Allen Iverson tells story of why John Thompson isn’t to be trifled with
Philadelphia 76ers Hall of Famer Allen Iverson has always deeply respected John Thompson, his head coach during his college years in Georgetown University. Through a heartfelt column that he wrote on The Players’ Tribune, Iverson tells a story of why Thompson isn’t someone to be trifled with.
And then once we were off that floor, and it was just Coach back on the court? He calmly told those refs, he said, “Hey, no disrespect. No disrespect to y’all. But here’s what’s going to happen: If you don’t get those four pieces of sh*t outta here, and I’m talking immediately — we’re gonna be forfeiting this game. Understood?”
They understood, man.
It happened during a road game against Villanova where Allen Iverson saw four men in handcuffs and orange jumpsuits holding up a sign that didn’t sit well with the then 19-year old Georgetown star. Thompson knew right away what was happening and immediately took control of the situation.
Thompson, a two-time NBA champion with the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics, was also instrumental in shaping up Iverson’s life. During AI’s Hall of Fame speech, he expressed his gratitude to his college coach.
“I want to thank Coach Thompson. For saving my life. For giving me the opportunity. I was recruited by every school in the country for football and basketball. And an incident happened in high school and all that was taken away. No other teams, no other schools were recruiting me anymore. My mom went to Georgetown and begged him to give me a chance. And he did.”
Even though he was not recruited by NCAA teams, Allen Iverson spent two very productive seasons under the mentorship of Thompson in Georgetown before being drafted 1st overall during the 1996 NBA Draft.