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Allen Iverson Gave His All-Time Starting Five, Excluding Himself


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Allen Iverson wrote a piece for The Players Tribune on Thursday that, like most things involving Allen Iverson, was absolutely tremendous. Iverson has long been one of the NBA’s most fascinating figures, both because his game was endearing to basketball fans and his personality as an undersized dude who was tough as nails made him an easy guy to root for. Plus there are — and this is a conservative estimate — about 500 million stories about Iverson that add to the lore surrounding him.

A really cool thing about Iverson is that he’s a retired player who makes it a point to praise the current generation of basketball players without doing the “back in my day…” thing to disparage them. He also really loves the game, and always seems to be willing to talk about it, both in a modern and a historical context.

For example, Iverson gave his all-time starting five in the piece. The only caveat was that he couldn’t include himself, but beyond that, he could pick anyone. In response, Iverson picked two Hall of Fame inductees, one retired player who is on his way to Springfield, and two dudes whose careers are still going strong.

It’s a very good all-time five, although speculating on what these should look like is always difficult. One thing that Iverson did expand on, though, is the debate between two of his selections — Jordan and James — and which one deserves the title of the greatest of all time. To Iverson, it’s an easy choice.

I’m hearing a lot of people these days fronting like they have LeBron over Mike!!

Man….. listen. First of all, I love LeBron. I have nothing but love for LeBron. That’s the best player of his generation, one of the best ever, a great husband, great father, great role model, and it’s even beyond that: What he’s doing with that school in Akron?? It’s a beautiful thing.

But y’all.

We’re talking about Mike.

We’re talking about Mike, O.K.??

We’re talking about Black Jesus himself.

And I don’t really have much more to say beyond that. Mike is the GOAT……. Mike is always going to be the GOAT. And please don’t even insult me with any of this “stats, AI!” business, like you have a chance of changing my mind.

As this shows, no one in history has ever had to guess what is on Iverson’s mind, because no matter the subject, Iverson would tell you. This doesn’t just mean basketball — Iverson also expanded on his top-five all-time MCs (excluding himself) and his top-five all-time movies (excluding Heat). The former was “BIG, PAC, ANDRE 3000, REDMAN, HOV,” while the latter was “CASINO, HOODLUM, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN, TROY.”

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