Allen Iverson is an icon, as he has stood for being true to himself since he came into the limelight as an explosive scoring guard in the NBA. Iverson arguably has the biggest heart and most open communication with fans and fellow players of any superstars in the game's history. And his candid nature means that there are some truly crazy stories he has told about the wilder aspects of his life.
Iverson stayed true to the people that he grew up around, helping them out with money long after he made it to the league. And he made it a point of pride to not allow everything he got to change who he was at the core. After retirement, it would seem AI relaxed a lot more, too, talking about his experiences with partying and doing substances like marijuana, something fans have joked about with him in the past.
In a 2021 interview with GQ magazine, Iverson spoke about one of the times he was doing marijuana and how it ended up being one of the last times he did it. The story is as exciting as it is a little scary, and perhaps only AI could have told it in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
"There was one night in 2014—he was in his old stomping grounds on the Virginian peninsula, hanging out with a man he lovingly describes as 'Top Muhf**kin Smoker.' Iverson and 'Top Muhf**kin Smoker' headed to an old refuge of Iverson’s, Applebee’s, to get some grub before a party appearance. They lit up outside the restaurant and Iverson started buzzing.
“'I’m alright! I was fine! Fine like a muhf**ka. But, then, I just felt it, dog,' Iverson says, grabbing his chest and wobbling like a penguin to demonstrate. Iverson told his homeboys he needed to straighten up, so he decided to walk down the street to find a Corona— 'so I could even it out,' he says. 'I start walkin’ up an interstate. A interstate! N-gga, I’m on the interstate wit cars flying by just walkin' down the road trine find a bar!'
"He got kicked out of the bar. Why? Because Allen Iverson doesn’t carry ID in his home state. As he told the bartender that night: 'I don’t have no muhf**kin' ID.' So he walked back down the interstate to the Applebee’s. (Whether or not Applebee’s stocked Corona remains a mystery.) Then through the door came the guy from the bar, telling Iverson he was ok to drink there. Having now walked on an interstate twice in one night, Iverson was irate. 'F**k you, man!' Iverson says. 'Gone head ‘bout ya business!'
This wasn't even the end of the story; Iverson would go on to describe what he thought about after he found his way back and how it eventually ended with him somehow in a ditch.
"Iverson headed back to the car where “some gangsta sh*t” was playin’ on the radio. He grew reflective in that moment. 'I see every muhf**ka that I love passin' by, all my teammates, I see my girl, I see my kids, I see her with another dude holdin’ hands, I’m thinkin' all the worst shit in the world. The door was closed and I was waitin' for the door to open and a muhf**ka to kill me. At one point I even laughed, ‘like, damn, I’m goin out like this?!’ Frightened, he left the car. 'Bout 10 minutes later, I swear to God, I woke up and I was laying down in a ditch.' What?
"'In a ditch!,' he says. “I’m in a muhf**kin’ ditch! I’m lookin around for people who see me gettin’ up off the ground. I sat back in the car and I said, ‘This is it, man.’ I heard a car burning rubber and then BOOM. I was back. I was myself.' Iverson claims that, after that night, he 'never smoked again.'"
There is perhaps no one other than Iverson who can tell a story like this completely, honestly, and unabashedly. People have always known that AI is a different breed, someone that does whatever he wants, but at times perhaps it has led him astray. And if that is too harsh a word, which it might well be, then it has certainly led him into a ditch, which isn't all that better!