Iverson among Larry Brown's motivational tools

Posted: November 04, 2013

DALLAS - Two weeks ago, Larry Brown told his Southern Methodist players they'd have a guest addressing them in the locker room before practice.

"One of my kids, Keith Frazier, the McDonald's all-American, he broke down when I told him Allen was coming," Brown said.

Brown already knew that Allen Iverson hadn't lost his appeal with young players.

"The two years after I got fired from Charlotte . . . everywhere I went [going to college practices], I would talk to the team, and after I was getting ready to leave, every kid would come up and ask about Allen. I'm serious," Brown said. "I can't walk through an airport when somebody doesn't come up to me. They don't know who I am all the time, but they'll say: 'You coached Allen.' "

Brown repeated one of his favorite lines: "I know God put me here to coach Allen Iverson. Even though I had a lot of issues and frustrations with him, I cherish being part of his life and having him a part of my life."

When Iverson, responding to a long-standing invitation, talked to SMU's team, "the kids were spellbound, and I was . . . the way he talked about his career," Brown said. "He was humble, and he gave them some things. He explained the 'practice' thing."

Yes, Iverson talked about practice.

"He said that was just a small part of his press conference," Brown said. "He went in there because he wanted to let everyone know I told him he wasn't going to be traded. He wanted to get that across, how much being in Philly meant to him. He told the kids, don't ever talk when you're angry."

Brown added, "He talked to the kids about how there were some things he'd done in his life that he wished he had a chance to change, but that being said, he was true to himself."

Somebody asked Iverson who he thought was the best player.

"He said himself," Brown said. "And he said, 'I don't mean that being disrespectful, or thinking that you think I was being arrogant. That's the way I played, in my heart. That's how I had to feel.' "

"That was our best practice, after he spoke," said former Iverson teammate and current SMU basketball staffer Eric Snow.

No, Iverson didn't stick around and watch practice.


mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus

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