By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Allen Iverson has a lot of great memories about the city of Philadelphia. The fans, the NBA Finals run in 2001, his coach Larry Brown, all have special places in his heart. The best memory he has might not be at the corner of Broad and Pattison though, it’s on City Line Avenue.
“Allen literally reminisced about the [TGI] Friday’s on City Line Ave. for a half hour,” said Slam Magazine senior editor Tzvi Twersky. Twersky recently sat down with Iverson to discuss his time in Philadelphia, and the re-release of Iverson’s classic Reebok shoe, The Question. “He said, ‘we made it the third biggest franchise in the United States.’ He said ‘I remember they used to have to check ID’s at the door because it was so bumpin’.” Iverson famously frequented the City Line Ave. restaurant, often times parking his Bentley in the parking lot.
When Iverson talked about Philadelphia, he remembered the atmosphere at the arena. “It almost had a club-like atmosphere, people came dressed up.”
The way he talked about the Philly, I’ve never heard another athlete talk about a city like that. With the connection. He brought it up on his own,” Twersky said.
Iverson said one thing he still gets asked about to this day, is when he crossed over the greatest player of all time. “Everybody talks about that one when they first meet me. ‘Man, I still remember the play you shook Jordan.’ Everybody gonna always remember it because it was Jordan. And, you know, Mike’s probably been shook before—somebody probably got him before—but right there, at the top of the key like that, with everybody watching. That’s the only reason I did it the second time is because I seen how hard he bit when I wasn’t even doing a move, I was setting a move up. I said, ‘oh, he’s biting hard.’”
Most times when you hear about Iverson now, the story is a negative one, but Twersky said it looked to him like Iverson is doing just fine. “I get there, all his kids are with him, all his friends are with him, he’s all smiles,” he said. “He’s in a great zone, and we started talking, and he just opens up. If he’s having all of the problems everyone is saying, he hides it well and he denies it even better.”
The sense about him is that he’s comfortable where he is, he admitted he made a lot of mistakes,” Twersky said.
The Question will once again be on store shelves on May 25th. Iverson still remembers the hype over the shoe after its initial release more than a decade ago. “I just remember having my sneakers, and after every game somebody from the other team would ask me for ’em—for his son, his cousin, his niece. So after a while, I basically knew that after every game the shoes was gone. Then I got to the point where I started to throw them in the crowd after the game, or after I knew the game was going to be over. I mean, man, people would go crazy over these shoes,” Iverson said.
Iverson is currently doing a tour in China, and hopes to play in a league there, and perhaps one day get his final shot in the NBA. “He wants [the final year in the NBA], to have a goodbye tour. He wants it so he can go to every arena one more time, and so everyone knows it’s his last time there, and he can have that curtain call,” Twersky said.
You can read Tzvi Twersky’s entire interview with Allen Iverson here.
You can follow Twersky on Twitter @TTwersky.
You can follow Spike Eskin on Twitter @SpikeEskin.