Larry Brown- “I know God put me here to coach Allen Iverson,”
Anybody that knows Allen Iverson knows the love and affection he has for his former 76ers coach Larry Brown.
According to Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Iverson recently paid his former coach and his players at SMU a surprise visit.
— Mike Jensen (@jensenoffcampus) November 2, 2013
After putting out the invitation for months, Iverson finally accepted.
Two weeks ago, Larry Brown told his Southern Methodist players they’d have a guest addressing them in the locker room before practice.
“One of my kids, Keith Frazier, the McDonald’s all-American, he broke down when I told him Allen was coming,” Brown said.
Brown said he knew Iverson still had box office appeal with his young kids, and they would listen.
“The two years after I got fired from Charlotte . . . everywhere I went [going to college practices], I would talk to the team, and after I was getting ready to leave, every kid would come up and ask about Allen. I’m serious,” Brown said. “I can’t walk through an airport when somebody doesn’t come up to me. They don’t know who I am all the time, but they’ll say: ‘You coached Allen.’ “
The SMU players were reportedly spellbound and in awe about their meeting with the Answer.
When Iverson, responding to a long-standing invitation, talked to SMU’s team, “the kids were spellbound, and I was . . . the way he talked about his career,” Brown said. “He was humble, and he gave them some things. He explained the ‘practice’ thing.”
Yes, Iverson talked about practice.
“He said that was just a small part of his press conference,” Brown said. “He went in there because he wanted to let everyone know I told him he wasn’t going to be traded. He wanted to get that across, how much being in Philly meant to him. He told the kids, don’t ever talk when you’re angry.”
Brown added, “He talked to the kids about how there were some things he’d done in his life that he wished he had a chance to change, but that being said, he was true to himself.”
Somebody asked Iverson who he thought was the best player.
“He said himself,” Brown said. “And he said, ‘I don’t mean that being disrespectful, or thinking that you think I was being arrogant. That’s the way I played, in my heart. That’s how I had to feel.’ ”
“That was our best practice, after he spoke,” said former Iverson teammate and current SMU basketball staffer Eric Snow.