Legendary musician Bruce Hornsby will release his new album Absolute Zero on April 12, and he recently spoke with Uproxx’s Steven Hyden about his musical journey from pumping out 80s yacht rock hits, touring with the Grateful Dead, and now, a turn as an indie rocker.
However, within that conversation Hyden had to ask about a bizarre entry to Hornsby’s Wikipedia page to learn if it is, indeed true. The entry in question claims Hornsby beat a high school age Allen Iverson in a game of 1-on-1. This is, of course, a seemingly absurd thing to find on a music legend’s Wikipedia page, but as Hornsby explained, it was true — and the result of him lobbying the governor of Virginia to look into Iverson being jailed for a bowling alley brawl.
I don’t talk about that very much, because it seems completely ludicrous, and it is. But look: He was convicted of brawling in a bowling alley, and sent to jail his senior year of high school. I thought it was a serious miscarriage of justice, and I was lobbying the governor of the time, because we had elected the first black governor, I would say, in America, Doug Wilder. This was 1992 or 1993 when this happened, and I started working with Spike. I told him about Allen Iverson before anyone knew about him, because he was a high school phenom around here.
A couple months after this happened, I got a call from his high school coach at Bethel High School, Mike Bailey, saying, ‘Hey, Allen knows what you did, and would love to meet you and blah blah blah.’ So I said, ‘Hey, why don’t ya’ll come up so we can play some basketball?’ So he said, yeah, he’d love that. And I don’t know what happened. I had one of those days where I couldn’t miss. And in front of lots of witnesses, this happened.
Like I said, I feel a little idiotic talking about it, because it seems not believable. But that’s the story, as quickly as I can sum it up.
It’s a pretty spectacular story, particularly that Hornsby took such a strong stance to try and fix what he felt was a grand injustice. As for how he beat him, getting unfathomably hot from deep against a future NBA player is definitely the way to make that happen. Still, beware if you ever cross Hornsby on the court that he might embarrass you by splashing threes in your face.