Jason Whitlock ripped Allen Iverson pretty hard in his FoxSports.com column. Nobody has been shy about bashing Iverson this season, but few have ripped him for his career.
The whole column is a good read, but one part stood out.
In 2001, after the Sixers embarrassed him with threats of an offseason trade and with Larry Brown brow-beating Iverson nightly, he put together a remarkable, MVP season and carried Philadelphia to the NBA Finals.
That season was the one glimpse at what Iverson should’ve been. He won a career-high 56 regular-season games with Aaron McKie, Eric Snow, Tyrone Hill and 34-year-old Dikembe Mutombo providing support. Focused and motivated, Iverson reluctantly listened to Brown and pretended to be a winner.
Of course, it didn’t last long. Iverson’s narcissistic play and demeanor prevented him from developing a Tonto, a Pippen, a McHale, a Worthy, a Dumars. Iverson has never been accused accurately of making the players around him better.
It sort of sums up the problem with Iverson. He could have been so much more, if only he let himself. And it shows how good of a coach Larry Brown is. Nobody before or after has motivated Iverson like that.