2) He took the David vs Goliath plotline to impossible levels
Iverson was generously listed as 6 feet tall. Shaq stood at 7'1 and was at the peak of his powers.
Iverson's Sixers had won scrappy contest after scrappy contest, with multiple rounds being pushed to the brink, before they made it to the Finals. The Lakers had swept all of their previous opponents en route to their Finals.
The stage was set for Iverson's David to beat Shaq and Kobe's Goliath in 2001. However, real life seldom obliges in giving us these feel-good stories.
Los Angeles shockingly lost the first game to Philadelphia before they stormed back into the series, going from 0-1 down to 4-1. Those Lakers were merciless.
But that wasn't why people remember the series. Iverson won game 1 for Philly in a rare display of 48 points in an unfathomable 52 on the court. He played through various injuries, and hit the dagger two in clutch time before stepping over Tyronn Lue and consigning the latter to the deep end of NBA folklore.