ESPN’s 30 for 30 has released a short film about A.C. Green, the NBA’s Iron Man and its “Iron Virgin.”
The first title–Iron Man–came for A.C. Green’s discipline on the court. A. C. played 16 seasons and missed less than five games. Starting on November 19, 1986, A.C. played in 1,192 games straight. As we’ve noted before, that’s 1,192 times he didn’t call in sick. That’s 1,192 times he wasn’t too sore, too tired, too late, to play the game that day.
The streak never ends. More important, the person behind the streak, what it means, you never lose that. That’ll never end. The numbers will stop rolling up from year to year. At the same time, when you say, ‘persistence,’ when you say, ‘commitment,’ ‘dedication,’ ‘loyalty,’ my name might come up somewhere in there, just for the very fact of being there every single night.
Fame can come in a moment but greatness comes with longevity.
– A.C. Green
The second title–Iron Virgin–refers to A.C.’s discipline off the court. A.C. is a devout Christian and he remained a virgin throughout his his 16 years in the NBA. As 30 for 30 notes, “That didn’t stop him from being a fierce, passionate competitor on the court. It just meant that he was someone who, as teammate James Worthy says, ‘could stay strong and not be broken.’ It was only after he retired after the 2000-01 season that Green got married.”
The same commitment that made A.C. the NBA Iron Man on the court, is also what makes A.C. the man he is off the court.
There’s always an excuse to do less. Less reps. I want to get up late. I want to leave practice early. I don’t want to go today. I have a hangnail. There’s always a reason why we don’t want to meet a certain standard. It takes a person who has an order to them, to not give in to the mediocrity. I take it as a challenge. I take it as a person more than as a player. I don’t identify with being a player as the great important thing. It’s being a person.
– A.C. Green
If you haven’t checked out the video – be sure to watch it today!