By the time McNabb landed with the Eagles as a first-round pick in 1999, Iverson had more than 400 steals for the Sixers. McNabb knew that. He had followed Iverson's career and was a big fan.
He still is.
Asked if he plans to attend Iverson's resurrection as a Sixer on Monday, McNabb replied, "Yep."
Asked if he would take fellow Iverson fan Michael Vick, McNabb's current backup, McNabb replied, "Probably."
Vick, of course, has his own ties to Iverson.
Vick followed Iverson as a Virginia high school quarterback legend. As often is the case, Vick's legend doesn't quite equal Iverson's . . . even in Vick's mind.
"I have to give it to Allen, man," said Vick, who plans to communicate with Iverson soon. "Allen had some unbelievable film. Unbelievable. I've seen him do some things the average individual can't do."
The same can be said of both Vick and McNabb. Given their preference, the bulky McNabb and the slight Iverson might well have switched careers.
As it was, McNabb and Iverson shared a rise to superstardom in a city that often seemed overly critical of their performances. They commiserated even as they shined.
"We spent time together talking. I've known him personally," McNabb said. "He has a passion for the game. He has a passion for winning. The success that he's had here and the excitement that he brought to the Philadelphia area, they haven't had that pretty much since Andrew Toney and Dr. J. And, for it seemed like every time that he stepped out on the court, you didn't see too many red, empty seats in the stadium. Now it seems like you can pretty much go sit anywhere you want."
Given the spike in ticket sales, that won't be the case Monday. McNabb and Vick will have to stay in their assigned seats.