This weekend, Allen Iverson is joining one of the most illustrious Basketball Hall of Fame classes in history alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, Tom Izzo and others. And while AI is not the most productive player to enter the hall this year (Shaq) or the most impactful globally (Yao), no one was more hotly anticipated at the HOF’s press conference on Thursday than the Answer. And though he arrived late due to a “personal situation,” he did not disappoint in the quote department.
It is a well-known piece of Iverson lore that before he went to Georgetown for basketball, Iverson was a stunning two-sport star at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va., closely resembling fellow Michael Vick — a nearby superstar who came a few years after Iverson — in his eye-popping combination of arm strength and speed. That’s ancient history now, but when you’re being anointed as one of the greatest ever in one sport, it only seems right to mention when you feel like you could have been better in another sport.
Iverson wasn’t all braggadocio, however. He took time to emotionally reflect on the significance of his induction, considering just what an iconoclast he was during his playing days — and he also gave a heartfelt acknowledgment to his colleagues:
“That’s the only thing that got me here is my teammates. My teammates and my coach. That’s the only reason I’m here. All those guys sacrificed their game and sacrificed different things for me to be honored like this and what I’ve done. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened
(Via ESPN’s Chris Forsberg)