Allen Iverson…The Modern Shakespearean Tragedy

The last few months haven’t been the best for one Allen Iverson from no NBA team wanting to pick him up to his many financial problems He recently has been quoted in his recent divorce court proceedings as saying that he couldn’t even afford a cheeseburger where his wife turned to him and gave him sixty-one dollars. Allen Iverson has had a hell of a rise and a hell of a fall that is reminiscent of Sir William Shakespeare’s plays.

Have you read or seen any plays from William Shakespeare? Especially Shakespeare’s tragic plays such as Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, etc. We know how these plays go. We see the protagonist rise to prominence and their fall from grace.  Many of the characters in Shakespeare’s tragedies get the acclaim and admiration they want but through their own undoing.  I have deemed the life up to this point for Allen Iverson under the guise of a Shakespeare played I have named To Ball or To Fall.

allen iverson stareAllen Iverson came up from humble beginnings in Hampton, Virginia with an absentee father and a mother that busted her ass to make sure he was alright. Allen had a lot of bumps on the way to the where he played college ball (Georgetown) and the NBA. He was a part of a big racial melee at the end of high school at a bowling alley. Allen was convicted of the felony charge of “maiming by mob” and spent 4 months in prison before being released and the governor granting him clemency.  After all that Allen has been through it would have been a great opportunity for him to show how to go from the bottom to the top but that would be nothing farther from the truth.

Allen has justly and unjustly vilified by the NBA brass. Let’s keep it 100% real Allen Iverson single-handedly changed the NBA culture. He invigorated much of what hip hop culture was at the time on the court. He showed up in Valor sweet suits, Timberland Boots, doo rags, and hats to post game press conferences. His brash, unapologetic, and hard paying attitude won him many fans and many enemies. We can’t sit here and front about how his ball hogging, “thug persona”, and flaunting didn’t piss off some people.  David Stern ended up changing the dress code policy many feel because of Allen Iverson’s influence on the “thug culture” that was becoming a part of the NBA. Allen Iverson was getting too popular for his own good. The NBA couldn’t have kids running around with Iverson jerseys like that could they? The NBA is not only a sport but a brand and a BUSINESS and David Stern was not going to let the brand get tainted by the “thug culture” or people like Allen Iverson.

Just like Macbeth or a King Lear there was a combination of things that lead to his downfall. He contributed much of his downfall even though the NBA and press came at him hard. The classic begin of his downfall was the “practice” press conference that was ridiculously put together by the media but that also Allen Iverson didn’t handle too well . Not to mention the hardcore rap track that Iverson had dropped a few years previously that landed him in hot water with David Stern. But, Allen’s inability to be play chess and live too much in “keepin it real” was not only his downfall on the court but off the court too. He kept an entourage of 40 people around him and at his height had a monthly budget of expenses of around $880,000 a month.  Then came his being bounced around the league where he played for Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and a last stint back in Philly. Things got real bad when no NBA team wanted to give him a shot so he had to go play in Turkey that didn’t end well. Teams didn’t want to deal with Allen because of his attitude and penchant or the idea that he wasn’t a team player. I am not going to comment on this being true or not but just like Othello it all boils down to what people perceive about you and not what really is true.

Allen IversonNow Allen has been reported as being a recluse, alcoholic, excessive gambler, trickin’ dough on women and friends and a host of other things but that’s not really the big problem. The main problem is he has no money and is living what the young folks say YOLO(You Only Live Once) lifestyle. Just like Julius Caesar he believes that he and his money are Teflon or as Ghostface Killah used to say “bulletproof wallets” He is spending way more money that he has. He has had several homes foreclosed on, wife having to pawn jewelry, leins from many creditors,  and in one case didn’t have enough money to get his Lamborghini out of impound so he just left it in there. Allen just like some of William Shakespeare’s tragic plays has a carrot dangled out in front him if he can only learn from his issues and see the light. He has a 30 Million dollar trust fund set up for himself that he cannot touch until he is 55. The problem is that he is only 37 and like I have said before is hemorrhaging from horrible spending issues.

Yes, To Ball or Fall is something I came up with but Allen’s life sure does seem like a Shakespearean play. The only difference is that is his story isn’t over and can’t be changed but he is going to have to change-up his game to not become a Shakespearean tragedy. I really hope that Allen can learn from some of his mistakes and take things in his life to the next level. He is really was the people’s champ and gave his heart and soul on the court. He made mistakes in the NBA but he “balled out” while he was in the NBA and now it is time for him to learn to fall off the court.

Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “You Get NO PROPS For Punkin’ JoJo Simmons”. You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, or I-Pad with Stitcher Radio.

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12 responses to “Allen Iverson…The Modern Shakespearean Tragedy

  1. It almost seems like he was “blackballed” from the league. There maybe other things going on behind the scenes the public is not privy to. But I personally always liked Iverson. He wasn’t the biggest guy on the court but he played with do much heart. He always gave 110% on the court. That’s why so many players respected him. He also remained true to himself and never changed for anyone. I just wished he could’ve won a championship though. But I really hope things turn around fir him. I honestly think he’s a good dude.

  2. His money problems I can’t comment on but I know for sure that the NBA hated him because he was a black and did his own thing.

  3. I didn’t even really watch or play basketball as a kid. Allen Iverson changed ALL of this. His rookie year was my senior year in high school. My first year of college I basically LIVED in the gym. I’m now the biggest basketball fan I know all due to A.I.

    I see him like Leonidas in 300. In the 01 Finals the Lakers were like Xerxes. They swept everyone in the playoffs that year. They beat the Sixers in the Finals but Iverson took that first game. Showed that they could bleed.

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