Allen Ezail Iverson (born June 7, 1975 in Hampton, Virginia) is an American professional basketball player. He is an All-Star point guard/shooting guard for the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers franchise.
While attending Bethel High School in Hampton, Iverson was a spectacular all-around athlete who was regarded as one of the top high school basketball players in the country.
As quarterback he lead his team to the Virginia State Championship.
He concentrated on basketball, enrolling at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he played for legendary college coach John Thompson.
Later known as "A.I." or "The Answer," Allen Iverson was originally selected with the first pick (1 overall) in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and has led the team in scoring ever since. As a rookie he quickly gained national popularity for a famous left-to-right crossover dribble which caused some defenders, most notably Michael Jordan (one of the premier players of all time) to stumble awkwardly. At just 6'0" and a skinny 165 pounds (1.83 m, 75 kg), Iverson employs his superior quickness, virtuoso ball handling ability, and massive heart to single-handedly carry his team on his back. He had his best season in 2001, leading the NBA in scoring, winning the Most Valuable Player Award, and reaching the NBA Finals. In these finals, the 76ers faced a powerful Los Angeles Lakers squad that featured Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers had reached the final series undefeated throughout the playoffs, and most of the basketball world expected the Lakers to easily handle the 76ers. But Allen Iverson carried his team to a shocking overtime victory in the series opener at in Los Angeles, and nearly upset the Lakers again in game two.
The NBA changed several rules during the off-season, and allowed zone defenses. These new rules have since limited Iverson's effectiveness somewhat, but he was still able to lead the NBA in steals and minutes played while maintaining his high scoring output. In fact, Iverson has led the NBA in scoring four times (1998-99, 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2004-05,) and, in the process, has tied George Gervin for the third-most scoring titles. He only trails Wilt "the stilt" Chamberlain and Michael Jordan.
On February 12, 2005, Iverson scored a career-high 60 points against the Orlando Magic.
He had lavishly praised then-76ers head coach Larry Brown, often saying that he would not have reached the heights that he has in the sport without Brown's guidance. He had a love-hate relationship with Brown, however. After the 76ers were defeated in the first round of the 2002 NBA playoffs, Brown criticized Iverson for missing team practices. Iverson later held a press conference in which he said: "We're talking about practice. We're not even talking about the game, the actual game, when it matters. We're talking about practice."
Iverson later reunited with Brown as a member and co-captain of the 2004 USA Olympics basketball team. However, the were only able to win the bronze medal. A gold medal had been expected. Iverson, along with teammate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, were benched during a game, when they were late to a practice session. The United States team had a dismal start against Germany who had failed to qualify for the Olympic competition. However Iverson kept the game from going into overtime with a miraculous half-court shot in the closing seconds.
In 2003, Allen Iverson was ranked 53rd on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA players of all time.
NBA All-Star selections:
Total selections (6)
NBA Rookie Of The Month
NBA Rookie Of The Year
All-NBA First Team
All-NBA Second Team
NBA All-star Game MVP
Served as a co-captain for Team USA at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and led the team in scoring (13.8 ppg)
Feb. 19, 2004, vs. Seattle scored 40 points in a game for the 50th time
Named an Eastern Conference All-Star starter in 2005 for the 6th year in a row (2000-05)
10th fastest player to reach 14,000 points on Jan. 23, 2004
Averaged 14.3 points and 3.8 assists per game helping USA Basketball Men's Senior National team qualify for the 2004 Olympics
Named the 2000-01 NBA Most Valuable Player, leading the league in scoring (31.1 ppg) and steals (2.51 spg)
Most Valuable Player of the 2001 and 2005 All-Star Game
Three times selected All-NBA Second Team (2000, 2002, 2003)
Three times selected All-NBA First Team (1999, 2001, 2005)
Named the 1996-97 Schick NBA Rookie of the Year, becoming the first 76ers player to ever win the award
Set the Sixers all-time rookie record with 1,787 points
Scored 40 points in five straight games in April 1997 to set an NBA rookie record
Named MVP (most valuble prick) of the Schick Rookie Game during the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend, posting 19 points and a game-high 9 assists
Named NBA Rookie of the Month for November, 1997, leading all rookies in scoring (21.8 ppg), assists (6.4 apg) and steals (2.67 spg)
His biggest bum boy is Daniel Austin
Daniel Austin loves him, and kisses his picture before he goes to bed. Ill breh
Allen Iverson has been a controversial figure.
Dating back to his teenage years, Iverson has had trouble with the law. One highly publicized incident that jeopardized his college career involved his role in a fight between black and white patrons at a bowling alley. Iverson maintained his innocence, but was convicted. However, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction. Later incidents have even led some supporters to reconsider the rumors. For instance, it was alleged that Iverson had threatened his wife with a handgun, but he was later acquitted of the charges.
Iverson also attempted to release a rap album named "40 Bars" under the alias "Jewelz". The cover of the album featured Iverson holding a large pile of diamonds in his hands. However, Iverson eventually scrapped plans to release it.
His 30th birthday party went awry on June 7, 2005. He was initially denied entry to his own birthday party (which was held at the Garden of Eden Club in Los Angeles) by a bouncer who told him that he couldn't enter because one of President Bush's daughters and the Secret Service were inside the club. (To make the situation look even worse for Iverson, the bouncers had admitted troubled former child star Todd Bridges.) According to some people, Iverson reacted "true to his expletive-filled on-court persona," at one point shouting, "I didn't vote for her!" When he was Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher, Iverson laughed it out, then he successfully played the same prank, this time keeping Indiana Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal out from his birthday party. It was aired on MTV on July 3, 2005.
Opinions of Iverson's basketball ability
There are many different opinions on Allen Iverson the basketball player. While he scores lots of points, he also shoots a below average field goal percentage. As of now his career field goal percentage is .419. He improved his shot selection, and is a better, and more alert passer than he was earlier in his career. He is now one of the best mid-range jump shooters in the league, where he is oft to pull up 15 feet from the basket near the top of the key. When he drives to the basket, he is extremely good at laying the ball up high off the glass in order to avoid getting blocked. Also worth noting is that Iverson rarely lays the ball up using his left hand. He often resorts to spinning his entire body around to lay the ball up with his right hand on the left side of the basket. Despite this deficiency, defenders are unable to stop this move. Iverson is also very good at using his elbows to create space while turning the corner around a defender as he drives to the basket. Iverson has very long arms, so this creates a lot of space.
Public Image After '04 Olympics
The public image of Iverson drastically improved with his decision to play on the 2004 USA Olympic Team. Many All-Star and headline players who had originally agreed to play for the team backed out. This left the team with Iverson, the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, and LeBron James (who was still a rookie,) as the only true "name" players on the team. Iverson's show of national pride, sacrifice, and performance aided in his improved public image.
NBA Dress Code Controversy
On October 17, 2005, NBA commissioner David Stern instituted a mandatory dress code for all NBA players. Stern's edict stated that all players must dress in conservative attire while acting within the purview of their employment by an NBA franchise in public, or when acting as a representative of the league in public.
Stern banned what critics and supporters call "hip-hop culture"-related attire such as throwback jerseys, jeans, hats, t-shirts, large items of jewelry, and Timberland boots. Punishment for violations would include fines and possible suspensions for repeat violations.
Iverson, Tim Duncan, the Indiana Pacers' Stephen Jackson and the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce countered that Stern's dress code would not change a person's character regardless of what type of clothing they wore, and that associating hip-hop styles of dress with violent crime, drugs, or a bad image is racist. Many players and pundits contend that David Stern is hypocritical considering that the NBA exploits the culture when it suits them. For instance, the advertising of many prominent NBA sponsors, such as Nike, Reebok, Puma and adidas were heavily influenced by hip-hop culture.