He’s barely six feet tall and had led the Philadelphia 76ers to the playoffs six years in a row and the NBA Finals in 2001. This No. 1 overall draft pick, out of Georgetown is one of the greatest scorers of all time.
We’ve all heard about Isiah Thomas, Calvin Murphy, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Spud Webb, Earl Monroe, and Jerry West, but Allen Iverson rises above them all.
Iverson is said to be one of the greatest and most “fun to watch” athletes to play the sport. The way he took over games was amazing; his game screamed, “Give me the ball, and I’ll put it in the net.”
Some may say he was cocky, but it was a trait that fit him well. He and everyone else knew he was good and knew he could tear it up on the basketball court. So, why not speak the truth?
In 1997 when Iverson joined the league, he wanted to make a statement and prove he belonged in the NBA. He did so by averaging 23.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. These great statistics brought him the Rookie of the Year award.
Everyone knew he meant business.
Over the next nine years with the Sixers, he averaged 28.6 points per game (this guy is only 6 feet tall?).
Throughout his career, he built up his own legend by becoming the 2001 MVP, an 11-time All-Star, a four-time scoring champion, a three-time All-NBA first team, a three-time All-NBA second team, and a two-time All-Star game MVP.
In his prime, he was the most dominant player on the court at a time when other future Hall of Famers -Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O’Neal- were in the league.
To play at such a high level in the NBA at 6 feet tall is truly remarkable. Just think: The NBA this past decade has been filled with super athletic freaks such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Yao Ming, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Ben Wallace, Jermaine O’Neal, Elton Brand, and Rasheed Wallace.
All of those big men were able to have successful seasons due to their size advantage and super athleticism. For a little man like Allen Iverson to put up Hall of Fame caliber numbers like that is pretty impressive.
Notice how successful little men this past decade were scarcely noticed. The NBA is turning into a more low-post presence game and that’s also why you see so many point guards having so many assists.
Over time, the game has changed and it’s hard for players like Iverson to become successful in the league. That’s why he’s is so admired for what he did.
He is not only defined by his career points, but the way he scored those points. The way he crashed the lanes and flew by big time centers and power forwards. It was amazing. No one could move the way he did.
He is one of the greatest scorers of all-time, one of the most “fun to watch” players of all-time, and one more can be added to this list:
The greatest little big man of all-time.