As much as Allen Iverson shone with the Philadelphia 76ers early in his NBA career, it wasn’t always sunshine and roses behind the scenes. AI constantly clashed with Sixers head coach Larry Brown, largely because the two characters fundamentally disagreed on how the game of basketball should be played.
Though Iverson won three scoring titles and an MVP award during Brown’s tenure at Philadelphia, he accomplished those feats while ignoring his coach’s advice. That, Iverson says, is the biggest regret of his career.
Allen Iverson is still haunted by his biggest regret
Iverson doesn’t have much regret from his NBA career, which is understandable considering he’s won four scoring titles, won the MVP award in 2001, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. The only bullet point missing from AI’s resume is a championship, but that’s not what he regrets most.
In a recent interview with Vernon Maxwell about the new maxed out Podcast, Iverson revealed his biggest regret at how he treated Larry Brown early in his career.
“I love him to death, man,” Iverson said. “I don’t have too many regrets in my life, on and off the pitch. I feel like a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t make it twice. You learn from a lot of shit that happens in your life. I’m so comfortable in my own skin. I am happy with the man I am becoming and my maturation. If I died today and had the chance to come back, I would want to come back as me. I mean what’s wrong with being you? All others have been included.”
I just felt like if I had a little regret about anything to do with my career, I wouldn’t have played tug of war [Brown] early in my career. I didn’t know any better. I’ve tried to mature as a player and as a man. He wanted everything I wanted for me and our team and I didn’t take constructive criticism like I should and that’s definitely a lesson all young guys out there who have a great coach like me need to learn would have.
Brown coached Iverson in Philadelphia for six years. The 76ers won 28 playoff games during his tenure and reached the 2001 NBA Finals but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. In 2003, Brown left the Sixers for the Detroit Pistons, winning a championship in his first year at the helm.
Allen Iverson credits Larry Brown with his career in the Hall of Fame
Iverson was too young and naïve to realize at the time that Brown’s tough love brought out the best in him as a player. Now that he’s had time to reflect on their on-and-off relationship, AI credits his former head coach with making his Hall of Famer career possible.
“When I started buying everything he was selling, it took me from being a talented player, a great talent, to an apparent Hall of Famer, MVP. And our team got a lot better as I grew,” Iverson said. “Call the coach, man. i love you coach I owe him a lot for who I was as a basketball player and more importantly who I am as a man.”