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Iverson living too close to the edge

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

July 15
I'm wondering when someone will be able to reach Allen Iverson?

Everyone in the world of basketball has been able to reach him. There is no doubt he's one of the top players in the sport. The magical show he puts on is incredible. His superb quickness and explosiveness are a joy to watch. I love the intensity he plays with on the court.

Allen, you have to learn to make good decisions about life. You are still a young man, so hopefully you can find the right road.

Pound for pound, you can make a case for him as the toughest player in the game today. Talent on the court is not an issue; go ask the Lakers how Iverson gave them trouble in the 2001 NBA Finals.

The problem is, he's living on the edge. There is no doubt that here in America, the greatest country in the world, you are innocent until proven guilty. Iverson has not been convicted of any crime in relation to his latest, unfortunate situation.

Why should Iverson even be in the middle of a story like this? When will he understand the responsibilities that come with being a young man and a father? He sits at press conferences with his children, yet I have to question what kind of an example is he when he runs around with a gun in his waistband, busting into an apartment in a rage.

Allen, it is time to look in the mirror and to start growing up. There are a lot of people in his corner, starting with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. He and Billy King, the Sixers general manager, are sticking by their star player. They give him all the love in the world, but it seems like the guys on the streets can reach him better.

It is time to wear that NBA uniform with pride. To be a real All-Rolls Roycer, a la a Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Grant Hill, you have to be an example for so many youngsters.

Allen, it is time to help yourself by being accountable for your actions. Allen, you have to learn to make good decisions about life. You are still a young man, so hopefully you can find the right road.

I am concerned because, as a basketball lover who met Mr. Iverson several times during his collegiate days, I remember him being personable and enjoyable to talk with. I get the feeling that he could get involved in a major problem away from the basketball arena. He is living on the edge, baby, and that's not a good place to be.

Let's hope he doesn't fall off that edge.

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