The killer crossover.
AI was legit.
As someone who indulged watching late ’90s professional basketball (when the Knicks were relevant), bearing witness to the flummoxing ability of Allen Iverson was a treasured treat.
The guy was a whirling dervish of attitude and athleticism, a compact nuclear reactor of a point guard who would routinely pull off moves on the court LeBron James and his contemporaries would not conceive of.
He was also a lightning rod fr controversy and a uniquely polarizing sports personality, responsible for perhaps the all-time greatest press conference soundbite.
Here now is an excellent documentary that chronicles all the trials (some self-inflicted, some not) and triumphs that characterized the mercurial NBA superstar.
Iverson starts us off with arguable AI’s most volatile period in his history his tumultuous college years that saw him get wrapped up in an assault charge. It’s jarring stuff, and, frankly, circumstances I hadn’t been aware of. Iverson should have definitely kept better company during his formative years, but there’s no doubt he got at least partially railroaded during the process.
Credit to director Zatella Beatty for painting the whole picture and giving us Iverson in a not-so-flattering light. He was a complex dude, and kicking things off with such a scandalous moment helps portray that complexity.
Onward and upward we then go through his run through the NBA, his legendary all-star game performances, his first (and only) bite at thee Finals apple and, eventually, to his borderline pathetic exit from the basketball world.
All in all, Iverson is a terrific little sports documentary. The man is about as ideal a film subject you could ask for, and the experiences he deals with resonate far beyond basketball. However, there is plenty here to enjoy if you’re a hoop-head–lots and lots of ankle-breaking hardwood porno.
AI is a-ok!