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Allen Iverson’s one trait that almost caused clashes with his teammates

Dahntay Jones witnessed how Allen Iverson didn't put much effort to improve his game but still played great because it was natural for him.
Allen Iverson’s one trait that caused clashes with teammates

Iverson would party all night and miss practices the other day and still dominate the game

Allen Iverson played like no other in his peak. The Answer was a headache to many teams, but it seemed he caused headaches to his team due to this one trait.

“Some guys can be so gifted they don’t have to love it”

Iverson is only a 6-footer but played like a 7-footer with massive superstar appeal to boot. He was the quintessential cool guy: sleeve tattoos, cornrows, baggy suits, and clothes. AI broke almost every rule there was in the NBA because he could get away with it. No one ever forced him to do things or perform as expected. Instead, he called BS on practices, weight lifting, having dress codes, partying, and how players should act according to their height. For Dahntay Jones, Iverson was just so gifted that he didn’t have to work as hard as the others.

Jones and AI were teammates in Denver Nuggets in the 2008-09 season. Dahntay saw first-hand how gifted his teammate was even without trying. He would recall moments when Allen was partying all night and would miss practices the other day and still dominate the game. He shared his thoughts in an interview with Gilbert Arenas.

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“AI didn’t touch the ball all summer. Not saying he didn’t love it, but like that he’s just so gifted like it just poured out of his pores. You find that in the NBA sometimes, some guys can be just so gifted, they don’t have to love it. They don’t have to put work into it. I’ve heard him say he was going to work but at that point in his career, he didn’t have to do anything. Just be AI.”

Jones and Arenas both agreed it’s where the problem could have started for Iverson and his teammates: not being locked in as much as them.

Arenas’ problem with guys like Iverson

Agent Zero had his fair share of being a troublemaker, but he claimed he couldn’t stand those who don’t show up in practice or work hard. So when players work their asses off and see their superstar teammate not doing as much, it’s where the distrust starts to happen. The players who showed up and put in the effort would not pass the ball to those who did not make the same effort to help the team win. And the media would cover it as selfishness when they don’t know what happens behind the camera.

We may never know if Iverson’s lackadaisical approach led to some locker room confrontation. After all, he did his part and almost towed the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA championship by himself against Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and the L.A. Lakers. The rest of AI’s contemporaries should be thankful the Hall of Famer wasn’t into practicing and wasn’t 6’6” because he would have been a bigger problem for the opposing teams and his teammates if he were. 

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