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Posts Tagged ‘Iverson’

Q & A: My “No Crossover” Recap

Posted by and1grad on April 15, 2010

On Tuesday, ESPN continued their 30 for 30 series with an episode, called “No Crossover,” which detailed the court trial Allen Iverson went through, as a minor, and its profound effect on on him and the impacted communities in Virginia. I’m not as big on AI as most folk so I had fully intended to skip this episode as it was simply advertised, by ESPN, as just an AI story on the trial. I would’ve missed out. There was so much more to this episode that I feel like ESPN did its audience a disservice by NOT giving us a better grasp on all that this episode entailed. The issues surrounding AI’s case, and community, might have been common knowledge on the east coast, but I dont know anyone on the west, where I’m from *throws up W*, that knew ANY of what went on in that community. I honestly had never even HEARD of AI until he was at Georgetown.

Let me add to this that I know next to NOTHING about Virginia. I know where it is…could point to it on a map…tell you the capitol. Thats about it. So in a sense, this documentary was educational for me. I never knew slaves first set down in America in Virginia. Hampton, if I’m not mistaken. I never knew there were areas of this country that STILL essentially operated with a 1950s type of racism. I mean, there were times during this documentary where I thought I’d see Samuel L. Jackson scream “YES, THEY DESERVED TO DIE AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!!”

Among the things I took away from this movie were not only a better sense of THAT particular community but of what AI went through in his early years. When I listened to his old coach talk about how his Mom never went to see him play because she was always in the streets, it reminded me of the times I saw her interviewed during NBA games and how she’s always come off as a complete phony to me. I could never put my finger on why. But the thing about all of this that REALLY stuck out to me was the amount of people that FOUGHT for AI’s future. Serious business, that just doesnt happen. MOST people arent that lucky…and most of our disadvantaged youth could only dream of having a tenth of that level of support in anything. Yes, that trial was a mockery and the sentence was completely absurd. A lot of brothers can say that though.

However, a lot of brothers CANT say that there were people SO committed to seeing them succeed that if they were simply LATE to a tutoring session, the person trying to help would literally be in tears. Of everything I saw in this piece, THAT part moved me most. And I know so many are SO cynical with their diatribes of “Oh the white lady saves the negro” and all that ol good shit. Please feel free to fall ALL THE WAY the fuck back. When people actually care that much about someone else’s future, it deserves recognition. And it REALLY bothered me when the presenter of the film, Steve James, said that when this lady passed…AI just sent flowers and a note. Granted, the lady’s husband said in the film that the gesture meant a lot but honestly…I cant help but feel like he should’ve BEEN THERE.

There are a lot of things that AI has done, throughout his career, that can only be described as selfish, brainless, ignorant, and/or self-destructive. Many of which he’s paid some kind of price. Others, he skated off without consequence. Most of them are utterly forgettable or forgivable. For me, this is neither. There are a LOT of things in this world that ultimately dont matter. Something I once heard, and hope to always live by, is “You take care of the people that love you.” So it bothers me that he wasnt there for this lady’s funeral…especially given such a clearly lacking Mother. I hope there was a good reason for his missing it.

Throughout his career, AI has made several “question”-able decisions. But I never REALLY believed that “The Answer” was just, simply, a bad guy. Misunderstood? Sure. Selfish? Of course. Entitled? What athlete isnt?

But now…

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