After practice on Friday 76ers coach Brett Brown was saying how impressed he was with Allen Iverson after truly getting an up-close look.
Brown was speaking in awe of Iverson, who will have his No. 3 retired during halftime of the Sixers game on Saturday against the visiting Washington Wizards.
As an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Brown got to coach in some all-star games and that is when he because truly amazed when seeing Iverson in the locker room.
“I remember AI putting on his practice stuff and I look over and he was a bag of bones and was just so really sort of diminutive,” Brown said. “He is cut out, but he is bag of bones and he would take a pounding night after night and still back it up.”
Brown said that while coaching with the Spurs, Iverson was among the most difficult players to defend.
“You throw him in the basket of how do you guard (Kevin) Durant, how do you guard Dirk (Nowitzki), how do you guard AI,” Brown said. “He was so competitively cocky and had a street swagger that you just couldn’t figure at times out how to guard him and he had such a variety of ways to get to the rim, he could shoot the long ball and he could get to the line.”
Brown said that his players can benefit from seeing Iverson, and what he meant to the city during the retirement ceremony.
“I am very much looking forward to it and I very much look forward having my players see it,” Brown said. “I feel like I think I get it but, I am sure even when I sit down there, you are going to get goose bumps.”
And he feels the same for his players.
“I really look forward to Michael (Carter-Williams) and Nerlens (Noel) and looking out on the floor and reminding Thaddeus (Young), Thaddeus had a taste of playoff basketball and what this city does when that level of real basketball comes to town, so I do look forward to it.”