JGT vs. AI

Well, anyone who’s ever known me, or ever been within earshot of me for more than five minutes, knows that I played basketball against AI in high school. They also know that I shut him down for a half. But there are disbelievers. Fortunately for me, my buddy Phillip played in the same league that summer and saw the game in question, and I recently got an email from him. I wrote him back and asked if he could supply his memories of that fateful summer day in 1992. Yes, some have been slightly exaggerated, but please understand the point: that Johnny Goodtimes shut down AI on the court, and he’s confident that he could do it again.

That summer, Johnny earned his keep in the Hampton Roads AAU basketball circuit by focusing all his efforts into stifling the opposing team’s best player. He had already put Tony Morrison (Virginia Tech linebacker/troublemaker) on lockdown of couple of times and had neutralized many other rising basketball stars from the heralded Boo Williams program. Since Johnny car-pooled with a bunch of white boys, and since there seemed to be a one-caucasian- per team quota, he had ample time to study the superstars while waiting on other games to unfold. During this time, he analyzed and studied the nuances of the league’s best players. The most well known of Goodtimes’ victims is currently a member of the Philadelphia 76ers traveling squad. He was known to most back then as “Bubbachuck” and is known in most basketball circles today as Allen Iverson, or AI for short. During that summer, Johnny watched AI’s every move. He studied and took scrupulous notes on Iverson’s tendencies (I think he even had a little notebook and pencil). AI never even knew he was being watched…

One day, on the ride home after a game, Johnny told me about his plans to shut down Iverson. I was very supportive of JGT but I knew AI was a supernatural athlete. No one in the league could stop this guy. He would regularly drop 40 points on the best defenders. Iverson even played a game in flip-flops and dunked on a poor, unsuspecting, all-state Division I recruit. This guy wasn’t meant to be stopped. If it were to happen, I explained to Johnny, the laws of nature would be shattered. Iverson defied physics, gravity, the speed of light, and authority. I liked Johnny’s ideas, but I didn’t think what happened when the teams played would actually happen…

The stage was set for an epic battle between AI and Johnny Goodtimes (at least in Johnny’s mind). The usual carnival atmosphere surrounding AI was present. After starting the game on the bench, Johnny quietly took to the court with his team. When they were deciding on defensive assignments, Goodtimes waived teammate Tony Rutland (Wake Forest 1995-1999) off AI. Tony stepped aside and Iverson chuckled at his opposition. What occurred after that moment will never again be replicated…The game opened up and AI seemed off a bit. It wasn’t like him to dribble off his foot or to shoot an airball. People in the crowd looked puzzled. At first, no one attributed these anamolies to Johnny’s defense. However, after these events happened time and time again…it became apparent that AI was rattled by Johnny’s focus. For once in his life, Iverson could not score…He would fake right, left, right and Goodtimes would still be there, unshaken, (or unaware, we weren’t sure which). Johnny’s countless hours of study had paid off. He was doing the impossible…bottling up one of basketball’s most athletic talents. People watched in amazement throughout the first half as Johnny Goodtimes completely shut down Allen Iverson. AI went into halftime furious. (Johnny doesn’t like to discuss the 2nd half of that game -ed.) Johnny Goodtimes tells a lot of funny stories, but this one is fact…just ask AI.
Click Here to read Johnny’s version of events.