Like most NBA players, basketball icon Allen Iverson still has his eyes set on the game he loves the most. As someone who spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the game, Iverson can’t help but see himself on the hardcourt. No, he’s not popping in tapes of his old games. Rather, whenever he sees Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant lace up his sneakers, Iverson feels like he’s looking into a mirror.
Iverson clarified that he and Morant do not share similar playstyles. Rather, Iverson has observed that Morant carries the same swag as he once did during his playing days. Morant, who’s usually the smallest man on the floor like Iverson, has a disposition that allows him to do basically what he wants on the floor.
“Not game-wise. But attitude? I would say Ja Morant. He has no fear and you can tell he has an attitude of not being cocky but confident. He just sent a signed jersey to my crib, too, so we cool,” Iverson said, per nba.com.
Iverson may be dead accurate in his reading of Morant’s game vis-a-vis his. To recall, Iverson was a three-level scorer during his prime. He’s a terrific finisher around the ring, can knock down the perimeter shot and the 3-point shot. Iverson’s scoring was so lethal that a play was named after him: the Iverson cut.
At this point in his career, Morant doesn’t have the three-level scoring prowess that Iverson had. But Morant’s explosive first-step and sheer athleticism have powered him to assault defenses the way Iverson did. Not to mention Morant’s incredible reads on whatever the defense gives him.
Just like AI
As of writing, the Grizzlies sport a stellar 51-23 record for second in the Western Conference. Not a single soul expected this young and feisty group to be this good this early. Much of it has to do with how the front office built the roster and head coach Taylor Jenkins’ talent in maximizing his players’ abilities. Morant’s leadership, which is impressive given he’s just in his third year in the league, has also played an essential part. It’s caught the eye of fans and analysts. They are all in agreement that Morant is the next face of the league. If Iverson’s concerned, Morant will soon be crowned Most Valuable Player of the NBA.
Iverson’s songs of praise for Morant will do nothing but boost the young gun’s confidence. It’s not like he’s lacking in that department. But some words of reassurance from a Hall of Famer always help. For fans, Iverson’s words prove that the league is in good hands. There’s no shortage of talent whatsoever.