Allen Iverson didn’t always lead by example, but no one would ever dare question his heart. Especially not the Philadelphia 76ers faithful. The 6-foot guard from Georgetown was and remains beloved.
So it was interesting to see him enter the raging Ben Simmons’ debate. The disgruntled star reported to Sixers camp on Monday, October 11 but he still hasn’t practiced with the team. Simmons didn’t travel to Detroit for the final exhibition game as he undergoes “reconditioning,” per the Sixers’ injury report. Everyone wants to know if he intends to suit up this season.
Iverson appeared to be giving his “lil bro” a pep talk on Instagram. The Hall of Famer tagged Simmons in a recent post and wrote: “Follow Gods plan and execute Lil bro @bensimmons” – and Iverson used the hashtags #PhillyUnite and #BestFansInTheWorld.
Yes, Iverson threw his unconditional support behind Simmons. The three-time All-Star has morphed into Philly’s biggest nemesis since passing up a wide-open dunk in the playoffs, then requesting a trade over hurt feelings. Iverson – a legendary figure who wore his emotions on his arm sleeve – seemed to be telling the sometimes fickle fan base to stay the course.
Predictably, the comments on Iverson’s post were polarizing. Some dismissed it and claimed Simmons’ sins were unforgivable, although others conceded: “If AI say Ben good then he good.”
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Iverson Lobbies Front Office for Job
Iverson made recent headlines when he openly lobbied the Sixers’ front office for a job. The 46-year-old shows up at home games from time to time in an ambassador type of role but he doesn’t own an official title. He is not an employee of the team.
Well, Iverson made it clear that is one avenue he would be interested in exploring during an interview with Taylor Rooks and Al Harrington (via Bleacher Report). He let it be known – loud and clear – that he’s a “Sixer for life.”
I got Sixer blood pumping through me. Everybody knows that I want to help that organization. I been retired, what, 11 years? I don’t know how I’m not a part of that staff in some kind of way. Even if it’s [as a consultant], I will be the happiest in the world and the money thing ain’t got nothing to do with it.
It’s just me being me and me being a Sixer and wanting to help. I don’t know why nothing has been put in place for me. I still love y’all. Don’t get it twisted. It’s all love and it ain’t never going nowhere. But it’s just something I don’t understand.
This isn’t the first time Iverson has mentioned working in the Philly front office. He referred to himself as a “basketball genius” in 2015 and offered to join the organization in any capacity: “I will do whatever they ask me to do,” said Iverson, via NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Simmons Accused of COVID-19 Lie
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Simmons almost sat out Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals over COVID-19 concerns. The 25-year-old point guard was held out of shootaround that evening after possible exposure to a team masseuse, per Shelburne.
She cited Sixers sources who questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse or if he was just trying to get out of playing against the Atlanta Hawks. The mental agony of missing shots and getting booed were taking a toll on the struggling star.
Shelburne reported: “‘I don’t know if he can face the team or the fans after everything that happened last year,’ one source close to the situation puts it.”
Ho-hum. The Simmons’ saga only gets deeper and weirder by the day. Stay tuned.