I got to interview Allen Iverson, and I used his own advice to turn it into one of the best moments of my life.
Dime: What’s the one question you’ve always wanted people to ask you, but no one ever does?
Allen Iverson: Damn, that’s a great question.
Dime: Well you just said to give it your best shot.
AI: See how good you’re getting it, as you’re going on — God damn.
Dime: Like if there’s something you always wanted to talk about, but no one ever asked you about it?
AI: I would ask me: From the perception that we make you out to be, as far as rumors and things we hear, does it hurt? And my answer would be, ‘Yes, it does.’ Especially when it’s not the truth. I look at the situation and as long as a person don’t call me a rapist or a child molester or a racist, I’m like, Aright. As long as you don’t call me that, then I won’t defend myself. I’ll let it go as long as you don’t call me that. But a lot of other things that people say that’s not true — they hurt. The s**t hurt. People think that I’m some tough, renegade, black-hearted-being, evil, no-feeling-having mothaf**ka, but that ain’t me. I think some media outlets and some people know that about me. They know it gets to me. They know it bothers me, so I think that’s why they do it. But I’m human just like everybody else. I’ve got feelings just like everybody else. When motherf**kers write s**t about me that’s not true, damn right it hurts. It hurts even more knowing my kids are old enough to know what it is now. That’s what I would ask myself. I would love to answer that question so people could know that—that Allen Iverson really does have feelings.
Dime: That’s gonna be the title of my piece, by the way: ‘Allen Iverson has feelings.’
AI: [laughs] For real. He really does, have feelings.
Dime: Do you think that not responding to [the criticism] has made it worse? Or do you think that that’s the only way to deal with it?
AI: OK, that’s another great question. I want to, at times, but the satisfaction of answering it and responding to it does everything that the person that wrote it or reported on it wants. You’re doing just what they want you to do. And I mean, my ex-wife, my mom, my aunts, my uncles, my friends, they’re like, ‘Man, respond to this s**t!’ They’re reporting this and they’re reporting that, and I be wanting to do it so bad, but I feel like that’ll just keep it going and keep it going. Then I respond, then they say something else, then they want me to respond again, then I respond, then it keeps going on and on.