NBA's Allen Iverson is a greater role model than Tiger Woods
The city of Denver got their shiny new Christmas present early: Allen Iverson, the much-maligned Philly point guard who was finally traded after a decade of turbulence with the 76ers and nearly two weeks of exile.
Iverson is one of those sports figures who garners controversy because of hypocritical hack sports writers eager to “Kobe” any star they can once a blemish is found on their record. In reality, between the cornrows and tattoos, he exemplifies more traits I admire than Tiger Woods.
Tiger’s childhood was more or less perfect. He had a mentor in his father and a supportive mother that built a foundation of success. You can’t discount his accomplishments and contributions to charities he’s made. His record is unblemished. Like Tom Brady, he defines “Poster Boy".
Iverson on the other hand exemplifies humanity: error and perseverance. His childhood wasn’t a fairytale of home videos and Ed Sullivan shows. His dad was in and out of jail and Allen’s teenaged years found him in trouble with the law all too often.
Despite being an incredible talent in high school football and basketball, this caused all but one college to shy away, Georgetown, where he went for two years and grew up enough to leave his teenaged decision-making behind before going first overall in the NBA draft.
Iverson plays with a passion every night that only maybe Kevin Garnett could match. There’s also very little that’s “corporate” about him. Commissioner David Stern seems intent on turning the NBA into Disney World with new dress codes and rule changes. They’re also jamming new stars like Lebron and D-Wade down our throats because they might be more “easy on the eyes” to the mainstream. These two, mature beyond their years and role models in their own regard, play all the PR moves correctly.
Iverson on the other hand isn’t a sellout. He won’t censor himself for anyone, unlike so many icons out there afraid to speak their minds for fear of losing endorsement dollars.
Undersized and always underappreciated, Iverson rarely gets the props he deserves despite playing his heart out every night. He’s also a devoted father to his kids, something that can be difficult to find in poorer communities in America. You can’t underestimate his off-the-court influence.
There are more kids out there struggling in school than getting straight A’s. More kids getting in trouble and in danger of going down the wrong path than ones staying a straight course their whole life. For these kids, it’s Iverson’s story they can relate to, not Woods.
What’s your ‘Answer’?
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Tiger Woods has more maturity in his off-course manner and game than Iverson will ever demonstrate and will have more of an impact on disadvantaged kids than Iverson will ever care to.
Do you actually believe this dribble (sic) or is it posted for dramatic effect?
Iverson may seem more "human" because of his flaws, but to me those flaws mean that he hasn't overcome anything from his past. He's still just a thug. Yes, he has talent, and yes, he plays hard, but his lack of respect for the very institution that has allowed him to rise above the poverty of his youth, which you so cavalierly toss off as him being his own man and refusing to give in, is nothing to be admired. His job is to play basketball in a manner dictated by the NBA. They employ him. In any other job when you act so foolishly and disrespectfully toward your employer you get FIRED. What kind of lesson is that to kids that you can say and do what you want with no real consequences? He's still a millionaire with his face on TV. Without self-control or any real concept of respect, he's just a clown jumping around for everybody to laugh at.
Tiger Woods is on a mission to save youngsters.
Please see the shiny modern building at
1 Tiger Woods Way, Anaheim, California.
Please Brandon, stick to golf-gossip. Social engineering does not become you. Ask the single mom in Harlem working three jobs to help get her children through college who she wants as a role model for her sons.
Your column, your opinions. And if you respect A.I. more than Tiger, your opinion. But I caution against telling us WHO grew up with problems and who didnt. Not everything is as it looks on the surface, some of us make more problems than we have to, others conceal things about them they think aren't anyone's business.
I really don't like using that broad stroke to tell us who has it "easy" and who is more deserving than the other.
As someone who has lived in Black skin all my life, emigrated to this country & dealt with all the nuances that entails, I have to say this statement is dumb.
One more tidbit, You call Iverson a paragon of respectability because he isnt afraid to disrespect authority, kick his wife out on the street without her clothes on, and publicly cheat on the woman.
Thats fine because as I said up top: its your personal scale, but dont start throwing around words like "sellout" lightly when referring to how 2 Black (mixed African American heritage) athletes have conducted themselves in the public eye. You have no CLUE who has really sold out to comprising their values, doing what is easier because it would be harder than challenging yourself to be something more than you were.
I understand you want to be controversial, take your shots at Tiger & also novel in showing us the 'good' side of an athlete thats been reviled in media in years past, but please do so with more responsibility. You dont have to create ways to justify why you want to like Iverson as opposed to Tiger, just state that you do.
However, I'd take LeBron or Nash as my point guard if I'm starting a team from scratch.
Iverson is a joy to behold, and he plays like a demon every night, playing through all sorts of injuries against men twice his size. I never get bored watching him.
But, he's a ball hog, and he takes way too many shots.