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Allen Iverson

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Title: Allen Iverson  
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Subject: Philadelphia 76ers, Wilt Chamberlain, Carmelo Anthony, Larry Bird, 2001 NBA Finals
Collection: 1975 Births, African-American Basketball Players, African-American Rappers, American Expatriate Basketball People in Turkey, American Men's Basketball Players, Basketball Players at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Basketball Players from Virginia, Beşiktaş Men's Basketball Players, Denver Nuggets Players, Detroit Pistons Players, Georgetown Hoyas Men's Basketball Players, Living People, Medalists at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Memphis Grizzlies Players, National Basketball Association All-Stars, National Basketball Association Players with Retired Numbers, Olympic Basketball Players of the United States, Olympic Bronze Medalists for the United States, Olympic Medalists in Basketball, Parade High School All-Americans (Boys' Basketball), People from Hampton, Virginia, Philadelphia 76Ers Draft Picks, Philadelphia 76Ers Players, Point Guards, Shooting Guards, United States Men's National Basketball Team Players
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Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson
Iverson in 2008
Personal information
Born (1975-06-07) June 7, 1975
Hampton, Virginia
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school Bethel (Hampton, Virginia)
College Georgetown (1994–1996)
NBA draft 1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro career 1996–2011
Position Guard
Number 3, 1, 4
Career history
19962006 Philadelphia 76ers
20062008 Denver Nuggets
2008–2009 Detroit Pistons
2009 Memphis Grizzlies
2009–2010 Philadelphia 76ers
2010–2011 Beşiktaş (Turkey)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 24,368 (26.7 ppg)
Rebounds 3,394 (3.7 rpg)
Assists 5,624 (6.2 apg)
Stats at

Allen Ezail Iverson (born June 7, 1975) is an American retired professional basketball player who played for four different teams (Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Memphis Grizzlies) during 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 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.

Iverson attended points per game) and won Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards both years.[2]

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 sixth 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. He also 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.[3]

Iverson officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on October 30, 2013.[4]


  • Early life 1
  • College basketball 2
  • Professional career (1996–2011) 3
    • Philadelphia 76ers (1996–2006) 3.1
      • Early years (1996–2000) 3.1.1
      • MVP season and trip to the Finals (2000–01) 3.1.2
      • Early playoff exits and Larry Brown's departure (2001–2003) 3.1.3
      • Disappointment and frustration (2003–2006) 3.1.4
    • Denver Nuggets (2006–2008) 3.2
    • Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies (2008–2009) 3.3
    • Return to the 76ers (2009–2010) 3.4
    • Beşiktaş (2010–2011) 3.5
    • Official retirement 3.6
  • International career 4
    • 1995 World University Games 4.1
    • 2003 FIBA Americas championship 4.2
  • NBA career statistics 5
    • Regular season 5.1
    • Playoffs 5.2
  • Attempt at a musical career 6
  • Legal and financial problems 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

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

He attended Bethel High School, where he started as quarterback for the school football team,[7] while also playing running back, kick returner and defensive back.[8] He also started as point guard for the school basketball team. During his junior year, Allen 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.[9]

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.[10] 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 thereafter, 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, along with three of his friends who are 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.[11] Iverson and his supporters maintained his innocence, claiming that he left the alley as soon as the trouble began. Iverson said, "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."[11]

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.[11] This incident and its impact on the community is explored in the documentary film No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson. 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."[11]

The prison sentence forced him to complete his senior year of high school at

  • Career statistics and player information from, or
  • Eurocup Basketball Profile
  • Turkish Basketball League Profile
  • A reflection on Allen Iverson's career
  • U.S. Olympic Team bio
  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ LYNN BURKE 247-4961 September 24, 2004 (2004-09-24). "3. Allen Iverson". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Allen Iverson". Georgetown Basketball History. December 3, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Special Dime: Greatest shooting guards of all time". March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on March 14, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Iverson at peace as he retires from basketball". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ 2009-10 Memphis Grizzlies media guide, p. 22.
  6. ^ "A Town Divided: Allen Iverson And Hampton, Va.".  
  7. ^ Nance, Roscoe (February 22, 2004). "Iverson puts heart on line, ignores injuries".  
  8. ^ "Allen Iverson at Bethel". Retrieved 2004-09-24. 
  9. ^ Latimer, Clay (December 20, 2006). "He brings baggage but also a big heart".  
  10. ^ Teel, David, and Chernicky, David (February 24, 1993). "Feb. 24, 1993: Iverson still for Bethel playing despite his arrest". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia: Tribune Media. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Sielski, Mike (March 4, 2007). "Iverson Answers the Call".  
  12. ^ Check Out These Stories from Our Partners (2009-12-10). "Allen Iverson Rewind: Georgetown University". The Hoop Doctors. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  13. ^ "1994-95 Georgetown Hoyas Roster and Statistics | College Basketball at". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  14. ^ "1995-96 Georgetown Hoyas Roster and Statistics | College Basketball at". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  15. ^ "1996-97 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  16. ^ "1997-98 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  17. ^ "1998-99 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  18. ^ "1999 NBA Playoffs Summary". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  19. ^ "Allen Iverson timeline". ESPN. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  20. ^ "1999-00 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  21. ^ "2000 NBA Playoffs Summary". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  22. ^ Smallwood, Jr., John (March 2001). "Brotherly Love Like - Allen Iverson, under the coaching of Larry Brown, emerges as team captain of the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers". Basketball Digest. 
  23. ^ CBS Sports. "Six-foot Iverson smallest player to win MVP award ". CBS Sports. May 15, 2001. Retrieved on December 31, 2008.
  24. ^ "NBA Finals 2001". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  25. ^ Chris Broussard. "Now a Leader, Iverson Turns Image Around". New York Times. June 6, 2001. Retrieved on December 31, 2008.
  26. ^ a b c Steven Kotler. "Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and Basketball's Placebo effect". Psychology Today. April 17, 2008. Retrieved on January 8, 2009.
  27. ^ Larry Platt. Only the Strong Survive. Harper Collins, 2003. 9.
  28. ^ "2001-02 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  29. ^ "Allen Iverson news conference transcript". 2002-05-10. 
  30. ^ Wood, Skip (2002-05-09). "Brown puts balm on Iverson's feelings". 
  31. ^ "2002-03 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  32. ^ Allen Iverson [Sixers] (April 15, 2015). "Baron Davis. #AskTheAnswer" (Tweet). Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  33. ^ Andy Friedlander. "Brown's relationship with Iverson? Answer might surprise you". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  34. ^ "Iverson 'insulted' by decision to have him come off bench". USA Today. March 15, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  35. ^ "2004-05 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Statistics". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  36. ^ "O'Brien fired". 
  37. ^ Roberts, Kevin (2006-04-19). "Now's time to get rid of A.I., Webber".  
  38. ^ "Sixers' Iverson to Celtics? It's all just talk". The Boston Globe. June 26, 2006. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. 
  39. ^ "Allen Iverson 2006-07 Game Log". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  40. ^ "In first interview since trade, Iverson tells his story". ESPN. 2006-12-22. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  41. ^ "Trade talks heat up as Iverson sits two games". ESPN. 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  42. ^ "Miller, Smith go to Sixers in deal for Iverson". ESPN. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  43. ^ Eddie Pells (2006-12-23). "Iverson Shines in Nuggets Loss to Kings". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  44. ^ "Spurs Close Out Nuggets in Game 5". 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  45. ^ "Iverson fined $25,000 for postgame rant against Javie". ESPN. 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  46. ^ Abbot, Henry (December 3, 2009). "Personal Foul: Tim Donaghy's NBA tell-all now available". TrueHoop ( 
  47. ^ Beck, Howard (October 29, 2009). "Tim Donaghy Again Forces an N.B.A. Investigation of Referees". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  48. ^ Berger, Ken (December 8, 2009). "'"Disgraced former ref Donaghy details scam on '60 Minutes.  
  49. ^ "Dalembert tallies winner for Sixers, who stave off Iverson, Nuggets". March 19, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Pistons Acquire Allen Iverson from Denver in Exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb". 
  51. ^ "Allen Iverson 2008-09 Game Log". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  52. ^ [2]
  53. ^ "Grizzlies sign four-time scoring champion Allen Iverson". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  54. ^ "God Chose Memphis?". The Washington Post. 
  55. ^ Spears, Marc J. "Grizzlies, Iverson off to rocky start". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  56. ^ Spears, Marc J. "Iverson leaves the Grizzlies". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  57. ^ "Grizzlies part ways with Iverson".  
  58. ^ "Report: Iverson to retire".  
  59. ^  
  60. ^ Jasner, Phil (December 3, 2009). "Iverson's humble homecoming".  
  61. ^ Juliano, Joe (December 2, 2006). "Iverson agrees to non-guaranteed deal with Sixers".  
  62. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson starts Monday against Denver Nuggets". ESPN. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  63. ^ "The Game Happens Here". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  64. ^ "The Game Happens Here". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  65. ^ "Iverson out to spend time with daughter". Associated Press. February 22, 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  66. ^ Wojnarows, Adrian (February 22, 2010). "Sixers considering breaking ties with A.I.".  
  67. ^ "Iverson officially done with the Sixers".  
  68. ^ "Allen Iverson agrees to two-year deal with Turkish team".  
  69. ^ "Allen Iverson ‘Ecstatic’ To Go To Turkey". Associated Press. October 29, 2010. 
  70. ^ "NBA MVP Iverson arrives in Istanbul to join Turkish team". Xinhua. November 9, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  71. ^ "Besiktas ColaTurka - KK Hemofarm Stada Game Report".  
  72. ^ "Club Announcement about Allen Iverson". Besiktas. January 14, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  73. ^ Berger, Ken (February 1, 2011). "Iverson out 6-8 weeks after leg procedure". CBS Sports. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  74. ^ Bradley, Ken (January 29, 2013). "Allen Iverson says he won't go D-League route to return to NBA". Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  75. ^ a b "Allen Iverson officially retires". October 30, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  76. ^ "Heat at 76ers". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  77. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers to Officially Retire Allen Iverson's Number "3" on March 1, 2014". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  78. ^ "Sixers Announce Details for Historic Allen Iverson Retirement Ceremony on March 1". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  79. ^ "Wizards at 76ers". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  80. ^ "USAB: EIGHTEENTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES - 1995". 1995-09-02. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  81. ^ "USAB: EIGHTEENTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES - 1995". 1995-09-02. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  82. ^ "Iverson stars as US beats Canada 111-71". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  83. ^ "Misunderstood Allen Iverson Skips Hip-Hop For Hoops - Rhapsody Music Downloads".  
  84. ^ Heath, Thomas (August 27, 1997). "Iverson Receives 3 Years' Probation".  
  85. ^ a b "NBA Star Allen Iverson and Casino Staff Battle it out in Atlantic City". 
  86. ^ Iverson's Appeal of Lawsuit Rejected by Federal Appeals Court, March 24, 2009
  87. ^ "Iverson reportedly has gambling problem, too". The Baseline ( 
  88. ^ Dwyer, Kelly (November 22, 2010). "'"Allen Iverson is 'not a sensation,' and possibly 'broke. Ball Don't Lie ( 
  89. ^ "Judge dismisses bar-fight lawsuit against Allen Iverson". Associated Press. November 15, 2011. 
  90. ^ "Allen Iverson, NBA icon, struggles with life after basketball". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  91. ^ """Allen Iverson Addresses Broke Rumors: "That’s A Myth. May 15, 2015. 


See also

On May 14, 2015, Iverson appeared on "CBS This Morning" in support of a Showtime Network documentary on his life, during which he addressed long-discussed rumors of financial struggles, denying any notion that he's struggling. "That's a myth. That's a rumor... The fact that I'm struggling in any part of my life," he said.[91]

At a Atlanta in 2012, Iverson shouted to his estranged wife, Tawanna, "I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger!" She handed him $61.[90]

In August 2011, an Ohio man sued Iverson for $2.5 million in damages, claiming he was assaulted by Iverson's security guard 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.[89]

In November 2010, Kate Fagan, a 76ers beat writer for the Inquirer reported that Iverson was "broke" and heavily in debt, "by all accounts except his own", and that a member of Iverson's family had previously contacted NBA teams about a contract for him, as he would not be able to pay that person without a contract.[88]

In a Philadelphia Inquirer column published March 7, 2010, Stephen A. Smith wrote that according to "numerous NBA sources", Iverson would "either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away", and that Iverson had already been banned from casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City. Smith also wrote that Tawanna, his wife of eight years, had separated from him and filed for divorce, seeking custody of their five children, as well as child support and alimony payments.[87]

Also in 2005, Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane was accused of assaulting a man at a Washington DC 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.[86]

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 casino staff began. Atlantic City casino regulations reportedly state that when a casino makes a payout mistake in favor of the gambler, he or she must return the money that they did not legitimately win by playing.[85]

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.[85]

During the 1997 offseason, Iverson and his friends were stopped by a police officer for speeding late at night and was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and for possession of marijuana. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to community service.[84]

Legal and financial problems

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.[83]

Iverson and rap star Nelly at a Reebok photoshoot.

Attempt at a musical career

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


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

Regular season

Led the league

NBA career statistics

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.

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.[82]

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.[81]

2003 FIBA Americas championship

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.[80]

1995 World University Games

Iverson after a 2006 game with Barcelona

International career

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.[77][78] 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.[79]

On October 30, 2013, Iverson announced his retirement from basketball, citing he'd lost his desire to play.[75] 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.[76] Iverson said he'll 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.[75]

In January 2013, Iverson received an offer to play for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, but he declined.[74]

Official retirement

Iverson returned to the United States in January 2011 for calf surgery.[72][73] He only played ten games for Beşiktaş that season, and did not play professional basketball after that.

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 Basketball League team competing in the second-tier level of pan-European professional basketball, the Eurocup (the competition below the Euroleague level).[68] The club announced the signing at a press conference in New York City, on October 29, 2010.[69] Wearing jersey number 4,[70] 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.[71]

Beşiktaş (2010–2011)

On February 22, 2010, Iverson left the 76ers indefinitely, citing the need to attend to his 4-year-old daughter Messiah's health issues.[65] He had missed five games earlier in February and missed the All-Star Game after he was voted in as a starter.[66] On March 2, Ed Stefanski announced Iverson would not return to the 76ers for the rest of the season.[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.[62] He finished the game with 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, a steal and no turnovers.[63] 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).[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,[59] 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 salary 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.[60] 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.[61]

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."[58]

Iverson in December 2009, after his return to the 76ers

Return to the 76ers (2009–2010)

However, Iverson again expressed his displeasure at being a bench player,[55] and left the team on November 7, 2009 for "personal reasons".[56] On November 16, the Grizzlies announced the team terminated his contract by "mutual agreement".[57] Iverson played three games for the Grizzlies, averaging 12.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, and 3.7 apg in 22.3 mpg.

On September 10, 2009, Iverson signed a one-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.[53] Iverson 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."[54]

On April 3, 2009, it was announced by Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars 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.[52]

Iverson scored at least 24 in four of his first five games with Detroit (They won 3 of the 5),[51] 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.

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.[50] Iverson, who had worn a number 3 jersey his entire NBA career, switched to number 1 for the Pistons.

Iverson, as a member of the Pistons

Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies (2008–2009)

Iverson returned to Philadelphia on March 19, 2008 to a sell-out crowd and received a standing ovation in a 115–113 loss.[49]

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 he was obviously fouled by Utah's Mehmet Okur.[48]

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[46] after it was dropped by a division of Random House, who cited liability issues after reviewing the manuscript.[47]

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 course of the game, Iverson 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."[45]

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.[43] In Iverson's first year as a Nugget they made the playoffs. They won the first game and lost the next four to the San Antonio Spurs.[44]

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.[42]

Allen Iverson during his tenure with the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets (2006–2008)

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.

Iverson and the Sixers began the 2006-07 NBA season at 3-0 before stumbling out to a 5-10 record through 15 games.[39] Following the disappointing start, Iverson reportedly demanded a trade from the Sixers (although he would deny that).[40] 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."[41]

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.[37] 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.[38]

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 finals in 2001.[36] 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.

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.[35] 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.

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.[34] 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.

Disappointment and frustration (2003–2006)

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.[33] 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".

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.[31] 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.[32] In the a six-game second round series, the 76ers were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons.

Allen Iverson and then-teammate John Salmons

Fresh off their trip to the 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.[28] 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,"[29] and went on a rant that included the word "practice" fourteen times.[30]

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

Iverson began using a basketball sleeve during this season during his recovery from bursitis in his right elbow.[25] Other players, including Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant,[26] adopted the sleeves as well, as did fans who wore the sleeve as a fashion statement.[27] Iverson continued wearing his sleeve long after his elbow had healed.[26] 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.[26]

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.[24] Iverson would go on to score 23, 35, 35, 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.

During the 2000–01 season, Iverson led his team to wins in the first ten games of the season, and was named starter at the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, where he won the game MVP. The Sixers also posted a 56–26 record, the best in the Eastern Conference that season. 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.[23] 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.

Allen Iverson attempting a free throw against the Lakers

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

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.[22] When it became apparent that Iverson would remain a member of the Sixers, Iverson and Brown put their differences aside to make another attempt at a NBA championship.

Prior to the next season, Iverson signed a six-year, $70 million contract extension.[19] 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).[20] 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.[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.[17] 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.[18]

Coming to a Philadelphia team that had just finished the previous season at 18-64, Iverson was only able to help the Sixers to a 22–60 record.[15] He was however, named the 1996 Rookie of the Year and was also a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team, after averaging 23.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game. Iverson continued to help the 76ers move forward the following season, as they improved nine games to finish 31-51.[16]

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

Early years (1996–2000)

Philadelphia 76ers (1996–2006)

Professional career (1996–2011)

Following the conclusion of his sophomore year, Iverson declared for the NBA draft. He was the first player to leave Georgetown early for the NBA under Coach Thompson.[11]

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.[14] He ended his college career as the Hoyas' all-time leader in career scoring average, at 22.9 points per game.[2] Iverson was named as a First Team All American.

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.[12] That season, Iverson led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to North Carolina.[13]

College basketball


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