But Zirin writes as well as anyone could about what Iverson was about, and what was projected on him: "The AI debates don't merely challenge the artificial divide between sports and politics: they openly and proudly mock them: what effect does "hip hop culture" have on the game? Why is one man's entourage another man's posse? How do we explain the dress code, the age requirements, the media scrutiny, and all the latent -- or even open -- hostility between new jack players and the commissioner's office, the press, and the people NBA commissioner David Stern calls "The ticket buying fans"? AI was at the center of all of these storms. And he did it with style and substance: the most dominant six footer in NBA history with the tats to match."
You don't read Zirin? You should. Also, courtesy of Zirin, is some evidence of Iverson the Bad Guy Who Almost Gangsterfied the League, crying as he talks about his Scholarship program: