While Iverson claimed a regular-season MVP award and dragged the 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001, he was never the most efficient player and his prime was relatively short for an NBA superstar. Questions swirled around his practice habits and attitude off the court. There always seemed to be people ready and willing to poke holes in his candidacy.
On Monday, however, the Basketball Hall of Fame announced theCLASS of 2016, and among the many notable names (which include Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming) was Allen Iverson.
For anyone who grew up watching basketball in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this is a significant moment. Iverson dominated despite being under six-feet tall, scoring with his athleticism and power of will rather than any kind of physical advantage. He was lightning quick andONE of the shiftiest guards imaginable, but when he drove into the paint — and he frequently did so — he always looked comically undersized compared to the giants waiting.
While the crossover on Michael Jordan is perhaps his most iconic moment, the second PLAY in the video above might be the best representative of Iverson’s GAME. He excelled in isolation, using his herky-jerk handle to create space off the dribble, and when he got to the spot on the court that he wanted, he could elevate away from or over a defender with his series of step-backs and fall-away jumpers. He punished slower players — a distinction that included most of the league.
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Copyright 2016 IAR Magazine