Before his breakout year began last season, Terance Mann shared with the media that Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson were his two favorite players growing up. In just a couple weeks, on October 18th, it will be Mann's 25th birthday. On Saturday evening, Mann's mom got him an early birthday gift by surprising him with Allen Iverson.
Terance Mann's mom, Daynia La-Force, is an assistant coach for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, and a former player for the Georgetown Hoyas. On Saturday evening, La-Force shared these pictures on Twitter:
Mann's mother said she set up a pre-birthday surprise for her son by connecting him with his idol Allen Iverson. Years removed from one of the most iconic careers in NBA history, Iverson has been one of the league's biggest advocates for rising stars.
Often times, former players have a negative perception of the NBA's evolution, remaining insistent the era they played in was better, tougher, and more dominant than the current. Iverson, despite dominating his era as a small guard, has taken a much different approach to retirement.
Rather than harping on the game's evolution, Allen Iverson has consistently embraced the new generation. He recently made a podcast appearance for Bleacher Report, and spent several minutes complimenting some of the "killers" in the game today. Iverson mentioned Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Bradley Beal, and Damian Lillard as some of the leagues most lethal "killers" on the court.
Consistent with his advocacy for the game's future, Iverson surprising Mann for his birthday is an undeniably cool gift for a player who grew up idolizing him.