Allen Ezail Iverson is a former American professional basketball player also popularly called ‘The Answer’. He has been a great achiever and has many feathers adorning his cap. Having played fourteen seasons in National Football Association (NBA) both as a shooting guard and point guard, he is an 11-time All-Star, 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player, won the ‘All-Star Game MVP Award’ in 2001 and 2005. 3-time All-NBA First Team, and997 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Iverson started his college career with Georgetown in 1994 and won the Big East Rookie of the Year, in his rookie season. In 1996, Allen Iverson entered the NBA draft and was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. In his rookie season, The Answer averaged 23.5 ppg, 7.5 apg and 2.1 spg and won NBA Rookie of the Year. In 2000-01 season, Iverson led the Sixers to their first NBA Finals since 1983, winning the NBA MVP award in the process. Despite having a good series, Iverson was unable to prevent Lakers from winning the series. After spending five more seasons at Philadelphia, Allen Iverson joined the Denver Nuggets in 2006 and later had brief stints at Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies before returning to the Sixers in 2009. Allen Iverson announced his retirement in October, 2013.
Prior to NBA, while Iverson was at Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, he was a dual athlete and was declared the ‘Associated Press High School Player’ of the year in both Football and Basketball. He also won the ‘Division AAA Virginia state championship’ in both sports. Iverson played his college basketball at the Georgetown Hoyas for two years where he set the school record for career scoring average (22.9 points per game) and won ‘Big East Defensive Player of the Year’ awards in both the years.
Iverson was selected as the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. In the 1996-97 season, he was named the’ NBA Rookie of the Year’. In his 15 years in the league, he has to his credit the ‘NBA Scoring’ title during the seasons,1998-99, 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2004-05, making him one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history despite his relatively small stature, standing only 6 feet tall.
His other achievements include his regular season career scoring average of 26.7 points per game (which stands at the 7th position), and his playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points per game stands at 2nd position (first being occupied by Michael Jordan). In the 2000-01 season, Iverson was declared the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the year as he enjoyed the most successful season of his career. In the playoffs, he led a rather sub-par Sixers team to the 2001 NBA Finals. Being the heavy underdogs in the Finals against a dominating Los Angeles Lakers squad, Iverson torched the Lakers with 48 points in Game 1 to win the 107-101 against all odds. His performance in Game 1, is one of the most inspiring performances in the history of the NBA.
In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Iverson represented the United States and won the Bronze medal. Later into his career, Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies before bidding goodbye to his NBA career with the 76ers during the season of 2009-10. He was named as the ‘fifth- greatest NBA shooting guard of all time’ by the ESPN in 2008. He finished his career in 2011 in Turkey with Besiktas to return later as a ‘player-coach’ for 3’s Company in the inaugural season of the BIG3. In 2016, he was inducted in ‘Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’.