Aug 31, 2012, 10:41 PM EDT
In our Friday And-1 links, we led off with an interesting post by Ethan Sherwood Strauss at Hoopspeak saying we need to separate the culture legacy of Allen Iverson in the NBA — the first player to really embrace the look and swagger of hip hop and become controversial because of it — and his game on the court.
He suggests that Iverson was a bad style of play for a legion to imitate on the court — lots of isolation and shoot first play that isn’t how teams win. I think that issue is far, far bigger than Allen Iverson and starts more at the High School and AAU levels (if not earlier) where coaches who have a good player clear out for him because at that level the player can dominate.
But that’s a bigger discussion for another day. The fact is Iverson was one of the most entertaining players of a generation because he could do what he could. Listed as 6’0″ (it seems generous if you see him in person) he was able to knife in among the trees of the NBA and make the impossible happen. He was compelling. Because of his size we could relate to him in a way we will never relate to a Dwight Howard or Shaquille O’Neal or any big man back to George Mikan. They were built for basketball, Iverson was built more like us. It’s why we find Derrick Rose such a great story.
So enjoy your weekend by starting off with some Allen Iverson highlights. Because he was just flat out fun to watch.
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- Breaking down Eastern Conference playoff chase with two weeks left in season 5
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Sunday: Dwyane Wade is going to will Heat into playoffs 13
- Sad news: Craig Sager announces his cancer has returned 16
- NBA players’ union head believes new labor deal can be reached without a work stoppage 11
- Kendrick Perkins says you’re blowing the LeBron James/Kevin Love thing way out of proportion 23
- Mark Cuban rips officials, NBA: ‘It’s criminal’ how Monta Ellis doesn’t get calls 25
- Shaquille O’Neal says he regrets leaving Magic for Lakers 43