Allen Iverson Press Conference

Allen Iverson was once again introduced to the Philadelphia media and fans in his return to the Sixers today. I thought the press conference was must see TV, and Iverson spoke most about the special relationship between himself and the Philadelphia fans.

About 3 minutes into the press conference, Iverson had to fight back the tears. I was shocked at the emotion that Iverson displayed during the press conference. Obviously I have already stated that Iverson is one of if not my favorite Philadelphia athlete of all time, but I find him extremely likeable and an incredibly fascinating person. Iverson listened to every question, and usually thinks about his response before he answers, and to me, answers questions extremely honestly and emotionally. He is extremely raw and extremely real. I am a huge McNabb supporter, but could you honestly see Donovan McNabb tearing up at a press conference talking about how he loves the Philly fans?

A lot of his answers always came back to the fans. Iverson called his relationship with the fans something that is like no other between any fan-athlete relationship in all of sports. He also said that every time he put on another jersey, whether it be Detroit, Denver, or Memphis, it never felt right. All Iverson wants to do is win basketball games, and he does everything he can to win. Allen Iverson is like our brother here in Philadelphia. He may make mistakes, but like he says, he's not perfect. He really does try to learn from his mistakes and become a better player, teammate, and person.

And at the very least, at least we are all talking about the Sixers again, if only for a short time.


Dr. G said...

Fascinating press conference, and your observation about the unique relationship between AI and the Philly fan base is right on. I can't think of a similar connection between a single athlete and fans anywhere else, and not sure I can think of one quite like it before even in Philly. There have certainly been fan favorites, and strong bonds from time to time between certain athletes and the fans -- Dawkins most recently comes to mind -- but even these are not on the same level as our intense and complex relationship with Iverson. In a way, I think he openly reflects the inner conflicts and battles we all sometimes experience, but try to hide -- from ourselves as well as from others. The conflicts between good intentions and bad behaviors, or between selfish motives and concern for others. I think it's these all-too-human (and maybe all-too-Philly)conflicts that AI wears on his sleeve every day that make him so fascinating, and which also make him so endearing and frustrating at the very same time. Welcome back, AI, to the only city in the world that really understands you!

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