Alone in a crowd
Announced today in Slam Magazine, nearly as dated a document as the player, Allen Iverson announcing his retirement.
It is, of course a courtesy to call this a retirement. If someone offered him a job playing ball tomorrow, he'd take it. But let's stay with the courtesy, and leave aside the fact that retirement has an implication of voluntary behavior, and that no one has been interested in paying AI to play basketball for a long time now. Let's also leave aside the man outside of the player, which is clearly all kinds of train wreck, so much so that if Vegas put up a prop bet for homelessness, I'm pretty sure it would look like even money. Instead, I want to get into something a little more esoteric and enduring: why the man is still loved in this town, and probably always will be.
It's about this: if you combine any kind of talent with a work ethic that's downright pathological, you will be loved as an athlete, on some level. Iverson on the court, in his prime,...