It's hard to believe that Allen Iverson is now 45 years old. It feels like just yesterday that A.I. took the league by storm during his rookie season on the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996.
Iverson left an incredible legacy post-retirement. He had a deadly crossover, a clean jumper, and the swagger to match. These six moments are some of the best from Allen Iverson's NBA career.
6. Return to the 76ers in 2009
Allen Iverson played for many teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, and Denver Nuggets. Despite that, he will always be remembered as a 76er. Iverson spent the majority of his career there, spending 12 seasons in Philly. Seeing him return to Philadelphia to finish out his career is a beautiful symbol of the bond between player and fans.
5. Winning 1996-1997 Rookie of the Year Award
Iverson announced his presence in the NBA right away by stunning the league with highlight-reel plays. His track to future stardom was cemented by his Rookie of the Year win for the 1996-1997 season. That season, Iverson became one of just seven players in NBA history to score over 50 points in one game their rookie year. Only one season into his career, Iverson had already put himself in elite company.
4. "Talkin’ About Practice”
Allen Iverson was amazing on the court, and his off-the-court persona was just as spectacular. In a just under two-minute rant to the media, Iverson said the word practice 22 times after being asked about his effort during a press conference. The way he still manages to shake off the question is possibly the most A.I. thing ever.
3. Winning 2000-2001 NBA MVP
The 2000-2001 NBA Season was big for ‘The Answer’. It was his first and only NBA Finals appearance, where the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Los Angeles Lakers. That season was also Iverson's only MVP season. After leading the league with 31.1 points and 2.5 steals per game, he took home the award. The MVP Award win stands as a testament to Iverson's dominance on both sides of the ball.
2. Crossing up Michael Jordan as a Rookie
Allen Iverson was a rookie. Michael Jordan had just won his fifth MVP and fifth NBA Championship the year prior. Nonetheless, A.I. dropped the former Defensive Player of the Year like he was nothing. Seeing Iverson go up against the GOAT without fear was impressive enough. But watching him shake off Jordan like he was a JV player? That was unforgettable.
1. The step over
No list about Allen Iverson would be complete without the step-over. Heading into the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers were clear underdogs against the Los Angeles Lakers. On the road in Game 1, Iverson willed the Sixers to a shocking 104-101 victory by scoring 48 points. The most memorable moment of the game was this shot over Tyronn Lue in overtime, which Iverson capped off with a savage step over the grounded Lue.