• Not a Game

  • The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson
  • By: Kent Babb
  • Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Not a Game  By  cover art

Not a Game

By: Kent Babb
Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
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Publisher's Summary

Through extensive research and interviews with those closest to Iverson, acclaimed Washington Post sportswriter Kent Babb gets behind the familiar, sanitized, and heroic version of the hard-changing, hard-partying athlete who played every game as if it were his last.

Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson was once one of America's most famous athletes: a trendsetter who transcended race, celebrity, and pop culture and emerged from a troubled past to become one of the most successful and highly compensated athletes in the world. Now, his life and career come vividly to light in this “searingly honest” (Baxter Holmes) biography.

Babb brings to life a private, loyal, and often generous Allen Iverson who rarely made the headlines, revealing the backstory behind some of Iverson's most memorable moments, such as his infamous "Practice" rant, delving even deeper to discover where Iverson's demons lurked. He drank too much, stayed out too late, spent more money than most people could spend in a dozen lifetimes - blowing more than $150 million of his NBA earnings alone. His then-wife Tawanna, seen often as the mild-mannered woman who tamed the bad boy, tried to keep her husband and family on the rails. But, as so many others learned on basketball courts, she was no match for the force of nature that was Iverson.

©2015 Kent Babb (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Not a Game

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So sad.

Its amazing somebody who overcame a POS mother and idiot friends bleeding him dry has yet to learn. There are times during the book I was thinking okay this is when he'll turn it around. Sadly I was thinking that until I heard "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this presentation" very well read. Great research but so frustrating. Not the book. The person.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator

The narrator does nothing for a story of this magnitude. Not authentic in reliving the soul of the subject. Worst read book. Ever. This also has to be an unauthorized version. I will not be listening past chapter 2.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I thought it would be

Interesting and insightful stories, not many of those stories surround basketball. I drifted in and out.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It’s Like Listening to a Train Wreck That You Can’t Turn Off

Listening to 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐑𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐔𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐅𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐈𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 by Kent Babb is like, listening to a train wreck. It was very difficult to hear, but I couldn’t stop listening.

I like AIlen Iverson. I enjoyed watching him play for the Sixers. Back in the Micheal Jordan era, I was a Chicago Bulls fans. But when the Bulls came to Philly, and I went to see them play at the Spectrum Sports Complex, I always elected to proudly wear my Iverson #3 black, red & white jersey. That’s how much I enjoyed him as a player.

Unfortunately, I have mixed emotions about this audiobook. Although it’s technically a good audiobook, I didn’t want to hear the worse of Allen. The author paints him as an alcoholic, bankrupt, wife abuser, that has very little respect for anyone other than his mother. I found the stories disheartening. Some of them pissed me off. But at the same time, I know there is some validity to what the author shares. As a former Atlantic City casino dealer, I remember the days when Allen used to gamble in AC. On a few occasions he got so drunk that he urinated right on the casino floor. There were also times when Allen and his crew got into altercations with other gamblers. The entire crew was belligerent.

The audiobook is narrated by Michael Butler Murray. What’s interesting is that Murray sounds like a sports commentator. There’s a certain awkwardness in his delivery. Similar to the way it would sound if Dick Vitale narrated 𝘉𝘰𝘺𝘻 𝘕 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘰𝘰𝘥. Some may say his voice is not a good fit to share Allen Iverson’s hardcore life story. However, I found it oddly satisfying.

Overall, as much as I hate to say it, this is a good audiobook.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Not A Game

Great Story for the Sixers great Athlete....Story of Rise & Fall...He not only was a great player he changed the culture of nba during his years and gave inspiration to future athletic

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poor narration!

The content is great but gets cheapened by the poor narration in delivery of the dialogue. The reader’s interpretation of AI’s ethnic intonation is extremely poor - approaching insulting. It’s very distracting. Another person should’ve been identified to read the dialogue. I’m only halfway through and struggling to complete the book as a result.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story of the rise and fall of AI

This book was very informative about Iversons' life and his ups and downs. Any fan of his would enjoy it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great but critical biography

Not a Game is definitely the best book out there about the enigmatic basketball legend, Allen Iverson. But it’s also a book that doesn’t shy away from Iverson’s turbulent off court behavior. It doesn’t disparage him though, he’s just a complicated guy who had a tough life and through the book you see all sides of Iverson. He could be loving to old mentors and friends but also cruel to others. Nobody’s perfect and that’s okay. Anyone who loves Iverson should read this book. Enjoy!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Deja Vu

Due to the non linear story telling there was a lot of repetition. I would estimate 25% of the time audio book runtime was spent repeating things that had already been said with maybe slightly more detail this time. A lot of interesting insights overall though and I felt like I learned a lot I didn't already know. Well performed with few mispronunciations, which is rare for a basketball book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book!

Great story and I actually didn't mind the narrator since the story was so fascinating. well researched biography.