In this 2005 interview with Stephen A Smith, Allen Iverson warned LeBron James to wait for the media to start hating him.
Allen Iverson was always a straight shooter. That got him into trouble at some points, but it also earned him the respect and love of his peers. Iverson was the coolest player of his time, by far, but he also had a ton of run-ins with the media. Everyone remembers the ‘Practice’ rant, for instance.
Iverson was himself the subject of criminal proceedings from the time he was in high school. He got past all that negativity without ever compromising on his lifestyle. But he made sure to advise his successors, LeBron and co, not to take that route.
At the time of this interview, James had only just turned 21 and yet to make the playoffs. But young superstars like him, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony were beginning to get noticed.
Iverson’s advice to LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade
On ‘Quite Frankly’ hosted by Stephen A Smith, Iverson was asked as to what advice he would give to the newly upcoming players of the time. Iverson made an impassioned request to them to ‘learn from his mistakes’:
(2005) Allen Iverson talks about how he’d rather not be in the league than be fake. And the advice he gave a young LeBron:
“They love you now, but please believe they’re waiting.” 💯 pic.twitter.com/5yxiRpGR4n
— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) July 22, 2019
“Learn from my mistakes. Learn from all the stuff you’ve seen Allen Iverson do wrong, that rubbed everybody the wrong way. If you don’t wanna go through what I go through right now, as far as being the bad guy in the NBA and all that. Be fake then. That’s what I’m telling you.”
Stephen A interjected right there:
“But you’re not fake.”
Pat came Iverson’s reply:
“I’d rather not be in the NBA. I’m not living my life like that.”
“But why tell them that if you’re not going to do the same thing?”
“I want them to do whatever it takes for them to be successful. I always let LeBron know – “Dawg, they love you right now. But please believe me, the first incident, the first time something happens, they are waiting, man! They’re waiting. They’re waiting man.”
“I hate to bring it up, but look at the Kobe situation? All the time, he’s the number one to hate in people’s heart.”