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As much as Allen Iverson excelled with the Philadelphia 76ers at the beginning of his NBA career, it wasn’t always sunshine and roses behind the scenes. A.I. constantly butted heads with Sixers head coach Larry Brown, mainly because the two characters fundamentally disagreed about how the game of basketball should be played.

Even though Iverson won three scoring titles and an MVP award during Brown’s tenure in Philadelphia, he accomplished those feats while ignoring his coach’s advice. That, Iverson says, is the biggest regret of his career.

Allen Iverson is still haunted by his biggest regret

Iverson doesn’t hold many regrets from his NBA career, which is understandable considering he won four scoring titles, won the MVP award in 2001, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. The only bullet point missing from A.I.’s resume is a championship, but that’s not what he regrets the most.

In a recent interview with Vernon Maxwell on the new MaXed Out podcast, Iverson revealed his biggest regret is how he treated Larry Brown early in his career.

“I love him to death, man,” Iverson said. “I don’t have too many regrets in my life, on and off the court. I feel like a mistake is only a mistake unless you make it twice. You learn from a lot of s*** that go on in your life. I’m so comfortable in my own skin. I’m happy with the man I’m evolving into, and my maturation. If I died today and had a chance to come back, I would want to come back as me. I mean, what’s wrong with being you? Everyone else was taken up.”

I just felt if I had a slight regret to anything that has anything to do with my career, I wouldn’t have been playing tug of war with [Brown] early in my career. I didn’t know any better. I was trying to mature as a player and as a man. He wanted everything that I wanted for myself and for our team, and I didn’t take constructive criticism the way that I was supposed to, and that’s definitely a lesson to be learned for any young dudes out there that have a great coach like I had.

Allen Iverson

Brown coached Iverson in Philadelphia for six years. The 76ers won 28 playoff games during his tenure and reached the NBA Finals in 2001, but they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. In 2003, Brown left the Sixers for the Detroit Pistons and won a championship in his first year at the helm.

Allen Iverson credits his Hall of Fame career to Larry Brown

Allen Iverson talks to Larry Brown on the bench.
Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to head coach Larry Brown during Game 2 of the 2001 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers | Otto Greule/Allsport/Getty Images

Allen Iverson Says He Wishes He Never Went to the NBA Finals in 2001

Iverson was too young and naive to realize at the time that Brown’s tough love was bringing out the best of his as a player. Now that he’s had time to reflect on their up-and-down relationship, though, A.I. credits his former head coach for making his Hall of Famer career possible.

“Once I started to buy into everything that he was selling, it took me from just a talented player, a great talent, to obviously a Hall of Famer, MVP. And our team got a lot better as I grew,” Iverson said. “Shout out to coach, man. I love you, coach. I owe a lot to him as far as who I was as a basketball player, and even more importantly, who I am as a man.”