Iverson and the Afterlife

Allen Iverson, sporting a new hairstyle reminiscent of his days at Georgetown, was sitting around one of those NBA all-star … Continued

Allen Iverson, sporting a new hairstyle reminiscent of his days at Georgetown, was sitting around one of those NBA all-star weekend media sessions when he was asked by a reporter about whether he thought some of the NBA charity events — reading books to kids, handing out Thanksgiving turkeys — were a bit staged.

“Fake,” said the 10-time all-star who plays for the Detroit Pistons.

Iverson went on to say that he prefers the cameras not be around when he helps others less fortunate than him.

“I just look forward to doing it. I don’t need all the publicity that comes with it. I don’t need that. When it’s time for me to get toward that gate, either He [is] gonna say, ‘Come in,’ or He [is] gonna say, ‘Turn around.’ And a camera won’t decide whether I get in or not.”

Rather than ignoring the obvious religious comment by Iverson, reporters pressed him on it. Someone asked if Iverson thought he was going to heaven or hell.

“I’ve done a lot of good things in my life and done a lot of bad things in my life so I don’t know. I hope the good things outweigh the bad things. I’m damn sure I don’t want to go to hell.”

Iverson was then asked if he was troubled by not knowing where he stood.

“I’m not saying that I’m not in, because I think I am. Unless some things go dramatically wrong in the next how many years, I think I’ll be welcomed through those gates.”

The discussion turned to how sports can be an escape from the troubles of everyday life and whether NBA players and other professional athletes should be viewed as role models.

“We have more impact on the world than people may think, than even we might think, you know what I mean? When I was younger, when we talk about role model-type situations, I never knew that we were important like we are.

“We are role models, regardless if we like it or not. It is something that we got to accept, but it is something that people should know that we’re human and we make mistakes and we are not going to be perfect. You can want to be like Allen Iverson, but I don’t think people should try to be like Allen Iverson. I think people should be better than Allen Iverson.”

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  • Jim

    I believe that help of any kind to people whether on camera or off camera is a good thing. Allen Iverson is a remarkable athlete that I admired before this article and admire even more after reading this article. I think that he is correct when he states that athletes are role models whether they like it or not.I think that intentions mean everything. I think that basketball, football, hockey, baseball players, NASCAR, Tennis, track & field athletes as a whole are good people who are assets to our society and I wish them success.Like Allen I have done good things and bad things in my life. I pray that God will smile of me when judgment day comes because I, like Allen, do not want to go to hell.

  • Maturity

    This is the difference in the 30 plus Iverson and the 22 year old Iverson. Most of the younger guys in the most professional sports situations do not even understand the impact they have on society as Iverson stated.

  • so sad

    It is so sad the Allan, like most professed christians, do not even understand the teachings of their own faith and think that they will earn their way to heaven by doing good deeds to outweigh their bad deeds ( which is what every other religion except Christianity teaches ) – No more than a human judge could let a guilty criminal go free ( say for rape or murder ) because he did other good things (giving money to charities – If a judge lets a guilty criminal go he is not a good judge, but a corrupt judge. ) could God let us into heaven, where perfection is required because we do enough good deeds that He will forget about all the lies, lusts, blasphemies, thefts, covetousness and every sinful thought we have ever had in our life. God must punish those who have broken His perfect moral laws. We are all, by nature, justly and rightly headed to Hell. Of course God so loved the world that He sent his only son to be a sacrifice for us, and He took the wrath of God on himself as a propitiation for sins when he by choice died on the cross. Only by repentance and faith alone in Christ alone can ones sins be forgiven and enter into eternal life. It is not our righteousness, but through the righteousness of Christ are counted as righteous. It was a legal transaction that occured on the cross. We broke the laws and Christ payed our fine so that by grace through repentance and faith are we seen as rightous. Not by works so that no man may boast. It is the gift of God.

  • EdA

    Cool! Apparently, someone at the gates of heaven, tasked with the job of admissions has a scale and weighs your red marks vs. your black marks in order to see if your conduct during your three score and ten gets you into an eternity of bliss or suffering. Ignoring His lack of proportion, I want to thank the Lord that I have NBA stars to provide the theology required.

  • Anonymous

    Many people who think they are good and Many people has a blurred understanding of what is good.For that reason, many are going to hell. Very sad.”Except a seed fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone (or remain fruitless) : but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit.””Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”A lot of people belongs to false religions like Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Budhism, Judaism, liberal Protestantism, etc and yet they don’t know that it’s false coz they don’t understand or simply ignorant of the Word of God.Many are lost and also for that reason, doomsday is coming.

  • UCCer

    Anonymous wrote: “A lot of people belongs to false religions like Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Budhism, Judaism, liberal Protestantism, etc and yet they don’t know that it’s false coz they don’t understand or simply ignorant of the Word of God.”It sure is comforting to hear how sure you are that you’re on the right side of God. You just slandered the faith of billions of good people, you fundamentalist pig.

  • harveyh5

    Allen Iverson is one of my favorite all time athletes. I appreciate greatly his drive and energy on the basketball court. As for this column, if his view of heaven is helping him be a better person here on Earth that is something we all should commend.As for the ranting from So Sad, get real! There is no heaven or hell, except that of our making here on Earth. For the living, we are all headed to the same place of all who have gone before us – into the ground or in close proximity, with the limited option of sending one’s ashes into outer space.

  • Cletus

    Iverson is not going to Heaven. No one is going to heaven because it does not exist. Nor should anyone want to go. Who wants to go to an eternal church service where the hummers you’re forced to give god are not even the metaphorical kind anymore, and where all the relatives you actually liked are in hell? While I’m on the subject, what kind of a**hole designs an everlasting torture pit.

  • Richard

    There is good news for Allen Iverson and everyone like him! God loves us and has provided a way for all people to escape the sting of death (i.e. condemnation) and enter heaven- a place where there is no crying or sadness or boredom. That way is by trusting in Jesus Christ.”I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 6:14

  • Saint Patrick

    By definition, humans cannot possibly understand the will and motives of God. Zealots like ‘So Sad’ and ‘Anonymous’ ought to spare us their sanctimony.”Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

  • Anonymous

    What does it matter what he thinks about his religion? That’s his business.What the reporters should have asked about was the way he goes about helping others, not whether he will get into heaven. Sometimes I wonder what kind of prerequisites there are to get one of those passes and raise your hand.The point was supposed to be do what you think is right for your own benefit, not do what you think is right so other people think you are good.Also can’t believe people started debating his faith. When in a glass house… None of us are perfect. Do not judge, it is not your job.

  • ramvt84

    Thank you “So Sad” for a coherent and concise explaination of the “Gospel”…for it’s the righteousness of another….Christ Jesus’…imputed to us by FAITH…that saves.An ABSOLUTELY Holy God does NOT grade on a curve…”perfection” is the standard…come with yours (ha ha)…or appropriate Christ’s by faith. You pick.

  • thewordkeeper

    The following verses represents a “Biblical WorldView”. Every religion has their own inherent doctrines of Heaven and Hell. These are not meant to force anyone to accept anything written, but to enlighten those who want to know the way to Heaven. It can be embraced or rejected, it is your choice.”Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able”. (Luke 13)”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”. (Matthew 7)“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7)For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2) “I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the Presence, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth. And then I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there—before the Throne! And books were opened. Then another book was opened: the Book of Life. The dead were judged by what was written in the books, by the way they had lived. Sea released its dead, Death and Hell turned in their dead. Each man and woman was judged by the way he or she had lived. Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death—Lake Fire. Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire”. (Revelations 20) “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”The passage above, “according to his work”, refers to the fruit or characteristics of God that you bear after you have received His free gift of salvation; i.e. love, joy, peace, self-control, patience; faithfulness.

  • Tom

    I have followed Mr. Iverson for years…back to Bethel HS. Allen will not get to heaven on his own merits for his best works are like filthy rags at the Master’s feet. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ are any of us admitted to heaven and not by our so called good works. Our good works should be in private and we will be rewarded later in heaven by the Father. If we receive accolates on earth, we have already received our rewards.I hope Allen has received Jesus as his personal lord and savior and has put love in his heart and taken away some of the bitterness of his past. Jesus loves Allen like the rest of us, but all Allen has to do is accept Jesus and try to live by His Teaching…and the greatest of those is love one another as He has loved us.PS All Christians are not perfect either, just a work in progress.

  • lou


  • PearlyGates

    What people don’t understand is that you can’t get in based on your deeds. You can’t earn a spot heaven. God owes us nothing. To get in, you just have to accept Jesus’ sacrifice and accept God as your Father. God is God to everyone on the earth. However, He is Father to those who have become born again (hence the new Father part). And as far as “what kind of a**hole designs an everlasting torture pit” God designed hell for the devil and his demons. But hell opens wide its mouth to receive all evil doers (Isaiah 5:14). God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but we choose it by not choosing Him, plain and simple. He couldn’t have made it any simpler. It’s the ultimate free lunch. Unfortunately, we American’s are very prideful and want to earn our way through life. It requires humility to understand that there is no bridge we can cross to heaven except the one called Jesus. No way to do it on your own. Don’t believe the lie of satan. Accept Him before it’s too late for you.