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Sep 15

Dream Team-Sports Talk With Anthony Bonelli And More

Sometimes people do not appreciate that just because an athlete has undeniable talent does not mean that they will always reach the pinnacle of success. Take Allen Iverson for example, yes he did amazing things on the basketball court, or as he liked to call it the dance floor, but it takes more than just talent to achieve success. Success is not a solo venture, a person must have a group of people who believe in their abilities, people who will stand by them in good times and bad, and people who will push them to do better, even when the person does not think that is possible.

Iverson, who was enshrined as a member of the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class this past weekend, certainly understands that his journey to success was not a solo venture. During the Hall of Fame Press Conference and Jacket Presentation, Iverson was asked how the team of people around him helped him get to Springfield, Massachusetts and the Basketball Hall of Fame. The person that basketball fans know as “The Answer,” because of his ability to respond to adversity, responded to this question while showing a great amount of emotion saying, “That is the only thing that got me here…”, fighting back tears he continued, “…all my coaches, all my teammates, and all the sacrifices they made to make me a better player.” “Coach Brown…,” referring to Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown who coached Iverson in Philadelphia, “…molded me into an MVP and a Hall of Fame player.”

It’s ironic that Iverson played the majority of his Hall of Fame career in the City of Brotherly Love, because love is what drove Iverson to play at his best every night, meaning his love for the game and the love that fans displayed towards him. Love is one of the most complex emotions that the human body can display. The Philadelphia 76ers’ fans sure showed Iverson a lot of love as he walked up to the podium at Springfield’s Symphony Hall to deliver his Enshrinement Speech. I have been attending the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for the past six years, I have never heard a louder ovation for an incoming Hall of ‘s Famer as Iverson received. You could see that Iverson was overcome with emotion because of the love that the most misunderstood fans of Philadelphia showed him. As fickle as fans may be at times, athletes are most times driven by fans’ support. Even though fans may not ever get a chance to meet their favorite athletes, whether they know it or not they are definitely a part of an athlete’s success.

When a basketball fan sees or hears the phrase Dream Team, I am sure it invokes thoughts of the 1992 USA Olympic Basketball Team, which included names like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and several other Hall of Fame NBA players. People do not realize that we all have a Dream Team, whether they have ever played basketball or not. Our individual Dream Team includes those people who believe in us and guide us toward success.

I know as a journalist I am supposed to write from a neutral perspective, however I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to say thank you to my Dream Team. I may not be able to use a crossover dribble to go by Michael Jordan, and I may not be able to express myself on the dance floor as Iverson did, but I have certainly been fortunate enough to turn some of my dreams into reality. Everyone’s journey to success is different, but there are similar things that must occur in order for a person to succeed. Individuals on a person’s Dream Team must make sacrifices to help that person reach the pinnacle of success. Many people in my life have made numerous sacrifices to help me succeed. I believe Iverson said it perfectly when he said, “They made it so easy for me to believe in myself because I didn’t want to let them down.” I urge everyone to always believe in their abilities, and to never forget to say thank you to your Dream Team!

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