Allen Iverson

Allen Ezail Iverson (/ˈaɪvərsən/; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "The Answer", is an American former professional basketball player.[1] He played for fourteen seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at both the shooting guard and point guard positions. Iverson was an eleven-time NBA All-Star, won the All-Star game MVP award in 2001 and 2005, and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2001. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Iverson attended Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, and was a dual-sport athlete. He earned the Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both football and basketball, and won the Division AAA Virginia state championship in both sports.[2] After high school, Iverson played college basketball with 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 both years.[3]

Following two successful years at Georgetown, Iverson declared eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft, and was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996–97 season. Winning the NBA scoring title during the 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, and 2004–05 seasons, Iverson was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, despite his relatively small stature (listed at 6 feet, 0 inches). His regular season career scoring average of 26.7 points per game ranks seventh all-time, and his playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points per game is second only to Michael Jordan. Iverson was also the NBA Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 season and led his team to the 2001 NBA Finals the same season. Iverson represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics, winning the bronze medal.

Later in his career, Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies, before ending his NBA career with the 76ers during the 2009–10 season. He was rated the fifth greatest NBA shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008.[4] He finished his career in Turkey with Beşiktaş in 2011. He returned as a player-coach for 3's Company in the inaugural season of the BIG3.

Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson headshot
Personal information
BornJune 7, 1975 (age 43)
Hampton, Virginia
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High schoolBethel (Hampton, Virginia)
CollegeGeorgetown (1994–1996)
NBA draft1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career1996–2011
PositionPoint guard / Shooting guard
Number3, 1
Career history
19962006Philadelphia 76ers
20062008Denver Nuggets
2008–2009Detroit Pistons
2009Memphis Grizzlies
2009–2010Philadelphia 76ers
2010–2011Beşiktaş
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points24,368 (26.7 ppg)
Rebounds3,394 (3.7 rpg)
Assists5,624 (6.2 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Early life

Allen Iverson was born on June 7, 1975[5] in Hampton, Virginia to a single 15-year-old mother, Ann Iverson, and was given his mother's maiden name after his father Allen Broughton left her.[6]

He grew up in the projects of Hampton, Virginia where drugs and crime were the social norms. During his early childhood years, he was loved by the neighborhood kids and was given the nickname "Bubba Chuck." A childhood friend, Jaime Rogers, said that Iverson would always look out for the younger kids and that "He could teach anybody." At the age of thirteen his father figure in his life, Michael Freeman, was arrested in front of him for dealing drugs. He then failed the eighth grade because of absences and moved to Hampton, Virginia to get out of the projects.[7]

He attended Bethel High School, where he started as quarterback for the school football team,[8] while also playing running back, kick returner, and defensive back.[9] He also started at point guard for the school basketball team. During his junior year, Iverson was able to lead both teams to Virginia state championships, as well as earning The Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both sports.[10]

Iverson played for the Boo Williams AAU basketball team and won the 1992 17-and-under AAU national championship.[11]

Jail

On February 14, 1993, Iverson and several of his friends were involved in an altercation with several patrons at a bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia.[12] Allegedly, Iverson's crowd was raucous and had to be asked to quiet down several times, and eventually, a shouting duel began with another group of youths. Shortly after that, a huge fight erupted, pitting the white crowd against the black crowd. During the fight, Iverson allegedly struck a woman in the head with a chair. He, and three of his friends, who were also black, were the only people arrested. Iverson, who was 17 at the time, was convicted as an adult of the felony charge of maiming by mob, a rarely used Virginia statute that was designed to combat lynching.[13] Many people around the Virginian area believed the incident to be a product of racial prejudice. The brawl was with Poquoson High School white students who were known for "not liking black people." Also, a videotape surfaced of the incident that shows Iverson leaving shortly after the fighting began. Iverson said of the incident:

For me to be in a bowling alley where everybody in the whole place know who I am and be crackin' people upside the head with chairs and think nothin' gonna happen? That's crazy! And what kind of a man would I be to hit a girl in the head with a damn chair? I rather have 'em say I hit a man with a chair, not no damn woman.[13]

They waited eight months to try Iverson as an adult, and the lead detective lied on the stand about telling Iverson "to take pictures" when he went down to the courthouse. The count initially said that Iverson maimed three people which is usually a sixty-year sentence. Iverson drew a 15-year prison sentence, with 10 years suspended. After Iverson spent four months at Newport News City Farm, a correctional facility in Newport News, he was granted clemency by Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder, and the Virginia Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in 1995 for insufficient evidence.[13] This incident and its impact on the community is explored in the documentary film No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson.

"They wanted to make an example out of Iverson," said Iverson's high school basketball coach. "Only defendants not given bond are capital murderers" said James Elleson, Iverson's lawyer. Tom Brockaw and the public played a huge role in the release of Iverson. There were rallies and marches for all four black men that were incarcerated, and Tom Brockaw did a special interview with Iverson from the jail. In this special, Iverson was very apologetic and somber. Tom Brockaw even said, "I thought the sentence was surprisingly harsh."[7]

Iverson said of his time in prison:

I had to use the whole jail situation as something positive. Going to jail, someone sees something weak in you, they'll exploit it. I never showed any weakness. I just kept going strong until I came out.[13]

The prison sentence forced him to complete his senior year of high school at Richard Milburn High School, a school for at-risk students, instead of competing in sports at Bethel.[13] However, the three years Iverson spent there were enough to convince Georgetown University head coach John Thompson to come out and meet Iverson, and offer him a full scholarship to join the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team.[13]

College basketball

In his first season at Georgetown in 1994–95, Iverson won the Big East Rookie of the Year award and was named to the All Rookie Tournament First Team.[14] That season, Iverson led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to North Carolina.[15]

In his second and final season at Georgetown in 1995–96, Iverson led the team to a Big East championship and all the way to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Massachusetts.[16] He ended his college career as the Hoyas' all-time leader in career scoring average, at 22.9 points per game.[3] Iverson was named as a First Team All American.

Following the conclusion of his sophomore year, Iverson declared for the 1996 NBA draft. He was the first player under Coach Thompson to leave Georgetown early for the NBA.[13]

Professional career (1996–2011)

Philadelphia 76ers (1996–2006)

Early years (1996–2000)

Allen Iverson Lipofsky
Iverson was selected first overall in 1996

After two seasons at Georgetown, Iverson was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA draft. Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall, he became the shortest first overall pick ever, in a league normally dominated by taller players.

Coming to a Philadelphia team that had just finished the previous season with a dismal 18-64 record, Iverson was only able to help the Sixers to a 22–60 record in 1996–97.[17] In a game against the 55-8 Chicago Bulls, Iverson scored 37 points and memorably crossed over Michael Jordan.[18] He broke Wilt Chamberlain's rookie record of three straight games with at least 40 points, doing so in five straight games, including a 50-point effort in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.[19][20] Averaging 23.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game for the season, Iverson was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Aided by the arrivals of Theo Ratliff, Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, and new coach Larry Brown, Iverson continued to help the 76ers move forward the following season, as they improved nine games to finish 31-51.[21]

The lockout-shortened 1998–1999 season would mark great improvement for the 76ers. Iverson averaged 26.8 points (which led the league, earning his first scoring title) and was named to his first All NBA first team. The Sixers finished the season at 28-22, earning Iverson his first trip to the playoffs.[22] He started all ten playoff games and averaged 28.5 points per game despite being hampered by a number of nagging injuries. Iverson led the Sixers to an upset over the number three seeded Orlando Magic in four games, before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the second round in six games.[23]

Prior to the next season, Iverson signed a six-year, $70 million contract extension.[24] That year, the Sixers would continue to improve under Iverson's leadership, as they finished 49-33, once again qualifying for the playoffs (this time earning the fifth seed, one spot higher than the previous year's sixth seed).[25] In the playoffs, Iverson averaged 26.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Philadelphia would advance past the Charlotte Hornets in the opening round, but was eliminated by Indiana in the second round in six games for the second straight year.[26]

That season, Iverson was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the first time of what would be 11 straight selections. He was the only player other than Shaquille O'Neal to receive a MVP vote that year. In the 2000 off-season, the 76ers actively tried to trade Iverson after his numerous disagreements with then-coach Larry Brown, and had agreed to terms with the Detroit Pistons before Matt Geiger, who was included in the deal, refused to forfeit his $5 million trade kicker.[27]

MVP season and trip to the Finals (2000–01)

Allen Iverson free throw
Iverson attempting a free throw against the Lakers

During the 2000–01 season, Iverson led his team to a franchise record 10-0 start to the season, and was named starter at the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, where he won the game MVP. The Sixers posted a 56–26 record on the year, the best in the Eastern Conference that season, earning the top seed. He also averaged a then-career high 31.1 points, winning his second NBA scoring title in the process. Iverson won the NBA steals title at 2.5 a game. Iverson was named NBA Most Valuable Player; at 6 feet and 165 pounds, he became the shortest and lightest player to win the MVP award. He had 93 first-place votes out of a possible 124.[28] He was also named to the All NBA First team for his accomplishments. In the playoffs, Iverson and the Sixers defeated the Indiana Pacers in the first round, before meeting Vince Carter-led Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Semifinals. The series went the full seven games. In the next round, the Sixers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, also in seven games, to advance to the 2001 NBA Finals against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, featuring the duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

Iverson led the Sixers to their first finals since their 1983 championship. In game one of the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson scored a playoff high 48 points and beat the heavily favored Lakers 107–101; it was the Lakers' only playoff loss that year. In the game, he notably stepped over Tyronn Lue after hitting a crucial shot.[29] Iverson would go on to score 23, 35, 35, and 37 in games 2–5, all losing efforts though the Sixers were not swept like many predicted. Iverson enjoyed his most successful season as an individual and as a member of the Sixers during the 2000–01 NBA season.

Iverson began using a basketball sleeve during this season during his recovery from bursitis in his right elbow.[30] Other players, including Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant,[31] adopted the sleeves as well, as did fans who wore the sleeve as a fashion statement.[32] Iverson continued wearing his sleeve long after his elbow had healed.[31] Some believed that the sleeve improved Iverson's shooting ability. Steven Kotler of Psychology Today suggested that such sleeves may act as a placebo to prevent future injuries.[31]

Early playoff exits and Larry Brown's departure (2001–2003)

Iverson shoots
Iverson in 2003

Fresh off their trip to the NBA Finals, Iverson and the Sixers entered the 2001–2002 season with high expectations, but were plagued by injuries, and only able to muster a 43-39 record to just sneak into the playoffs.[33] Despite playing in only 60 games that season and being hampered by injuries, Iverson averaged 31.4 points per game to earn his second consecutive scoring title. The 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs 3-2 in the five game series. After the defeat, Brown criticized Iverson for missing team practices. Iverson responded by saying, "We're sitting here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're in here talking about practice,"[34] and went on a rant that included the word "practice" fourteen times.[35]

The 2002–2003 season started off poorly for the Sixers, who had just traded defensive-standout Dikembe Mutombo to New Jersey, and saw a decrease in both offensive and defensive production from Aaron McKie and Eric Snow, all three of whom were key components to their Finals appearance two years prior. Iverson would once again put up stellar scoring numbers (27.6 points per game) however, and the Sixers regrouped following the All-Star break to make the playoffs with a 48-34 record.[36] They were able to defeat Baron Davis and the New Orleans Hornets in the opening round of the playoffs. Iverson later described Davis as the most difficult opposing point guard to defend in his career.[37] In the six-game second round series, the 76ers were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons.

Head Coach Larry Brown left the 76ers in 2003, following the playoff loss. After his departure from the 76ers, both he and Iverson indicated that the two were on good terms and genuinely fond of one another.[38] Iverson later reunited with Brown when Iverson became the co-captain of the 2004 United States Olympic men's basketball team. In 2005, Iverson said that Brown was without a doubt "the best coach in the world".

Disappointment and frustration (2003–2006)

Randy Ayers became the next coach of the 76ers, but failed to develop any chemistry with his players, and was fired following a 21–31 start to the season. During the latter part of the 2003–04 NBA season, Iverson bristled under the disciplinarian approach of the Sixers' interim head coach Chris Ford. This led to a number of contentious incidents, including Iverson being suspended for missing practice, fined for failing to notify Ford that he would not attend a game because he was sick, and refusing to play in a game because he felt "insulted" that Ford wanted Iverson to come off the bench as he worked his way back from an injury.[39] Iverson missed a then-career-high 34 games in a disastrous season that saw the Sixers miss the postseason for the first time since the 1997 season.

The 2004–2005 season saw Iverson and the Sixers bounce back under the tutelage of new head coach Jim O'Brien, and additions of their first round draft pick Andre Iguodala, and All-Star forward Chris Webber, who was acquired in a mid-season trade. A rejuvenated Iverson won his fourth NBA scoring title with 31 points and averaged 8 assists for the year, and helped the 76ers climb back into the postseason with a 43-39 record.[40] They would go on to lose to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons, who were led by Larry Brown, in the first round. In the series, Iverson had three double-doubles, including a 37-point, 15 assist performance in Philadelphia's lone win of the series.

Despite O'Brien helping the team back into the postseason, disagreements with players and management led to his firing after just one season. He was replaced by Sixers' legend Maurice Cheeks, in a personnel move Iverson praised, as Cheeks had been an assistant coach with the team when they reached the NBA Finals in 2001.[41] During the 2005–2006 season, Iverson averaged a career high 33.0 points per game. The Sixers, however, missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.

On April 18, 2006, Iverson and Chris Webber arrived late to the Sixers' fan appreciation night and home game finale. Players are expected to report 90 minutes before game time, but both Iverson and Webber arrived around tipoff. Coach Maurice Cheeks notified the media that neither would be playing and general manager Billy King announced that Iverson and Webber would be fined.[42] During the 2006 off-season, trade rumors had Iverson going to Denver, Atlanta, or Boston. None of the deals were completed. Iverson had made it clear that he would like to stay a Sixer.[43]

Iverson and the Sixers began the 2006–07 NBA season at 3-0 before stumbling out to a 5-10 record through 15 games.[44] Following the disappointing start, Iverson reportedly demanded a trade from the Sixers (which he denied).[45] As a result, Iverson was told he would not play in any more games. During the following game against the Washington Wizards, which was televised nationally on ESPN, Sixers Chairman Ed Snider confirmed the trade rumors by stating "We're going to trade him. At a certain point, you have to come to grips with the fact that it's not working. He wants out and we're ready to accommodate him."[46]

Iverson ended his 10-year Philadelphia tenure with the highest scoring average in team history (28.1), and is second all-time on the points list (19,583), and the Sixers did not win another playoff series after his departure until 2012.

Denver Nuggets (2006–2008)

Iverson from behind
Allen Iverson during his tenure with the Denver Nuggets

On December 19, 2006, the Philadelphia 76ers sent Iverson and forward Ivan McFarlin to the Denver Nuggets for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two first-round picks in the 2007 NBA draft. At the time of the trade, Iverson was the NBA's number two leading scorer with new teammate Carmelo Anthony being number one.[47]

On December 23, 2006, Iverson played his first game for the Nuggets. He had 22 points and 10 assists in a losing effort to the Sacramento Kings.[48] In his first year as a Nugget they made the playoffs. They won the first game and lost the next four to the San Antonio Spurs.[49]

Iverson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing referee Steve Javie following a game between the Nuggets and Iverson's former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, played January 2, 2007. During the game, he committed two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. After the game, Iverson said, "I thought I got fouled on that play, and I said I thought that he was calling the game personal I should have known that I couldn't say anything anyway. It's been something personal with me and him since I got in the league. This was just the perfect game for him to try and make me look bad."[50]

Former referee Tim Donaghy supported the claim that Javie had a longstanding hatred for Iverson in his book, Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, which a Florida business group published through a self-publishing arm of Amazon.com[51] after it was dropped by a division of Random House, who cited liability issues after reviewing the manuscript.[52]

In a December 2009 interview with 60 Minutes, Donaghy said he and fellow referees thought the punishment was too light. Before Iverson's Nuggets played the Utah Jazz on January 6, 2007, Donaghy said he and the two other officials working the game agreed not to give Iverson favorable calls as a way to "teach him a lesson." Iverson attempted 12 free throws, more than any other player on either team. On 12 drives to the basket, he drew five fouls, three of which Donaghy whistled himself, and did not receive a call on one play in which Utah's Mehmet Okur clearly fouled him.[53]

Iverson returned to Philadelphia on March 19, 2008 to a sell-out crowd and received a standing ovation in a 115–113 loss.[54]

Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies (2008–2009)

Allen Iverson
Iverson, as a member of the Pistons

On November 3, 2008, Iverson was dealt from the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons for guard Chauncey Billups, forward Antonio McDyess and center Cheikh Samb.[55] Iverson, who had worn a #3 jersey his entire NBA career, switched to number 1 for the Pistons, which Billups previously wore for the team.

Iverson scored at least 24 in four of his first five games with Detroit (They won 3 of the 5),[56] and would score 20 or more and 6 or more assists on a consistent basis, but as the season wore on, he would lose playing time to Rodney Stuckey. Some have speculated that Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars did not envision a long-term role for Iverson on the team, but traded for him to make Stuckey the point guard of the future and free cap space with Iverson's expiring contract.[57]

On April 3, 2009, it was announced that Iverson would not play the remainder of the 2008–09 season. Dumars cited Iverson's ongoing back injury as the reason for his deactivation, although two days prior Iverson stated publicly that he'd rather retire than be moved to the bench as Pistons coach Michael Curry had decided.[58]

On September 10, 2009, Iverson signed a one-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.[59] He stated that "God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career," and that "I feel that they are committed to developing a winner."[60]

However, Iverson again expressed his displeasure at being a bench player,[61] and left the team on November 7, 2009 for "personal reasons."[62] On November 16, the Grizzlies announced the team terminated his contract by "mutual agreement."[63] He played three games for the Grizzlies, averaging 12.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, and 3.7 apg in 22.3 mpg.

Return to the 76ers (2009–2010)

Allen Iverson Sixers jumper2
Iverson shoots a jump shot in 2010

On November 25, 2009, analyst Stephen A. Smith published on his blog a statement attributed to Iverson announcing plans for retirement, which also said, "I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level."[64]

Less than a week later on November 30, Iverson and his representatives met with a Philadelphia 76ers delegation about returning to his former team,[65] and accepted a contract offer two days later. General manager Ed Stefanski declined to go into the terms of the agreement, but an unnamed source told the Associated Press that Iverson agreed to a one-year non-guaranteed contract at the league minimum salary. Iverson would receive a prorated portion of the $1.3 million minimum salaries for players with at least 10 years of experience, and the contract would become guaranteed for the remainder of the 2009–10 season if he remained on the roster on January 8, 2010.[66] Stefanski said the team made the decision to pursue Iverson after starting guard Louis Williams suffered a broken jaw and was expected to miss at least 30 games.[67]

On December 7, 2009, Iverson made his return to Philadelphia, garnering a thunderous ovation from the sold-out crowd, in a loss against his former team, the Denver Nuggets.[68] He finished the game with 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, a steal, and no turnovers.[69] Iverson's first win in his return to Philadelphia came one week later, in a 20-point effort against the Golden State Warriors, ending the Sixers' 12-game losing streak (which stood at 9 games before Iverson returned).[70] He shot 70 percent from the field in the game.[71]

On January 3, 2010, he returned to Denver to face the Nuggets; Iverson scored 17 points and had seven assists in the 108-105 win.[72] He was voted as a starter for the All-Star Game for the 11th straight season.[73] He scored a season-high 23 points (on 56% shooting from the field) in a 99-91 loss to Kobe Bryant and the defending champion Lakers.[74][75]

On February 22, 2010, Iverson left the 76ers indefinitely, citing the need to attend to his 4-year-old daughter Messiah's health issues, which he revealed years later as Kawasaki Disease.[76][77] On March 2, Ed Stefanski announced Iverson would not return to the 76ers for the rest of the season to deal with the personal matter.[78] His final NBA game was a loss against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on February 20, 2010.[79]

Beşiktaş (2010–2011)

On October 26, 2010, Yahoo! Sports reported that Iverson agreed in principle to a two-year, $4 million net income contract with Beşiktaş, a Turkish Super League team competing in the second-tier level of pan-European professional basketball, the EuroCup (the competition below the EuroLeague level).[80] The club announced the signing at a press conference in New York City, on October 29, 2010.[81] Wearing jersey #4,[82] Iverson made his debut for Beşiktaş on November 16, 2010, in a EuroCup 91-94 loss to Serbian side Hemofarm. Iverson scored 15 points in 23 minutes.[83]

Iverson returned to the United States in January 2011 for calf surgery.[84][85] He only played ten games for Beşiktaş that season, and did not play professional basketball after that.

Official retirement

In January 2013, Iverson received an offer to play for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, but he declined.[86]

On October 30, 2013, Iverson announced his retirement from basketball, citing he'd lost his desire to play.[87][88] At the 76ers 2013–14 season home opener that night, he received a standing ovation at the beginning of the second quarter. The retirement ceremony was attended by former Georgetown coach John Thompson and Sixers great Julius Erving.[89] Iverson said he would always be a Sixer "until I die," and that while he always thought the day he retired would be a "tough" day, he instead stated it was rather a "happy" day.[88]

In November 2013, the 76ers announced that they would officially retire Iverson's number 3 in a special halftime ceremony on March 1, 2014, when the Sixers hosted the Washington Wizards.[90][91] The ceremony took place in front of 20,000 spectators and 76ers greats such as Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and former team president Pat Croce.[92]

BIG3

In 2017, the creation of the 3-on-3 professional basketball league BIG3 was announced, with Iverson set to be a player and coach on 3's Company.[93] In March, it was announced that Iverson's co-captain would be DerMarr Johnson.[94] 3's Company drafted Andre Owens, Mike Sweetney, and Ruben Patterson during the 2017 BIG3 Draft.[95] On June 25, 3's Company played its first game of the inaugural BIG3 season against the Ball Hogs.[96] In the game, Iverson scored 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting in 9 minutes of play.[97] On only playing 9 minutes, Iverson stated, "I signed up to be a coach, player and captain. Coach part is going to go on throughout the game. Playing part is not going to be what you expect. You're not going to see the Allen Iverson of old out there."[96]

Role in cultural change of NBA

Allen Iverson was a very controversial player. He fueled the merging of the hip-hop and rap culture and the National Basketball Association. Jalen Rose, who played at the same time as Iverson, even said that Iverson is a "cultural icon." "Iverson was the bridge that combined hip-hop and basketball," said NBA star, Dwayne Wade.

Iverson came into the league and immediately started making a cultural impact with his cornrows, twenty-one tattoos, and baggy clothing. He wore earrings, a headband, and street clothing to press conferences which was unheard of in the early 2000s NBA. He earned local supports from the global Hip-Hop crowd including celebrities like Scoop Jackson. However, fans of fundamental basketball had a problem with the way Iverson dressed and carried himself. He was called out for having an "ungentlemanly attitude" and "the attitude of a thug". However, given the backlash, Iverson didn't shy away from his identity. Other superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Carmelo Anthony followed along and started to copy Iverson's style. It even got to the point where then NBA Commissioner, David Stern, issued a dress code for all players that included no headbands, chains and called for business attire only. However, Iverson's impact could not be undone, and he is responsible for allowing players of today's NBA express themselves the way they want.

National team career

Allen periodistes
Iverson after a 2006 game with Barcelona

1995 World University Games

Iverson was a member of the USA World University Games Team in Japan in 1995, that included future NBA stars Ray Allen and Tim Duncan, among others. Iverson led all USA players in scoring, assists, and steals, averaging 16.7 points per game, 6.1 assists per game, and 2.9 steals per game. He helped lead the team to an undefeated record en route to a 141-81 victory over the host country, Japan, for the gold medal.[98]

2003 FIBA Americas championship

Iverson was selected to be part of Team USA for the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico in August of that year. USA had a perfect 10–0 record, and won the gold medal as well as qualifying for a berth in the 2004 Olympics. Iverson started all eight games that he played in, and was second on the team with 14.3 points per game, while also posting 3.8 assists per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 1.6 steals per game, and shooting 56.2 percent (41–73 FGs) from the field, 53.6 percent (15–28 3pt FGs) from 3-point and 81.0 percent (17–21 FTs) from the foul line.[99]

In the USA's 111–71 victory over Canada on August 25, he accounted for a USA Olympic Qualifying single game record 28 points and made a single game record seven 3-pointers. Playing just 23 minutes, he shot 10-for-13 overall, 7-for-8 from the 3-point line, 1-for-1 from the foul line and added three assists, three steals, and one rebound. All seven of his 3-point field goals were made during the final 7:41 of the third quarter.[100]

He finished the tournament ranked overall tied for 10th in scoring, tied for fourth in steals, fifth in 3-point percentage, tied for seventh in assists, and ninth in field goal percentage (.562). Iverson also missed the USA's final two games because of a sprained right thumb which was suffered in the first half of the August 28 Puerto Rico game. In a game against Puerto Rico, he recorded 9 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field overall, and added five assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes of action in the USA's 101–74 exhibition game victory on August 17 in New York. He was also named to the 2003 USA Senior National Team on April 29, 2003.

Career statistics

NBA statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
* Led the league
Regular season
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1996–97 Philadelphia 76 74 40.1 .418 .341 .702 4.1 7.5 2.1 .3 23.5
1997–98 Philadelphia 80 80 39.4 .461 .298 .729 3.7 6.2 2.2 .3 22.0
1998–99 Philadelphia 48 48 41.5* .412 .291 .751 4.9 4.6 2.3 .1 26.8*
1999–00 Philadelphia 70 70 40.8 .421 .341 .713 3.8 4.7 2.1 .1 28.4
2000–01 Philadelphia 71 71 42.0 .420 .320 .814 3.8 4.6 2.5* .3 31.1*
2001–02 Philadelphia 60 59 43.7* .398 .291 .812 4.5 5.5 2.8* .2 31.4*
2002–03 Philadelphia 82* 82* 42.5* .414 .277 .774 4.2 5.5 2.7* .2 27.6
2003–04 Philadelphia 48 47 42.5* .387 .286 .745 3.7 6.8 2.4 .1 26.4
2004–05 Philadelphia 75 75 42.3 .424 .308 .835 4.0 7.9 2.4 .1 30.7*
2005–06 Philadelphia 72 72 43.1* .447 .323 .814 3.2 7.4 1.9 .1 33.0
2006–07 Philadelphia 15 15 42.7* .413 .226 .885 2.7 7.3 2.2 .1 31.2
2006–07 Denver 50 49 42.4* .454 .347 .759 3.0 7.2 1.8 .2 24.8
2007–08 Denver 82* 82* 41.8* .458 .345 .809 3.0 7.1 2.0 .1 26.4
2008–09 Denver 3 3 41.0 .450 .250 .720 2.7 6.7 1.0 .3 18.7
2008–09 Detroit 54 50 36.5 .416 .286 .786 3.1 4.9 1.6 .1 17.4
2009–10 Memphis 3 0 22.3 .577 1.000 .500 1.3 3.7 .3 .0 12.3
2009–10 Philadelphia 25 24 31.9 .417 .333 .824 3.0 4.1 .7 .1 13.9
Career 914 901 41.1 .425 .313 .780 3.7 6.2 2.2 .2 26.7
All-Star 9 9 26.6 .414 .667 .769 2.6 6.2 2.3 .1 14.4
Playoffs
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1999 Philadelphia 8 8 44.8 .411 .283 .712 4.1 4.9 2.5 .3 28.5
2000 Philadelphia 10 10 44.4 .384 .308 .739 4.0 4.5 1.2 .1 26.2
2001 Philadelphia 22 22 46.2 .389 .338 .774 4.7 6.1 2.4 .3 32.9
2002 Philadelphia 5 5 41.8 .381 .333 .810 3.6 4.2 2.6 .0 30.0
2003 Philadelphia 12 12 46.4 .416 .345 .737 4.3 7.4 2.4 .1 31.7
2005 Philadelphia 5 5 47.6 .468 .414 .897 2.2 10.0 2.0 .4 31.2
2007 Denver 5 5 44.6 .368 .294 .806 .6 5.8 1.4 .0 22.8
2008 Denver 4 4 39.5 .434 .214 .697 3.0 4.5 1.0 .3 24.5
Career 71 71 45.1 .401 .327 .764 3.8 6.0 2.1 .2 29.7

College statistics

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1994–95 Georgetown 30 29 32.2 .390 .232 .688 3.3 4.5 3.0 .2 20.4
1995–96 Georgetown 37 37 32.8 .480 .366 .678 3.8 4.7 3.4 .4 25.0
Career 67 66 32.5 .440 .503 .638 3.6 4.6 3.2 .3 23.0

Personal life

Iverson Nelly 2
Iverson and rap star Nelly at a Reebok photoshoot.

During the 2000 offseason, Iverson recorded a rap single called "40 Bars". However, after being criticized for its controversial lyrics, he eventually was unable to release it. Going under his moniker, Jewelz, the album was alleged to have made derogatory remarks about homosexuals. After criticism from activist groups and NBA Commissioner David Stern, he agreed to change the lyrics, but ultimately never released the album.[101]

On May 14, 2015, Iverson appeared on CBS This Morning in support of a Showtime Network documentary on his life, Iverson, during which he addressed long-discussed rumors of financial struggles, denying any notion that he was struggling. "That's a myth. That's a rumor... The fact that I'm struggling in any part of my life", he said.[102]

Legal troubles

During the 1997 offseason, Iverson and his friends were stopped by a police officer for speeding late at night. He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and for possession of marijuana. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to community service.[103]

In 2002, Iverson was alleged to have thrown wife Tawanna out of their home after a domestic dispute and later threatening two men with a gun while looking for her. All charges against him were later dropped after the judge cited lack of evidence with contradictory statements from witnesses.[104]

On February 24, 2004, Iverson urinated in a trash can at Bally's Atlantic City casino and was told by casino management not to return.[105]

On December 9, 2005, after the Sixers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, Iverson paid a late-night visit to the Trump Taj Mahal. After winning a hand at a three-card-stud poker table, Iverson was overpaid $10,000 in chips by a dealer. When the dealer quickly realized the mistake and requested the chips back, Iverson refused, and a heated head-turning argument between him and the casino staff began. Atlantic City casino regulations reportedly state that when a casino makes a payout mistake in favor of the gambler, the gambler must return the money that they did not legitimately win.[105]

Also in 2005, Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane was accused of assaulting a man at a Washington, D. C. nightclub after the man, Marlin Godfrey, refused to leave the club's VIP section so Iverson's entourage could enter. Godfrey suffered a concussion, a ruptured eardrum, a burst blood vessel in his eye, a torn rotator cuff, cuts and bruises, and emotional distress. Although Iverson did not touch Godfrey himself, Godfrey sued Iverson for the injuries caused by his bodyguard. In 2007 a jury awarded Godfrey $260,000. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the verdict in 2009.[106]

In August 2011, an Ohio man sued Iverson for $2.5 million in damages, claiming Iverson's security guard assaulted him in a 2009 bar fight in Detroit. The federal judge dismissed the case, finding no evidence that Iverson or his bodyguard struck the plaintiff, Guy Walker.[107]

In 2013, Iverson was accused of kidnapping his children and refusing to return them to their mother. He denied the claim and his ex-wife later recanted.[108]

Marriage and family

In August 2001, Iverson married his high school sweetheart Tawanna Turner at The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, New Jersey.[109] They have five children: Tiaura (born 1995), Allen II (born 1998), Isaiah (2003), Messiah (born 2005), and Dream (born 2008).[110]

On March 2, 2010, Tawanna Iverson filed for divorce, seeking custody of their children, as well as child support and alimony payments.[109] According to Iverson, the couple were back together less than a month after the divorce was finalized in 2013.[111]

Iverson's cousin, Kuran Iverson, played Division I basketball for the University of Rhode Island and now plays in the NBA G-League.[112]

Awards and honors

Filmography

See also

References

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External links

1996 NBA draft

The 1996 NBA draft was the 50th draft in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It was held on June 26, 1996 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In this draft, NBA teams took turns selecting college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues. The Vancouver Grizzlies had the highest probability to win the NBA draft lottery, but since they were an expansion team along with the Toronto Raptors, they were not allowed to select first in this draft. The team with the second highest probability, the Philadelphia 76ers, won the lottery and obtained the first selection. The Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies were second and third respectively.

Allen Iverson, a sophomore from Georgetown was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.

It is widely considered to be one of the deepest and most talented NBA drafts in history, with one-third of the first round picks later becoming NBA All-Stars. The draft class produced three players who won NBA MVP awards (Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash), seven other drafted players who became All-Stars (Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Ray Allen, Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, Stephon Marbury, Jermaine O'Neal, Peja Stojaković, Antoine Walker), and one undrafted All-Star (Ben Wallace), for a grand total of 11 All-Stars. Moreover, eight players from this draft class have been named to at least one All-NBA Team, the most among any draft. The draft class also produced three players who have been named to the NBA's all-defensive first team: Bryant, Marcus Camby, and Wallace. Camby won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007, while Wallace earned the same award in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. Eventual 5-time NBA champion Derek Fisher was also included in the draft.

On April 13, 2016, Bryant played his final NBA game, making him the last player from this draft to play in the NBA. He scored sixty points in the last game as the final player of this draft.

Most experts rate it along with the 1984 NBA draft and 2003 NBA draft as one of the best drafts in history. Sports Illustrated named it the second-best, behind the 1984 draft, which included a draft class of Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton.

1996 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The Consensus 1996 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1996 was the last year that the UPI teams were named. After being considered a part of consensus selections since 1949, they would be replaced in 1998 by the Sporting News All-American team.

1996–97 NBA season

The 1996–97 NBA season was the 51st season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The league used this season to mark its 50th anniversary, which included the unveiling of the league's list of its 50 greatest players. This particular season featured what has since been acknowledged as one of the most talented rookie-classes, featuring the debuts of Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jermaine O'Neal, Ben Wallace and Stephon Marbury. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls defeating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals to win the franchise's 5th championship.

2000 NBA All-Star Game

The 2000 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 13, 2000 at the Oakland Arena in Oakland, California, home of the Golden State Warriors. This game was the 49th edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 1999-2000 NBA season. (The 1998-99 edition was canceled due to the NBA lockout.)

The Western Conference won the game with the score of 137-126 while Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan were both named MVP of the game. O'Neal took the All Star MVP trophy saying to Duncan, "you already have one of those rings (referring to the championship ring Duncan received due to him being a member of the 1998-99 Championship team with David Robinson and Gregg Popovich), so I'm taking the trophy." Allen Iverson was the leading scorer of the game with 26 points.

2000–01 NBA season

The 2000–01 NBA season was the 55th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their second straight championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 1 in the 2001 NBA Finals.

2001 NBA All-Star Game

The 2001 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 11, 2001 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., home of the Washington Wizards. This game was the 50th edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2000–01 NBA season.

Allen Iverson was named the game's Most Valuable Player after he rallied the East to garner an improbable 111–110 comeback victory over the West. The East trailed 95–74 with nine minutes left after the West dominated the first 39 minutes behind its superior size. Iverson sparked the comeback scoring 15 of his 25 points in the final nine minutes of the game. Stephon Marbury also helped the East by hitting two three-pointers in the final 53 seconds, including one with 28 seconds left, which proved to be the game-winner.

Kobe Bryant scored the most points for the West squad (19 points), which led by as much as twenty-one points before the team squandered the lead. Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer at the time, could have taken the last shot; instead, he threw a pass that resulted in a last-second miss by Tim Duncan.

2001 NBA Finals

The 2001 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2000–01 season. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers took on the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers for the championship, with the Lakers holding home-court advantage in a best-of-seven format.

The Lakers won the series 4 games to 1. Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

Allen Iverson scored 48 points in his only NBA Finals victory, as the 76ers took Game 1 107–101 in overtime, handing the Lakers their only loss of the playoffs. However, the Lakers went on to win the next four games, despite being out-shot and out-rebounded in the series. Los Angeles punished Philadelphia with their three-point shooting, which was the key to this series. In Game 3 Robert Horry hit a three-point shot in the last minute, and in the next two games the Lakers used hot 3-point shooting to build big leads and hold off late 76ers comeback attempts in games 4 and 5, pulling away for double-digit wins to capture the title.

2003 NBA All-Star Game

The 2003 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 9, 2003 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks. This game was the 52nd edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2002–03 NBA season.

The West defeated the East 155-145 in double overtime, with Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the Most Valuable Player. Garnett scored 37 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had 5 steals. Allen Iverson led the East with 35 points.

This was the first All-Star Game to be transmitted on cable television, through TNT. This was also the 14th and final All-Star Game that Michael Jordan participated in, as a result of his final retirement after the 2002–03 season.

The 2003 game is the last NBA All-Star Game to be decided in overtime.

2005 NBA All-Star Game

The 2005 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 20, 2005 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, home of the Denver Nuggets. This game was the 54th edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2004–05 NBA season.

For the second time in the last six years, the East defeated the West 125-115, with Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers named the Most Valuable Player. Iverson scored 15 points, handed out 10 assists, and had 5 steals. Ray Allen led the West with 17, and 5-for-11 from three-point range.

2007–08 Denver Nuggets season

The 2007–08 Denver Nuggets season was the 41st season of the franchise, 32nd in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The season saw Allen Iverson play his only full season as a Nugget until he was traded to Detroit midway through the next year. Despite winning 50 games, the Nuggets entered the playoffs as the number 8 seed in the Western Conference. They failed to make it out of the first round once again as they were swept by the eventual Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers, led by league MVP Kobe Bryant, in four straight games.

The team's season roster is featured in NBA 2K18.

2008–09 Detroit Pistons season

The 2008–09 Detroit Pistons season was the 68th season of the franchise, the 61st in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the 52nd in the Detroit area. The season was the first under new head coach Michael Curry, who took over for Flip Saunders who was fired at the conclusion of the 2007–08 season.

In the playoffs, the Pistons were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games in the First Round.

During the season, the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson. McDyess was waived by the Nuggets and was re-signed by the Pistons. It was their first losing season since the 2000–01 NBA season, and the first time they didn't reach the Eastern Conference Finals since the 2001–02 NBA season. The 2008–09 season was also the last time the Pistons qualified for the playoffs, until the 2015–16 season. Following the season, Rasheed Wallace signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics and Iverson left to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies and Curry was fired.

Combo guard

A combo guard is a basketball player who combines the attributes of a point guard (1) and shooting guard (2), but does not necessarily fit the standard description of either position. Such guards are usually within the 6' 2" (1.88 m) and 6' 4" (1.93 m) height range. Most combo guards tend to be between point and shooting guards in terms of height, although some possess the height of a point or shooting guard specifically which affects how each plays.

Combo guards became prominent in the 1990s, when players such as Allen Iverson and Penny Hardaway were switched between playing point guard and shooting guard, depending on offensive and defensive situations. Combo guards use their ball-handling skills to bring the ball up the court and set up teammates, while also having the ability to shoot well.

The best combo guards use their "in-between" height and athleticism to their own advantage: smaller point guards will use speed and agility to run past bigger players, while bigger shooting guards will shoot over the top of smaller players with their jump shots.

Historically, combo guards have been viewed as difficult for coaches to fit into an offensive system; however, combo guards have more recently become an important part of basketball, especially in the NBA. Dwyane Wade, a shooting guard with point-guard-like ball handling, led the Miami Heat to their first-ever NBA Championship in 2006, and won the Finals MVP award for the same championship series. In addition, the shift in the sport from a fundamental-driven style of play to a more scoring-oriented one means that the inferior passing ability of such guards is not viewed as a serious detriment. This shift is in part explained by hand-checking rules instituted by the NBA in 2007, which makes it a foul for a defender to use his hands to impede an offensive player. This allowed many smaller, weaker combo guards to use their speed to drive around stronger, taller players. In fact, many shorter young players (6' 2" or shorter) focus on developing their scoring abilities, whereas previously they would have to be proper point guards with the innate ability to pass to succeed in the professional leagues. For example on that end, Allen Iverson is 6' 0" (1.83 m) tall, but given his shoot-first mentality, despite his exceptional ball-handling skills, he started playing as a shooting guard. He was rated as the fifth-greatest shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008. Other examples of combo guards are Jerry West, Jason Terry, Monta Ellis, Goran Dragic, Lou Williams, Juan Carlos Navarro, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Victor Oladipo, Zach LaVine, Joe Dumars, and Jeff Hornacek.

This is in contrast to "true" (or "pure") point guards such as Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Kevin Johnson and Ricky Rubio. These players exhibit a pass-first mentality, value assists and steals over points, and embrace the responsibility of playmaker rather than finisher. They conform to the perception that a point guard's duties are to direct the offense, distribute the ball, create scoring opportunities for others, and attempt the shot only if there are no open teammates to be found.

Some players, for example James Harden, Devin Booker, Manu Ginóbili, Tyreke Evans, Shaun Livingston, Jordan Clarkson, Jamal Crawford, Greivis Vasquez, and Rodney Stuckey, have the requisite size for a shooting guard (6' 5" or taller), but due to their above-average ball-handling and playmaking ability, are used as combo guards or even as swingmen.

In the Euroleague, the most notable examples are Vassilis Spanoulis, who has led his team to 3 Euroleague championships, and Sergio Llull, who has led Real Madrid to win Euroleague last season (2015) and nearly joined Houston Rockets that year before signing renewal with his lifelong team. Other examples include American-born Macedonian player, Lester "Bo" McCalebb.

Field goal percentage

Field goal percentage in basketball is the ratio of field goals made to field goals attempted. Its abbreviation is FG%. Although three-point field goal percentage is often calculated separately, three-point field goals are included in the general field goal percentage. Instead of using scales of 0 to 100%, the scale .000 to 1.000 is commonly used. A higher field goal percentage denotes higher efficiency. In basketball, a FG% of .500 (50%) or above is considered a good percentage, although this criterion does not apply equally to all positions. Guards usually have lower FG% than forwards and centers. Field goal percentage does not completely tell the skill of a player, but a low field goal percentage can indicate a poor offensive player or a player who takes many difficult shots. In the NBA, Center Shaquille O'Neal had a high career FG% (around .580) because he played near the basket making many high percentage layups and dunks. Guard Allen Iverson often had a low FG% (around .420) because he took the bulk of his team's shot attempts, even with high difficulty shots.

The NBA career record for field goal percentage is held by DeAndre Jordan at 0.671. The highest field goal percentage for a single season was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 0.727 in the 1972–73 season.

Field goal percentages were substantially lower in the NBA until the mid-to-late 1960s. For this reason, many early NBA stars have low field goal percentages, such as Bob Cousy at .375, and George Mikan, Bob Pettit, and Bill Russell, whose career field goal percentages of .404, .436, and .440, respectively, are much lower than later post players.Three-point field goal percentage is usually kept as additional statistics. Its abbreviation is 3FG%. A 3FG% of .400 and above is a very good percentage.

List of Georgetown Hoyas in the NBA and WNBA drafts

The Georgetown Hoyas, representing Georgetown University, have had 42 players picked in the NBA Draft. Two Hoyas were the NBA first overall draft picks: Patrick Ewing in 1985 and Allen Iverson in 1996. Alonzo Mourning was the second overall pick in the 1992 draft. Other alumni have gone undrafted, but entered the NBA later, such as Jaren Jackson in 1989, and Henry Sims and Chris Wright in 2013.

List of National Basketball Association annual minutes leaders

In basketball, minutes of game time during which a player is on the court are recorded. The minutes played statistics are recorded as far back as the 1951–52 season when statistics on minutes were first compiled by the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nine times the average leader has played fewer than 40 minutes per game and eight times the leader has played more than 46 minutes per game. Wilt Chamberlain has the seven highest leading totals, while Nate "Tiny" Archibald is the only other single-season leader to average over 46 minutes per game. In one season, Chamberlain averaged over 48 minutes per game (meaning that he rested fewer minutes during the season than he played in overtime during the season).

Chamberlain led the league in minutes played per game nine times, followed by Allen Iverson (7) and Michael Finley (3) times. Twelve other players have led the league in minutes per game twice, eight of them in consecutive years. Chamberlain holds the record for consecutive titles with five, followed by Iverson with three (two times). Fifteen times a member of the San Francisco/Philadelphia/Golden State Warriors has led the league in average minutes. Nine full seasons and parts of another the average leader played for the Philadelphia 76ers. Seventeen seasons and parts of another the leader played for either the Philadelphia Warriors or the Philadelphia 76ers.

In 16 of the 61 seasons since the statistic has been kept, the minutes per game leader was not the total minutes played leader. Larry Bird and Iverson are the only multiple leaders in average who were surpassed in total minutes multiple times. Five of Iverson's seven times and both of Bird's times as the average leader they were surpassed in total minutes. Kevin Durant is the only player to lead the league in total minutes without finishing in the top three in average minutes during the same season. He is also the only player to never lead in average minutes, but lead in total minutes multiple times. The first four times and five of the first seven times that the leader in average did not lead in total minutes, he finished second in total minutes. However, the last six times that the average leader did not lead the league in total minutes, he was outside of the top 10 and the last nine times, he was outside of the top 5.

List of National Basketball Association annual steals leaders

In basketball, a steal is a "defensive action" that causes the opponent to turn the ball over. The National Basketball Association's (NBA) steal title is awarded to the player with the highest steals per game average in a given season. The steal title was first recognized in the 1973–74 season when statistics on steals were first compiled. To qualify for the steal title, the player must appear in at least 70 games (out of 82) or have at least 125 steals. This has been the entry criteria since the 1974–75 season.Alvin Robertson holds the all-time records for total steals (301) and steals per game (3.67) in a season; achieved in the 1985–86 season. Among active players, Chris Paul had the highest season steal total (217) in the 2007–08 season and the highest season steal average (2.77) in the 2008–09 season.

Paul has won the most steal titles, with six. Micheal Ray Richardson, Robertson, Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson all follow with three. Magic Johnson, Mookie Blaylock, Baron Davis and John Stockton are the only other players to win more than one steal title, with two. Paul has won the most consecutive steal titles, with four. Four players have won both the steal title and the NBA championship in the same season: Rick Barry in 1975 with the Golden State Warriors, Magic Johnson in 1982 with the Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan in 1993 with the Chicago Bulls and Draymond Green in 2017 with the Golden State Warriors.

NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the player(s) voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. The league also re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 MVP winners respectively. The voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 since the game was canceled due to the league's lockout. As of 2019, the most recent recipient is Golden State Warrior forward Kevin Durant.

Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant are the only two players to win the All-Star Game MVP four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant have all won the award twice. James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month. Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 21 years, 10 months. They are notable as being the two youngest to win the award, both as Cleveland Cavaliers. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, and O'Neal and Bryant in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States. Both Duncan and Irving are American citizens, but are considered "international" players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Irving lived in the U.S. since age two, and Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest.

Bob Pettit (1958, 1959) and Russell Westbrook (2015, 2016) are the only players to win consecutive awards. Pettit (1956), Bob Cousy (1957), Wilt Chamberlain (1960), Bill Russell (1963), Oscar Robertson (1964), Willis Reed (1970), Dave Cowens (1973), Michael Jordan (1988, 1996, 1998), Magic Johnson (1990), Shaquille O'Neal (2000), and Allen Iverson (2001) all won the All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season; Jordan is the only player to do this multiple times. 14 players have won the award playing for the team that hosted the All-Star Game: Macauley (1951), Cousy (1957), Pettit (1958, 1962), Chamberlain (1960), Adrian Smith (1966), Rick Barry (1967), Jerry West (1972), Tom Chambers (1987), Michael Jordan (1988), Karl Malone (1993), John Stockton (1993), O'Neal (2004, 2009), Bryant (2011) and Davis (2017); Pettit and O'Neal did this multiple times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of playing in the most All-Star Games (18) without winning the All-Star Game MVP, while Adrian Smith won the MVP in his only All-Star Game.

Slam (magazine)

Slam is an American basketball magazine in circulation since 1994.

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