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Iverson is the ultimate legacy of NBA legend Allen Iverson, who rose from a childhood of crushing poverty in Hampton, Virginia, to become an 11-time NBA All-Star and universally recognized ... See full summary »


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Iverson is the ultimate legacy of NBA legend Allen Iverson, who rose from a childhood of crushing poverty in Hampton, Virginia, to become an 11-time NBA All-Star and universally recognized icon of his sport. Off the court, his audacious rejection of conservative NBA convention and unapologetic embrace of hip hop culture sent shockwaves throughout the league and influenced an entire generation. Told largely in Iverson's own words, the film charts the career highs and lows of one of the most distinctive and accomplished figures the sport of basketball has ever seen. Written by Tribeca Film Festival

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Some Play the Game. He Changed It.


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27 April 2014 (USA)  »

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25 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

Allen Iverson was one of the most controversial players to ever step foot on an NBA floor. He changed the way players played the game on and off the court. He introduced the NBA to the baggy clothes and the sleeves of tattoos. But he also had one of the meanest crossovers and killer jump shots. He was not only an unbelievable basketball player but he turned into a cultural icon in the late 90's and early 2000's. I remember seeing the excessive coverage he received, good and bad.

Being in my early 20's now, Iverson was one of the many superstars I have grown up watching, along with Garnett, Kobe, and LeBron. So was very intrigued to see how this documentary would approach such a polarizing figure. And I came out pleased. It's not as focused as the recent Kobe Bryant documentary or as visceral as a 30 for 30 doc, but it was a solid biography to say the least. The film takes a big step by using interviews with comparisons to MLK or Malcom X, and I wouldn't say it proves he was anywhere near as impactful as they were, but Iverson was very famous nonetheless. His jerseys were consistently among the most highly purchased every year, no matter if he changed his team or not. But he had his off the court issues. Which included spending numerous months in jail in between high school and college as he was supposedly wrongfully convicted of a crime. It was here where I noticed the film took the approach of using interviews from a wide variety of sources instead of getting updated footage like most docs. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it tends to not feel as fresh this way.

Once he made it to the NBA, he took the league by storm. With accolades as good as anybody. The film focused on how much he didn't fit in though, it was almost like the business and atmosphere of the NBA was never made for someone like Iverson. He was as gifted as any point guard to ever enter the league, but there were times he just didn't care all that much. I loved the way one interviewee described it "He had good intentions, but he just didn't take it seriously". And that's unfortunate, because like Larry Brown said, he could have been the most popular player in league history. Lastly, I really liked that the film addressed the infamous 'Practice' interview and just how misunderstood that whole thing was. Throughout the documentary you see a different side to Allen and various details about the things you already knew. Now sure, the film gets uneven at times. With a film that goes through his life in order, it seems hard to do, but the focus shifts several times. And I would have liked to have seen new and updated interviews. There's virtually no new footage for the actual film.

+Sets things straight

+Legit biography

+Shows his cultural icon status

-Uneven at times

-No new footage


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