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Tom Brokaw I Did Help Save Allen Iverson ... 'But He Deserved It'

7/18/2016 11:48 AM PDT

Tom Brokaw: I Did Help Save Allen Iverson ... 'But He Deserved It'

EXCLUSIVE

Screw humility ... news legend Tom Brokaw says he knows Allen Iverson might never have made it to the NBA without his help ... but says there's a damn good reason he stepped in. 

The backstory -- back in 1993, a 17-year-old Iverson was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly hitting a white woman at a bowling alley during a brawl. 

Brokaw heard about the situation -- and felt it was wrong for a teen with no prior criminal record to get such a harsh sentence ... so he featured the story on the national news. 

It was a huge turning point -- and the conviction was eventually overturned. Iverson has publicly praised Brokaw for getting the ball rolling. 

So, when we saw Tom out in Cleveland Monday morning -- we asked about the situation ... and Tom explained why he did what he did. 

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