Dawkins and Iverson deserve statue in Philly


Prasham Jobanputra

Many athletes, such as Mike Schmidt, have a statue of themselves in Philadelphia's Sports Complex.

Philly is considered one of the top sports cities in the country with fans chanting the Eagles fight song, wearing their red Phillies caps in the summer, and their constant need for team success that sometimes leads to boos towards their own players.  Not just any athlete can play in Philadelphia but when a superstar athlete emerges in the city of brotherly love, they become legends in the 215.  Some of these athletes include Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, and Joe Frazier.  What’s the common thread of all these athletes?  They all have statues in South Philadelphia’s Sports Complex.  But there are two iconic Philadelphia athletes who need a statue for their dedication to their sport and the city.

Prasham Jobanputra
Two of the statues at the Xfinity Live Center in South Philadelphia include Joe Frazier (left) and Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent lifting the Stanley Cup (right).

“Weapon X,” Brian Dawkins has been one of the most exciting athletes Philly has seen in quite some time.  From his tunnel entrances to bone crushing tackles to standing at the podium and screaming, “hallelujah,” Dawkins was box office.  7 trips to the Pro Bowl along with 5 All-Pro selections speaks for itself as Dawkins led the Eagles defense to 4 conference championship games and a trip to the Super Bowl in 13 years with the organization.  But look at what he has done since retiring.  Dawkins served as a Football Operations Executive for the Eagles for 2 years including the Eagles Super Bowl championship run. Out of all the athletes to ever play in Philadelphia, I don’t think anyone has understood the city the way Dawkins has.  In his Hall of Fame speech, Dawkins said:

“I know some of you drove all the way from Philly here.  And, listen, I have a good understanding that you don’t have money just to waste.  So that means that you put hard-earned money that you could be saving to come out here and celebrate with your boy.  So, thank you.  Thank you for loving me the way that I love you.  I love you back.  And I thank you.  Thank you for everything.”

Prasham Jobanputra
Although a fictional character, the Rocky statue is still a major tourist attraction in Philadelphia.

A statue of “Weapon X” crawling onto the field from the tunnel right outside the Lincoln Financial Field or inside next to the Philly Special statue would be an incredible sight and a well-deserved honor to the former safety.

Another well-deserved statue that should be put up is one of Allen Iverson.  Another Philly legend that understands the city and has the track record to deserve one.  Iverson won the 2000-01 MVP, is a 9-time All-Star, 7-time All-NBA selectee, 4-time scoring champ, and led the league in steals 3 times in about 12 years with the Sixers.  Just like Dawkins, Iverson captivated the city and most of the fans loved him even with all of the off-court antics.  Iverson has stuck around as he attends many Sixers games and holds the Iverson Classic in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia.  A statue of Iverson’s crossover, the step-over, or him with his hand cupping his ear would look great outside Wells Fargo Center.

Dawkins and Iverson are just as iconic as the athletes that already have a statue in Philly.  They are both already in the hall of fame and have had their numbers retired.  There is only one last step and that is to build a statue in the Sports Complex to honor two city legends.