NBA Legacies: Allen Iverson
Basketball has honed in on many legends over the years, some have changed the game forever, and some have not, but players like Iverson have rocked the league like never before and their names will stay in fans’ heads forever. We say ‘like’ Iverson, but we mean to focus on this man, because, boy, was he something of legend.
It’s not often that we see an 11 time All-Star, and a 1 time MVP Player that people cannot help but praise. So many players in the sport have achieved so many awards’ and titles, but Iverson was something special, we think you will agree here. Whether you are an avid fan of NBA betting, or if you have just loved basketball since your childhood, you will surely remember how Allen Iverson rocked the league like never before, leaving us all excited to see what would happen when he appeared on the court.
It didn’t matter which team you favored, Allen Iverson was sports enthusiast eye candy.
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Who Was Allen Iverson?
So, who was this legend? Well, he was a player for the 76ers, and he was best renowned for the points he scored, and the soundbites he made.
He gave crossovers and no-look dime. He was a subculture of the league in his own right, he bridged the gap between many of the greats from Michael Jordan to LeBron James.
He totally reinvented the way that we see NBA players, and he made it clear. Donning tattoos, braids, low shorts, the sleeve… it was everything. He had his own style and glamor that everyone loved, it gave us a new look at the sport. A new perspective.
Not Just A Man For His Team, A Man For The League
In the MLB or the NFL we know that players are usually formally associated with a team when they become Hall of Famers. This is not usually the case for NBA players, however, Iverson was an exception.
When he will be introduced into the Hall of Fame, people won’t remember him for just his skill, but his baggy clothes, his tattoos, skipping practice like a teen flunking school, and for him being a 76er.
However, it was not just how he represented his team, he represented the league in a unique way, in how he held himself, and he became a face of basketball much like Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
There was never a game that went by in which Iverson was not dazzling spectators. He would play everywhere, and people everywhere would flock to see him. They wanted to see ‘The Answer’.
However, he was no perfect person, he may have been hugely admired, but he was an underdog, he would dive for loose balls, or even play through his injuries.
He would also often get in arguments with his coach or miss practices. He was a figure that was revolutionary in the NBA, and he ushered the Michael Jordan era and the era in which hip-hop had reigned in basketball.
A Role Model
He was not just redefining the sport with his style and how he held himself, but he also changed the game and his fans.
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He brought the NBA into a new realm, and he changed the definition on how an NBA player could be a role model. Gold chains, tattoos and baggy clothes were always seen as very street, but Iverson showed that you can be street and be a great sportsman, and a career man.
He changed things.
His Legacy With The 76ers
While we all remember him for his reign with the 76ers, it being his home after all, we forget he did play for 4 different teams in his 14 years with the NBA. However, it was also with the 76ers that Iverson got his rep as one of the best players in the NBA and as a cultural icon.
This was a man who basically willed the 76ers to reach the NBA Finals back in 2001. They had averaged at around 94.7 points in each game, with Iverson averaging 31.4 of those points.
The Lakers were their opponents in this particular game, and they had an average of 100.6 points for each game, and they also had Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, they were averaging at a good 30 points per game as well.
How Iverson willed them there, we will never know, and it was a total miracle that they snagged a win against the Lakers with that lineup. He was dazzling, and his style was under-control but almost street. He embodied the ‘Riquickulous’ campaign for Jordan. How he maneuvered with the ball was otherworldly. He crossed all the greats from Stockton, to Bryant, and Jordan.
It was quite astounding to see small Iverson take on Jordan in his prime. However, he is top 10 in 40+ point game scores, and his average is up there with the big dogs like James and Jordan.
A Scorer For The Ages
Iverson was not just epic for the reputation, and style he donned, but how much of a dominant scorer he was. Okay, he was an inefficient scorer, but he was polarizing. He clashed with everyone. And he did everything within a very small build.
In the 2001 postseason you could watch Iverson fling himself all over the court every night. He played with his heart, sure he did score, maybe not as much as you would think of someone whose name has become so legendary, but he scored.
He helped carry the 76ers in many ways, and he faced his challenging opponents with no fear. His dominant scoring became well known, and while he was not a total king of the hoop, he sure acted like one.
The most incredible moment in his career is one we have already mentioned, the 76ers game against the Lakers in ‘01. The lineup against the 76ers was grim, but Iverson was not shaken, he stood and with Iverson’s 48 points in one game, they shocked the whole world.
He had slayed the Lakers all by himself, humiliating them as he did. But, that was what he did best.