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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Dear Allen Iverson,

‘ Dear Allen Iverson

Wait. Before I jump into this, I want to let you know that you are one of my favorite players and that is why I feel so strongly about this. Take the following with a grain of salt.Here goes:

It’s sad. Your illustrious career was not supposed to end this way. Your fans, who supported and appreciated you for the past 13 years, were blindsided by the news. We found out on Thanksgiving Day, as we were helping our mothers prepare the yearly ‘kill-an-innocent-bird-day’ feast. I don’t even like turkey, but that’s beside the point.

I saw the breaking news scroll on the ESPN Bottomline, and heard Stephen A. Smith say that you were done. Why? No specific reason given, other than the generic ‘spend more time with my wife and kids’ line. It blows my mind that you, the best little guy to play the game, would step away from it, when you still have so much to give. You said it yourself, ‘I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level.’ Your crossover is still top 5 in the league. At 34, you are still in better physical condition than most, and have kept your body in 10-time all-star guard shape. So why leave?

Word on the street is that you can’t stand coming off the bench. The issue plagued you in Detroit, after your experiment in Denver failed to get Melo past the beasts of the West. Then you juggled your options a bit and opted for Memphis. It takes swallowing pride to even put on a Memphis Grizzlies jersey, which is why you only put in on thrice, playing three short games before leaving the team indefinitely. I don’t get it. What happened to the hunger? The drive? The sheer will to just play?

When I think of Allen Iverson, I think of how every single kid in my junior high and early high school years had a Sixers number 3 jersey. I think of him shaking the mess out of MJ (translation: executing a deadly crossover that made Michael Jordan proceed to wobble and thrust his body in the direction completely opposite to his). I think of the Tyron Lue step-over and stare down. I think of the ‘Practice? Not a game, not a game, we talkin’ bout practice?’ rant. I think of your heart, and how hard you played every time you were on the hardwood.

I’m not ready to let that go. And something inside me tells me that you are not either. It’ll be itching at you. You’ll wake up with cold sweats. You’ll have nightmares about your legacy being tainted and your name forgotten. The want to play will eat at you. If you love this game the way I know you do, you will come back and close things out the right way.

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