Allen Iverson will have his number retired on Saturday night here in Philadelphia, and the folks are coming out in droves to pay their respects to ‘The Answer.’
Iverson’s former head coach and current SMU coach Larry Brown, sat down with Bryant Gumbel and HBO Sports to talk about Iverson and the painful pleasure it was for Brown to coach him.
Brown told Gumbel that when Iverson came to visit his Mustangs a few weeks ago, Iverson was asked who the greatest player in NBA history was.
Iverson as only he can, answered “himself.”
Bryant Gumbel: “When’s the last time you talked to him?”
Larry Brown: “He was here about a month ago. He spoke to our team, Bryant, and it was the most unbelievable talk I’ve ever heard. Our kids were spellbound. And he was so open and honest with ‘em. He talked about the good things he did and the things he’d like to change, which weren’t a lot. But the one thing that stuck out in my mind, one of the kids said, ‘Who’s the best player to ever play?’ Who do you think he said?”
Bryant Gumbel: “Himself.”
Larry Brown: “Allen Iverson. And he said, ‘I’m not disrespecting Michael [Jordan] or Magic [Johnson] or Julius Erving or any of those guys.’ He said, ‘I couldn’t have done what I did at my size if I didn’t feel that way.’”
I’m a known Iverson apologist, so I’ll digress from agreeing this time.