I've got a few favorite random stories. There's the time Rick James was slapping around Carlton from the Fresh Prince and Mike Tyson had to rescue him. That's a real thing that happened in real life. There's the time Z and Xzibit started yelling at each other outside the Playboy Mansion. I was personally there for that, it definitely happened. And now I think it's time to add the time Nelly once beat Allen Iverson because Iverson was hammered drunk to that prolific list.
In a new Complex interview focused primarily on sneakers—although Iverson does notably say he's heard Post Malone's "White Iverson" and he endorses it—there's this little gem tucked away:
I remember one night we went to Jermaine Dupri’s studio and I had been drinking before I got there. We went into the gym and he beat my ass. Then he went on 106 and Park and bragged about it. So the next time we played, I made sure that I came prepared. I hadn’t drunk anything and beat his ass. And during that game he was saying, “You need to get him a couple drinks.” I told him, “Nah. Not today. You ain’t going to brag on this one.” —Complex interview
This is one of those stories that's simultaneously impossible and completely plausible. I was in high school for Iverson's peak years so I remember them vividly. The league had never seen anyone like him before—that's why he connected so strongly with hip-hop culture—and he had a reckless streak, so drunk pick up games are definitely believable.
But still? How slizzered would A1 have to be to lose to Nelly? It's unclear if the two played HORSE (he also talks about beating him at H-O-R-S-E, which is another hilarious thing to think about) or at a one-on-one game (he apparently once lost to Ma$e one-on-one, although he's kind of fuzzy on the details, might have been drunk.)
Regardless, we're talking about a guy who once crossed up Michael Jordan. It feels like he could have been unconscious and still would have been able to beat Nelly. Hell, I bet I could have beat Nelly drunk, and my NBA dreams ended in the sixth grade when it became clear I wasn't topping 5' 9".
There's no lesson to be learned here, no deeper meaning, this isn't the article that's going to finally win me that Pulitzer. But sometimes stories are just too randomly amazeballs to keep to yourself, and so now you know about the time Iverson was so impossibly drunk he got beat in basketball by a guy who's literally shorter than Bow Wow. You're welcome.