the world attiude to go with it. Iverson stayed true to what he believed himself to be and he made the people love him that didnt want to love him. His heart, toughness, and flair captivated many fans not just the fans in philly but across the country.
Jordan change the game, he was god on the court, people loved him, but he didnt face the ridicule and rejection that Iverson faced just because of who he was. Like it or love it, Iverson represented the working man and philly loved him for coming to work and working hard everytime he touched the court.
It's not many highlights but it really does show how much A.I. meant to us in Philly. We went as far as he could take us and if our management was will to find that right 2nd player, he could have won that championship. That's what gets me the most. He worked so damn hard every night and literally gave 100% even if his body was at 50%.
To answer you're question Dymes - I honestly can't think of anyone close to Iverson's importance. Granted, I've only been watching basketball for about a decade so I really don't know how it was back in the days except for highlights and replays. I think part of what makes it is that Philly fans are passionate about their teams. If a player shows that same passion, they respond well. And even though Iverson had his bad moments, we always loved him for what he did for us each game he played.
I'm assuming but maybe Reggie Miller kind of had a similar situation to Iverson. Reggie was a great competitor and even took his team to the finals. He does matter a lot to the Pacers and their fans and I think that is the closest to Iverson and his affect on the team and city
Iverson's stature (6'0 165lbs) also made him easier to be embraced not just by Philly but everyone who roots for underdogs. For a guy his size, he overachieved so much, no player maxed out on his talent more than Iverson. Hard work and desire is what that guy represented.
Mess.ee Said it best iverson was a mirror image of the city. He wasn't fake and never shyed away from the camera and publicity.Iverson possessed every quality that someone would want when creating my player for 2k. Lets not forget how he played his heart out every game for philly. His 6 foot 175 frame would be heart to compete in the nba but he played every game like it was his last. He was the definition of a soldier
This is one of my favorite posts I have ever seen on NBAdraft.net. Iverson meant everything to me and any other basketball fan in the greater Philadelphia area. I seriously hope he goes to the Lakers and wins a ring with Kobe. I am not a Kobe hater so I think it would be the coolest thing that could happen outside of the Sixers winning.
Steven, don't hate on the Jason Williams picture. If you liked Iverson you were also a j-will fan. Tell me you never thought it would be cool as &$#%#&@! to spend a day chillin with Jason Williams and Randy Moss?
LMAO....Iverson was 1 of my favorite players...So I'm not going to knock you guys for who you think your Idol is...Becuz Iverson was the Man in Philly when you guys were growing up...And his style fitted right in with the Gangsta Mentality youths love..
But some say Iverson won't be in the top 10 of Philly sports Heroes..In Fact he might be rated below the Fictional Character Rocky Balboa..lol
The city of Philadelphia has had some Legendary Sports Icons..
the first time i saw iverson play in real life... it was like a lightning bolt struck the tip of my penis..
just as Mike transcended the game with his competitiveness and Magic transcended the game with his uniqueness, A.I. is nearly single-handedly responsible for changing the culture (ushering in the hip-hop culture) of the league. he was rebellious, he always had to fight off the thug label every since the bar incident. then the thing with the braids. A.I. changed the culture of B-ball, while being a great player and staying out of trouble for the most part. that, is what makes him unique. I cant speak with the passion as you guys from Philly speak about him because I am not from there, but I can imagine.
"LMAO....Iverson was 1 of my favorite players...So I'm not going to knock you guys for who you think your Idol is..."
Is? Try was. As in when I was like 10 years old and athletes tended to be our idols. Now I dont think I even have an idol. My father is probably the closest I have to an idol...but even then IDK if I idolize anyone.
I'm not from Philly or was a big 76ers' fan so I'm not going to try to criticize because I don't know, but from an outsider's prospective, what about Dr. J or Moses Malone? Two Hall of Fame players that brought Philly a title and never had any of the off court issues Iverson did.
^Actually JoeWolf....Thats 1 of the points grown ups make when talking about Iverson...That he wasnt someone they wanted their kids to be like,expect if they wanted their kids to be a ball player...
I Admired Iverson becuz he was a Fighter...I've followed him since his Georgetown days....
But Too Many people in Philly say they Love ROCKY ...MUCH MORE...lol
I love me some AI, always have. But as far as impact on a city, Im going to have to go Lebron in Cleveland. Just look at how much went down after he left. Plus, when he was there, the GDP of that place went up by about $500 million a year. He was the only hope for that place to ever get a title.
you also have to realize there is a different sentiment when a player is drafted by a team, comes in with high expectations, and fulfills and exceeds them.
Dr. J and Moses were great, but they didnt start their careers in Philly. A.I. was drafted as a savior to a struggling franchise. He went from that to taking them to Finals. What other players have done that recently? Only LBJ and Dwight. I dont think the Magic have the same type of love affair with Dwight as it was with LBJ in Cleveland or A.I. in Philly. Its a rare special thing. He was very important to the franchise at that time, maybe even moreso than Dr. J and Moses delivering a title.
I agree, I think LBJ was more important to the Cavs particularly because he played for a small market team, but A.I. is right there behind him in my book.
others of note:
Hakeem Olajuwon-Houston Rockets
Kevin Durant- Oklahoma City
Derrick Rose- Chicago
Blake Griffin- LAC
Dominque Wilkins- Atlanta Hawks
....and of course the GOAT.
If you go on streets in Philly and ask anyone who they loved more...Dr. J, Moses, Wilt, or Iverson...I can damn near guarantee you 99% of the people will say Iverson. IDK if it is still b/c he is closer to this era, but despite him lacking a title, there was something about him that endeared him to the city. Its been said on here a few times now, he very much resembled everything about the city. Gritty fighters who will pour passion into anything, especially competition.
The reason I really brought this up is to see if maybe it is b/c he is still within a recent era of the game, as opposed to Doc, Moses, or Wilt. But regardless I think he is going to go down as one of the greatest Philly sports heroes of all time just because of how much he embodied the city.
Honestly, you say Philly and these things come into my mind...
In that order more or less...
Followed by Eagles, Flyers, Rocky, passionate fans, violence, history, Liberty Bell, etc.
@M-Dymes, thanks for the insight, that makes a lot of sense, I've never even been to Philly so again, I just really didn't know or understand that love for AI
@surve, I can't believe you didn't mention Dirk, drafted by the Bucks (technically) but played every game of his career for the Mavs and brought them a Championship