30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 10

No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (13 Apr. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
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There has always been questions raised about Allen Iverson's conviction for a fight he was involved in as a young man. The film maker goes back to his home town to try and understand the ... See full summary »


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Title: No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (13 Apr 2010)

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There has always been questions raised about Allen Iverson's conviction for a fight he was involved in as a young man. The film maker goes back to his home town to try and understand the events and how they have left a mark on the town he calls home. Written by glenchapman@ruraltel.net

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13 April 2010 (USA)  »

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Subject to several interpretations.
5 September 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson" is a fascinating film because it can be interpreted various ways by the viewer. I noticed one of the reviewers felt it was a great film about race, whereas I saw it from a different point of view---how pro sports (particularly basketball) have driven away many fans like myself. BOTH interpretations are easy to make based on this film.

The film begins with a discussion of the childhood of Allen Iverson in Hampton, Virginia. He was an amazing talent in both football and basketball--an All-American and hot pro prospect. But, he also came from 'the wrong side of the streets' and his family life, though VAGUE in the film, was terrible--with no father and a 15 year-old mother. In light of this upbringing, it's easy to see how Allen grew up angry--ready to fight the world. And to me, this is a key to the story--the anger.

Here is where it gets interesting. Just before Allen was to graduate high school and go on to a wonderful college career, a crazy incident occurred. While the facts are VERY difficult to tease out, there was a brawl in a bowling alley and Allen and two of his black friends were arrested. Eventually, Allen was convicted of instigating a riot (or some such charge) and the city exploded with various cries of racism and theories about why Iverson was prosecuted (many of which, frankly, just sounded crazy and stupid). I am not sure who did what--but this CLEARLY is a case where Iverson and many others acted stupidly. Whether the sentence was fair or not, I have no idea--but if they had just walked away, none of this would have happened--and it's weird how NO ONE in the film said this! JUST WALK AWAY!! Duh.

Much of the next half hour of the film showed the HUGE racial divide in the city. Blacks in the film interpreted the incidents as racism and whites saw it more as a legal matter. A few did feel the prosecution was warranted but the system's strong reaction was too strong--after all, he was a kid with promise and it was a one-time incident. None of this controversy surprised me--there is STILL a huge racial divide in this country and this case, like the OJ case, just brings all of this to light and it's all rather sad--whatever your ethnic background.

Eventually, Iverson ended up serving a rather short sentence and made it to college and eventually to the NBA where he became a mega-star. Overall, it's a very well-constructed and VERY compelling film that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. I've seen many of the "30 for 30" films and all are excellent--and this one is among the best of these. It also had a hopeful portion near the end where Allen was helped by a nice white lady to graduate and make something of himself--a very positive thing. But it also briefly went over his VERY controversial and angry pro career and further brushes with the law--which is sad, as it overshadows his greatness. Think about it--6'0" and one of the best players EVER in the game--but many folks will just see him as an angry punk and it's hard to blame them.

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