這是 JockBio的 Allen Iverson Biography,
這是作為一個 Sixers Fan, 我想要做的事情，
感謝 Hanway 的大力贊助，
What does it take for a little man to dominate in the NBA? In Allen Iverson’s case, the answer is outrageous talent, in-your-face confidence and the heart of a giant. No one in the league can guard him off the dribble, no one his size goes to the hoop with more authority, and no one pours in points like he does when he's in the highlight zone. It has been a long, strange journey for Allen, who started as a football star and ended up as hip-hop’s favorite hoopster. This is his story…
一個矮個子，該怎麼統治NBA?以Allen Iverson來說，我只能說"答案就是"：如鬼似魅的天份、氣勢逼人的信心、還有巨人般大的心臟。在聯盟裡面，只要AI手裡有球，誰都殺不了他..不是，是誰都守不住；身材像他一樣的人沒有誰的上籃更強勢；當他手感一來，沒人能夠灌進更多分數。從學生時代的美式足球明星，到現在嘻哈樂壇最喜愛的籃球明星，對於 Allen 來說，是漫長且奇妙的旅途，這就是他的故事....
Allen Iverson was born June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia. Allen’s mother, Ann, was 15 years old when she had him. His biological father, also a teenager, didn’t stick around, but another man, Michael Freeman, moved in with Ann and helped support the family from the time Allen was a toddler. Michael and Ann had two daughters, Brandy and Iiesha. Michael worked at the Norfolk shipyards and Ann, lacking a high school diploma, did what she could to find part-time employment.
AI 是 1975/6/7 出生在維吉尼亞的漢普頓。 Allen 的媽媽， Ann Iverson ，十五歲的時候就已經懷了他，但他那個同樣年輕的生父在 Allen Iverson 還是個嬰兒的時候卻沒有陪在他們身邊，而是另外一個同居人 Michael Freeman ，支撐著這個家庭。 Michael跟 Ann 另外又生了兩個小女兒， Brandy & Liesha 。Michael 跟 Ann 一起在諾福克的船塢區工作，在缺乏高中文憑的情況下四處打零工為生。
Ends sometimes did not meet. Allen remembers the power and phone being shut off on more than one occasion during his childhood, and a burst pipe once trickled raw sewage for a month into the apartment they occupied in a rundown complex in Hampton. Allen’s mother was a pillar of strength through these years, telling her kids again and again that things would get better, and that nothing was out of their reach if they gave everything they had.
家裏入不敷出是常態。在 Allen 開始懂事後，他記得小時候他們家家不只一次被停電停話，破裂的排水管曾經連續一個月佔據他們的國宅公寓。AI的媽媽在那段時間是他們家唯一的支柱，一次又一次的說他們的狀況會變得更好，而且只要他們付出一切，沒有達不到的目標。
Infused with this confidence, Allen began to think he had a future in football. He played the game faster, better and smarter than anyone in his grade school. When tacklers hit him, they bounced off; when Allen tackled guys, they went flying. Although his football hero was Walter Payton, Allen’s position was quarterback. He had a great arm, and a natural feel for the passing game. He was at his best when he dropped back and the whole field was swirling around him. He loved the strategy and the contact and the violence of the sport.
在這樣的信念之下，Allen開始認為他可以在美式足球的領域中有卓越的表現。在學校足球場上，他比全校任何人更快、更強、更聰明。當防守員攻擊他的時候，他們會被彈開；當AI身為防守組的時候，對手總是被撞飛。雖然他的偶像是 Walter Payton，但是 Allen 是一個四分衛。他有很強的臂力，配上優異的傳球天賦。當他退後幾步，將全場納入視野，他比誰都出色是他。他喜歡戰術組織跟肢體接觸，還有這項運動的碰撞。
Freeman thought Allen might also be a star in basketball. Hoping to get the boy interested in the game, he would take him down to the playground after work and point out the best players. Allen was not interested. To him, basketball seemed “soft.” When his mother bought him one of the first-ever pairs of Air Jordans and enrolled him in a hoops camp at the age of nine, he cried every step of the way. Allen’s day brightened up when he discovered several of his football friends were attending the same camp. He returned with a smile and thanked his mother for sending him.
Freeman 覺得 Allen 應該也可以是個籃球明星。為了使他喜歡上籃球，他帶他到籃球場而且指出他覺得最好的球員。但是 Allen 並不對籃球感到興趣，因為他認為籃球太"軟弱無力"。九歲的時候，他的媽媽替他買了他的第一雙Air Jordan並且幫他報名參加籃球營，他一路上哭個不停。但Allen發現他足球隊的某些好友也參加了同樣的營隊中的時候，他心情終於好起來了。他帶著笑容回家，感謝媽媽把他送來這裡。
Between basketball and football, Allen had enough to keep him off the increasingly dangerous streets of Hampton, where crack was ravaging the neighborhood. When he was tempted to hang out with the wrong kids, another boy from the neighborhood, Tony Clark, would rat him out to his mom. Tony, who was seven years older, saw something special in Allen and decided to become his unofficial big brother.
Around 1990, Allen lost the two most important men in his life. Tony was killed by his girlfriend when an argument escalated out of control. And Freeman was caught dealing drugs and given a stiff sentence. Ann, who had just given birth to Iiesha, was having health problems and, without insurance, her doctor visits and medication were draining the family’s finances. Their situation grew more desperate with Freeman in lock-up.
Allen was in his freshman year at Bethel High School at the time. At age 15, he had already established himself as the Bruins' best all-around athlete, and he was holding his own in class, but the family’s woes were just too much to bear. He quit sports and stopped going to school, and started hanging out, repeating the pattern he had witnessed countless times in his neighborhood.
當年 Allen 15歲，正好是貝索高中的高一新鮮人。他已經打響一 Bruins'最佳全能球員的招牌，而且維持好自己的成績，但他家庭的災難實在太過沈重。他放棄運動，蹺課逃學，重複從小就在身邊不斷上演的悲劇人生。
Then, one day, the light flickered on. Allen woke up and realized that his mother and two sisters had no one to depend on but him. It dawned on him that he was the man of the house. Allen mapped out a long-term plan that would put food on the table, money in the bank, and get the family out of poverty for good. He would work his butt off for three years, earn a football scholarship, tear it up in Division I and then leave college early with an NFL contract in his pocket. It meant five more years of living close to the bone, but now, for the first time, he saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
During Allen’s sophomore year at Bethel, the money ran out and his mother was evicted from their apartment. The only housing option left was on the other side of town, and would add another 45 minutes each way to Allen’s school commute. Ann decided her son should stay with a family friend, Gary Moore—who had coached Allen in youth football—until she could regroup and move back into the neighborhood. Moore used the opportunity to fine-tune Allen’s daily routine: Get up early, eat a good breakfast, leave for school on time, get your homework done when you get home, and go to sleep at a decent hour. Moore also talked football with Allen, emphasizing the connection between making good decisions on the field and off it.
(to be continued...)