Allen Iverson Is Turning 41 This Week (41!) And More Reasons I’m Starting To Feel Very Old » VSB

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Allen Iverson Is Turning 41 This Week (41!) And More Reasons I’m Starting To Feel Very Old

Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for BET


While watching the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Golden State Warriors during the NBA Finals, it’s been hard for me to look at Tyronn Lue and take him seriously. Not because his team has been getting mollywhopped by Golden State. No, it’s because he will always be the guy Allen Iverson stepped over in the 2001 NBA Finals after shaking him up and hitting a jumper from the corner, a move that is ingrained in the minds of even the most casual NBA fan. Y’all, this was 15 years ago. What?

Another notable date is June 7th, A.I.’s birthday. The Answer is now 41. Forty-one, people. That’s damn near 50! Anyway, in honor of the greatest pound-for-pound NBA player of all time — though can we still say this with Steph Curry around? Can we create another category for A.I. just for the culture? — let’s take a trip down memory lane to lament just how old a lot of us really are.

1. A.I. crossed over Jordan almost two decades ago.

2. The Tyronn Lue step-over was so epic that it feels like it happened yesterday. It was not in fact yesterday. I only know this because Tyronn Lue now has grey hair.

3. A.I. told you he was supposed to be the MVP and “we talkin bout practice” almost FIFTEEN. YEARS. AGO.

4. This was around the same time respected music critics genuinely believed Ashanti was the superior artist to Beyoncé, and Bey hadn’t even started sniffing her now universally revered, epic solo career.

5. Russell Wilson and Ciara were high schoolers who probably signed celibacy pledges…so actually not much has changed.

6. When A.I was traded to the Denver Nuggets, Kevin Durant still played for the Seattle Supersonics. Four facts based on this fact: A. Seattle still had a team. B. Durant actually experienced a life before OKC. C. iPhones had barely been invented. D. This makes me feel old.

7. Allen Iverson played for the Pistons. I bet most of y’all don’t remember that. Cause it was a long ass time ago.

8. At the height of A.I.’s career (arguably 2000-2001, though 2003 was underrated), these phones were cutting edge.

9. The absolute first installments of Lord of the Rings, Fast and the Furious, Ocean’s 11, and Shrek debuted.

11. A.I. reached his peak before Hurricane Katrina was ever a thing

12. Only people in Illinois knew what a Barack Obama was

13. And fewer people knew what a Bill Simmons was…because he was not yet hired by ESPN

14…or yet fired by ESPN

15. Aaliyah was making hit music

16…while Rihanna was an unknown in Barbados busting out jams like this at local talent shows

17…and Kanye produced his first hit song (but hadn’t rapped for real yet)

18…and people still wore Girbaud jeans

19…and neither Facebook nor Myspace had been invented yet, but it didn’t matter because we still used Black Planet.

20. Titanic was only 4 years old.

21. A.I. dropped multiple 50 point games against the Raptors and Dell Curry during the playoffs. As in Steph Curry’s father Dell Curry.

22. A.I’s toddler son would join him at postgame press conferences. That toddler son is now grown enough to play for Georgetown’s college basketball team. That’s like seeing baby Riley Curry staring down reporters one day and the next she’s getting recruited to play at Stanford. Except actually 15 years passed and you don’t know what the hell you did all that time.

23. When A.I. played for the Pistons, Barack Obama hadn’t begun his first term of office

24. Allen Iverson is now older than Jordan was after two of MJ’s retirements and Jordan’s subsequent, unnecessary return to the league.

*DJ Khaled voice* If you’re familiar with at least half of this, you’re old too. Congratulations!

Malaika Jabali

Malaika Jabali is an attorney, writer, and activist with a J.D. and M.S. from Columbia University. When she's not getting a superfluous amount of degrees, she is defending A.I.'s practice rant, knucking if you bucking, and reviewing the meme calendar to ensure its accuracy. You can follow her on the twitter at @MalaikaJabali.

  • Ari

    With his fine self. LAWDhamercy.

    • IwanttobeaRizpah

      That part I never understood. He is regulah lookin. But to each his own.

      • Ari

        It’s all in the eyes. He has a boyish look about him – couple that with the crossover, s h i t talking, (psuedo-) rap career and cornrows and you have that perfect bad boy cuteness (of the early 2000s).

        • IwanttobeaRizpah

          ?.nope. Still don’t see it. *continues to squint*

          • Ari

            That’s how I feel about Idris. :)

            • IwanttobeaRizpah

              i respek dat.

              • L8Comer


      • L8Comer

        Dem lipssss tho… I wanna see what that mouf do

        • IwanttobeaRizpah


    • A.I. will still be dressing the same at 60.

      • Tyrell Holmes

        i can see that…I waiting to see what he gonna wear when he gets inducted to the Hall of Fame in a few months

        • Same suit he was drafted in wearing a Philly fitted hat.

          • Other_guy13


      • Ari

        Prolly so.

      • brothaskeeper

        It’s like B-ballers get stuck in a fashion epoch after retirement. Jordan still wears the oversized zoot suits, dad jeans, and mandals. Clyde Frazier still dresses like he’s on the set of Super Fly. Can you imagine what Russell Westbrook is gonna be wearing when he’s 60?

        • Clyde Frazier is still fly. I wouldn’t leave him in a room with my mama.

          • brothaskeeper

            Granted. But a butterfly collar STILL in 2016?

            • That’s why it’s fly. You can’t find that just anywhere.

              • brothaskeeper


          • Conrad Bess

            One of the best comments on anything, by anyone EVER.

      • Question

        He probably has no idea what size he actually he is. He likely really believes he IS a 2XL.

  • Other_guy13
  • You in Atlanta sis, you know dudes still wearing Girbaud jeans.

  • BJenks

    #4: I swear I get crazy looks every time I bring it up. I distinctly remember back in the day folk were debating who would have the better career Ashanti or Beyonce. I also remember Bey receiving quite a bit of hate and folk not thinking she would last without Destiny’s Child, but the Bey Hive acts like this never happened. I almost thought I was making stuff up for a minute until now. Thank you.

    • IsitFridayyet?

      People also like to act like Ashanti and Ciara are not talented and were never popular.

      • Dcetstyle

        Well, I remember the Beyoncé vs Ashanti debate. I always, let’s just say, doubted Ashanti’s talent.

      • IwanttobeaRizpah

        I’ve always liked Ashanti. Ciara is a talente dancer not singer.

      • is ashanti talented? she has nice thighs. I know that.

        • IsitFridayyet?

          I think that she is talented. Can she sing like Whitney? Of course not, but her voice is very melodic.

      • Malaika Jabali

        true. I actually looooovvvved Ashanti. Like, obsessed. And I also thought I was Ciara for the entire 2004 and 2005. I only knew how to dance with my lip curled up because of her. She’s easily among the top 3 dancer/singers in pop history. I would argue top, but I don’t want the 70s babies challenging me to a Janet/Paula Abdul dance battle.

        • IsitFridayyet?

          Ciara’s Promise video made me wish that I had the ability to dance.

          • Malaika Jabali

            Her greatest vid. She’s so so good.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          +1 to lip curled dancing.

    • That Guy

      Half the Bey Hive is barely old enough to remember Destiny Child’s heyday

    • Amen

      lol….the early 2000s were a dark time

    • There was a time, it was easier to find Solange stans, than it was to find Beyonce stans. The Solange-Hive (those who were taking breaks between Erykah Badu albums) used to be vicious in their own right lol.

      • Malaika Jabali

        cackling at this last sentence, parenthetical included.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      behive mostly was like in diapers when this discussion was going on .

  • Oh I’m old…enough to know A.I. > Steph Curry. Steph needs 3 more hot years before I’ll entertain debate.

    • Other_guy13


    • Damon Young

      Career-wise, definitely. But Iverson was never as good as Steph was this year.

      • Other_guy13

        Was anyone?

        • Oluseyi

          He had probably the single best regular season ever, true. And if he erupts in Cleveland and earns a Finals MVP, he’s in the conversation for best full season of all time.

          • Other_guy13

            Agreed…but I wonder if he can keep this pace

      • A.I. never was on a team this good. Steph isn’t playing 2 guard on a team headed by Eric Snow out there.

        • Oluseyi

          Shout to Aaron McKie.

          • Congrats. You are the first person to say that EVER.

            • Oluseyi


            • Brandon Allen

              Gotta give love to George Lynch for starting and being the worst dude on that team.

          • brothaskeeper

            Random: Speaking of late 90s PGs, I was watching the Roots reboot, and the son of Sedale Threatt was Tom the Blacksmith.

            • Oluseyi

              Dang, Threatt? Deep in the crates there.

            • Other_guy13

              SMH BK

              • brothaskeeper

                For real! Kid was the spitting image! People don’t know that Threatt took Magic’s spot after his HIV announcement.

                • Other_guy13

                  It’s scary how close they resemble…he looks like his son for real.

            • Cleojonz

              I had to google Sedale, I didn’t remember him, his kid looks like he birthed him his very self.

        • Other_guy13

          Eric Snow wasn’t bad though.

          • He wasn’t turrible.

            • Other_guy13

              That’s my point…he did his job and didn’t suck at it.

          • Oluseyi

            He was an NBA journeyman. He was unremarkable. He wasn’t even as good as Charlie Ward.

          • Compared to todays PGs, Eric Snow would barely be a backup on most playoff teams.

            • Other_guy13

              I have no rebuttal

          • Brandon Allen

            Eric Snow was butt.

        • If A.I. had a Shaun Livingston (A tall PG who could guard wings and run the point), he’d probably would had won a ring in Phili.

          • Andie

            Or as Livingston would say “Analytics”

          • He just needed a Robin to his Batman.

            • brothaskeeper

              Maybe if Kwame had gone D-1 instead of going straight to the pros, stayed a couple of years for his game to mature, Sixers tank the next two seasons after reaching the Finals, ping ponds bounce correctly, and Croce drafts Kwame. Just wondering.

              • I wonder if Larry Brown would have successfully converted him to PG, would he have been better off.

                • It probably wouldn’t have helped, because he would have needed to be surrounded by a lot more talent. Generally, when A.I. had washed up talent, like Glen Robinson and Webber, his numbers were far more efficient and his assists went up. He just needed a greater distribution of talent around him.

                  Another thing about the NBA game that has changed, is the defense rules incentivized players who could play one-on-one vs. off the ball shooters, since it was much easier to do ball denial (this is why I actually think Kevin Durant would’ve struggled in the 90’s/early 2000 era, since he allows lots of players to prevent from getting the ball), so it’s unlikely that even if A.I. played point, he would’ve had a ton of guys to pass to.

                  • True, but you can bring in talent to a PG better than for someone that is going to shoot 40 times a night.

                    • True, I always wished that A.I. had gone to the Nets rather than VC, to play with K.Mart and Kidd.

                    • Other_guy13

                      He was always one player away…nobody could touch him though.

                • brothaskeeper

                  No way AI would move to point. He NEEDED to score.

              • DG

                Eh…I think Kwame’s game (or lack thereof) just would’ve been exposed that much earlier. Remember, he came into the league at the height of the “high school wunderkind” era…not long before the league instituted its age minimum. He basically saw what Kobe, KG, and a few others were doing, and thought he could do the same…he was sorely mistaken

                • brothaskeeper

                  True. But how much could he have thrived under a Coach Thompson, Coach K or Billy Donovan? If you can make half-agile oak trees like Bryant Reeves or Cherokee Parks NBA-ready, what might the possibilities have been for Kwame?

          • Freebird

            Put AI on any team not the sixers who lost a final during his time and they win. Pound for pound best of his generation.

      • Steph has never had to carry a team.

        • BlueWave1

          Carrying a team is overrated. I’m sure LeBron would agree with the way these Finals are playing out.

        • Question


    • #Accurate

  • Kylroy

    “Anyway, in honor of the greatest pound-for-pound NBA player of all time —
    though can we still say this with Steph Curry around? Can we create
    another category for A.I. just for the culture?”

    I’d offer “inch-for-inch”, but that suggests a completely different kind of comparison.

  • IsitFridayyet?

    For some strange reason, I missed Allen Iverson’s entire career. Any who, Happy Birthday to him.

  • Oluseyi

    People are so quick to feel old. It’s a fascinating preoccupation of American/European culture. 36 isn’t old, it’s just grown.

    • Deeds

      Yup, probably because of our obsession with people that are late teens/early twenties.

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    • IwanttobeaRizpah

      Oh please! It’s not just a Western thing even Africa, Asia, Uzbekistan

      • That’s not true, people like getting old in Africa

        – Two big pieces of Chicken
        – Slightly more respect from Parents
        – People give you a lot more money when you get married, compared to when you just get good grades
        – You can abuse people younger than you, and slap them if they respond with shade or sarcasm

        • You are absolutely right.. Being an elder is HIGHLY revered.

        • Betty’s Babygirl

          Here in the great U.S.A. we eat our young and discard our old. That’s the American way! My people are from the south and thank God many of the enslaved’s traditions survived. Your elders were/are considered sacrosanct and command respect even if they crazy rude.

        • Ezekiel Chiagozie Nwafor

          Lord have mercy if you don’t fill the cup to the top.

        • IwanttobeaRizpah

          I disagree. Maybe older generations. Not now.

      • Oluseyi

        It is definitely not an African thing. All respect and authority accrue to the elder in African traditions, to the point where kids seriously argue over being minutes apart and insisting on its leverage.

        Without the preoccupation with youth, aging doesn’t carry any social stigma.

        • Betty’s Babygirl

          Chile! My mother was the youngest of 15 and the older ones LOVED to tell the younger ones what they thought was their b-day wasn’t. It was the day their father went to town to register their birth with the town clerk of where they lived in NC. The arguments were comical to us but oh so serious for them. Obviously they were all born at home.

          • Oluseyi

            Thank you! It’s something that more traditionally African groups have preserved here in the US, but it also used to be more broadly common. I think television and the desire to market notions of unattainable beauty were core to valorizing youth over all else.

            The preoccupation with youth also dovetails, I think, with the stark individualism and emphasis on nuclear family only that is currently characteristic in the West. If you define yourself in isolation from your community and larger family, then you logically value your own physical ability and rue your decline, even as you ignore the social respect and influence that age and relationship offer.

            Not that our “gerontocracy” doesn’t have its downsides. It is too easy for age-revering cultures to ossify and stagnate, dismissing the innovations and novelties brought forth by youth as frivolous. There’s a need for balance, as with all things.

            Lastly, the Western fixation on youth perpetuates a false narrative of failure. If you haven’t become a global icon, a baller, a capitalisttitan of industry by 29, then you’ve “failed”—ignoring the fact that the average age of Nobel Prize winners, at the time they made the contribution that earned them the prize, is 48.

            And I know I’m way overthinking this, but it strikes me constantly just how preoccupied the popular culture in the US is with youth, to its own detriment. Too quick to elevate the opinions of overgrown children without perspective, and too quick to discard the wise and mature as “old.”

            • Betty’s Babygirl

              “And I know I’m way overthinking …”
              No you’re not. Your depth of analysis displays your intelligience and how important family structure is. It can have everything to do with how one views the world. I’m old school and a woman of a certain age raised by southern Resilients in the North.

              I have 1st cousins old enough to be my parent but it wasn’t allowed to call them by their first names. They were addressed as cousin “so and so”. Respect was the name of the game in my fam and I’m a better person for it. Til this day my 3 sisters and I are extremely close to our extended family especially since all but one of the original 15 is still living. She suffers from dementia but we still address her as if she was her regular self.

              I’m my late mother’s youngest so I got the best of both worlds: the respect for my elders and for those younger than I. I just emailed my oldest daughters a link to a Forbes article about millennials should stop apologizing for switching jobs so often. I was a purposeful parent well aware of the world my children would face. Therefore, I sacrificed their innocence on the altar of knowledge. I saw myself as raising little people who grow up to become adults. I not only respect their decisions I encourage them to stand strong in their convictions. No stagnation here if I can help it. My children are tight with each other and their extended family.

              • Oluseyi

                First, thank you kindly!

                Your balance with your children is wonderful: showing, teaching and expecting respect, but also encouraging independence and novel thinking. (And it’s so true about apologizing for switching jobs, even for this [just] pre-millennial.) It’s what I strive to teach my own child, every day—and, credit where due, what I received from my own parents.

                • Betty’s Babygirl

                  My pleasure! I am sincerely humbled. God blessed me with “woke and purposeful parents.” I learned from my parents all the nuances of respect, who should automatically receive it and how to earn and if necessary demand your own respect.

                  They showed my sisters and I how to navigate this world without diminishing or compromising our Resiliency. I’m just passing it on to the next generation. I’ve made some adjustments due to relevancy but the core remains the same.

            • A nation preoccupied if not obsessed with constant change is not going to favor tradition. It’s going to favor the young because they are the most comfortable and open to change, as well as adapting to it (mobile devices for instance.) This is one of those pick your poison kind of things.

              • Oluseyi

                I like that analysis. I wonder if one path nets out better; the constancy of change in life may make emphasizing a culture that is primed for it yield outsize economic dividends, but suffer primarily social costs (born by the elderly).

            • Conrad Bess

              Don’t they say youth is wasted on the young?

  • I can still wear my girbaud jeans…. to cut my grass. It was surprisingly durable denim. I’ve gained 50lbs and grown 2 inches since high school and STILL need to wear a belt with them. Side note: It’s 50lbs of mostly muscle (hypersonic metabolism is still in tact). My waist is a 32/33 now, I wore 34 in the waist in high school #foolishness

    • L8Comer

      Hottoddin in these e-streets today lolol

      • Still don’t know what “hottoddin” is and I’ve been on here since Nov. All I know is that it involves Todd.

        • L8Comer

          As I understand it hottodin is like a humble brag on crack… “50 pounds of muscle… My waist is a 32… My high school jeans still fit, matter fact they’re a bit loose… Etc lol”

  • Kris

    This just made me feel really old. I guess if A.I. is old, then I am too since he was born only 5 months before me. Sigh!

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