When we launched earlier this year, we knew that what we set out to do was ambitious. While we never fully disclosed our plans, I can assure you that what you’ve seen from us the last few months is not the full realization of those plans. We knew it had to be like this. Continue reading
Two years ago, I attended my first live Avett Brothers concert – one of their annual New Year's Eve shows, this one a rare venture outside of North Carolina in Greenville, South Carolina's Bi-Lo Center1. Though I'd been casually introduced to the Avett Brothers' music a few years prior, it took me some time to warm to them, finally slipping into my realm of obsession in the year leading up to my first New Year's Eve experience2. Continue reading
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
I found myself with a some down time recently, and my co-editor mentioned a review of some fall beers may be in order. Little did he know I don’t generally enjoy seasonal beers and while fall is my favorite season, its beers elicit some pretty strong responses from me. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: JB & I come from different worlds. That is, our respective alma maters are rivals. Back in March, we put our differences aside to show some mutual respect for past greats from our respective school’s basketball program. What follows is the pigskin edition of a similar exchange. Enjoy. Continue reading
One of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game retired, at least officially, yesterday. Allen Iverson, dubbed the Answer, was the second greatest small guard, to play the game behind the wrecker of franchises and MJ combatant, Isiah Thomas. Iverson was classified as a point guard, but that was in name only. He was a scorer and volume shooter, averaging 26.7 points per game on 21.8 shots. He did manage to average 6.2 assists per game, which is not great for a point guard and has partially contributed to his reputation as a me-first guard. However, when comparing him to the equally great, Kobe Bryant who averaged 25.5 points per game on 19.6 attempts per game (Kobe also averaged 4.8 assists per game), his numbers don’t look as egregious. While basketball is arguably the most individual of the team sports, its hard not to take into account teammates. Kobe has played with two of the greatest centers to EVER play (Shaq and Pau), the greatest clutch shooter of all time (Robert Horry), and was coached by THE GREATEST coach of all time (Phil Jackson). Iverson on the other hand, played with an ornery Jerry Stackhouse, Aaron McKie, George Lynch, a washed-up Chris Webber, Dikembe Mutombo, Eric Snow, Matt Geiger, and was coached by another ornery character, Larry Brown1. I am in no way comparing the two, but simply attempting to provide some perspective when reflecting on his career.
His peak and best season occurred in 2000-2001, when he led a dog of a team (again, Matt Geiger was involved) to the NBA Finals. He played 52 minutes in the opening game scoring 48 points and defeating the juggernaut that was the LA Lakers. Team talent, kicked in and the Lakers rolled the 76ers in the next 4 games, but Iverson was a warrior averaging 47.4 minutes a game, 35.6 points on 40 percent shooting, and 3.8 assists (again, Matt Geiger).
However, with all of that, it was Iverson’s approach to the game that resonates the most to me when looking back on his career. Iverson is clearly from Generation X (born in 1975), but reflected a changing landscape that would later be attributed to the millennials (though I am not sure any of it matters when you grow up in the roughest parts of the Tidewater). Iverson approached every game as if it was his last, but he also did things his way. He practiced as hard as he thought he needed to, or often not at all. It was difficult for sports journalist used to watching MJ and Magic deal with a young buck not willing to put in the “off the court” work that was required to be a star. However, when he performed on the court, they made excuses like not getting his teammates involved (I feel like a broken record here, but Matt Geiger) or pointed to his shooting percentage. Iverson was not afraid of hard work as is clear by the way he would throw his body at the basket, but he did not buy into the boomers mold of hard work for hard work’s sake. He symbolized the shift in the US from boomers and Gen-X’ers who worked 60-80 hour weeks in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to millennials who have no fear of hard work, but are not going to sit in the office because its expected. Iverson paved the way for a generation of players who could turn their focus away from basketball and not be constantly chided for it. Iverson owned his persona and his way, and for that I believe his nickname was truly fitting.
- Editor’s Note: It’s worth noting there are three UNC “guys” in that list.↩