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//NBA superstar Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers is the team’s franchise player, the number one pick of the draft, a mercurial scorer who won many individual awards. In the 2000-20001 season he won the MVP award, his coach Larry Brown won the coach of the year, and the team stormed to the NBA Finals, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers. The following season, he couldn’t take the team past first round when they lost to Boston. The coach and management talked publicly about trading him. Why trade your best player and risk mediocrity? Iverson wouldn’t practice. Coach Brown said: “My problems with Allen have been the same for six years," Brown said. "I love him, his competitiveness. The issues are things he has control over, and he’ll have a problem with me if he doesn’t take care of it. He has to be at practice. He has to set an example. He knows that if he’s willing to do that, he’ll be a Sixer for life.?



Iverson did not get it. He defended himself, “I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re in here talking about practice. Not a game; we’re talking about practice. How silly is that? I know I’m supposed to be there. I know I’m supposed to lead by example. I know that. I know it’s important, but we’re talking about practice. ... How the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing? They are supposed to be used to playing with me anyway. So my game is going to deteriorate if I don’t practice with those guys?" (To practice or not? USA Today 5/9/02)

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