From Drawing to Casino Chips: Allen Iverson Was an Interesting Guy

Justin Grasso

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everybody inside, and the NBA on hold, basketball fans are looking for any and every way to keep themselves entertained during such a strange time. Typically at this point in the year, the NBA would be wrapping up the regular season and finalizing the playoff brackets.

But this year, it's unclear if the playoffs are going to even happen. Last month, the NBA went on suspension, and this month, there are no signs of returning just yet. So what's everybody supposed to do? Perhaps, take a look at the past.

Recently, Liberty Ballers' Steve Lipman decided to bust out a former Philadelphia 76ers' book. Former Sixers first-round pick Andre Iguodala published his memoir, 'The Sixth Man' back in June of 2019. Well, over the last week, Lipman, who covers the Sixers at SB Nation, decided to dive into Iguodala's work to find Sixers-related takeaways.

In his research, Lipman pointed out Iguodala's interesting tidbit about former 76ers legend, Allen Iverson. In Iguodala's memoir, he described Iverson as "wildly intelligent, incredibly quick-witted, and multitalented." He also pointed out that he was a cartoonist.

"He could draw you, a portrait of you, just out of memory. And he’d put a big bump on your head or draw you with a fat lip. He was always making everyone laugh. And he could rap. Like, really rap. I know a lot of guys think they can flow, but Allen could really freestyle and pull verses out of thin air." 

"He’d take a rap song and turn it into a country song just off the top of his head, and the whole bus would be singing along...he was never short with a joke, no one could outwit him, and he could throw a football like seventy yards. I’ve seen him do it...he was just gifted in life.”

That wasn't it for the Allen Iverson Stories

So, Iguodala authored his thoughts on Iverson in his book last year. And recently, former Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade brought up a memory of his involving the Sixers legend, too. On 'The Lefkoe Show' with Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe, Wade recalled the first time he met Iverson at a casino in Puerto Rico during Wade's rookie season.

“So I go with Eddie Jones, and he knew Allen Iverson was one of my favorite players, so he wanted to introduce me and he introduced me to Iverson right there when they were gambling. So Iverson’s gambling and I’m standing there the whole time. And he threw me a $1,000 chip and was like, ‘Yo, go play this, young fella.’ So I played $500, and I put the other $500 in my pocket because I didn’t have money like that at the time.”

That Allen Iverson surely is an interesting guy. From offering up free money to rookie players to drawing cartoon portraits, and to freestyling rap and country songs, Allen Iverson was undoubtedly one of a kind. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_