Allen Iverson is one of the most influential NBA players of all time, as he brought new energy to the league with his flashy style of play and his eccentric personality, the Answer was somebody who drew a lot of attention wherever he went. Even though he had some big issues during his career, AI loved the game and did everything he could to win.
It all started in 1996 when he was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft ahead of other big legends of the game. Following two seasons in Georgetown, Iverson decided to enter the draft, and the Sixers knew they had their gem in the talented player.
Great as he looked entering the league, AI still had things to work on, and his draft analysis is the perfect example of that. Old footage of that moment shows how high people were on Iverson, but scouts found the things he needed to polish before becoming the legend he became.
His strengths and weaknesses card read:
Great court vision
Sometimes erratic play
Shoots 1st, passes 2nd
At the time, Ernie Johnson discussed these characteristics with Hubie Brown, who added more details about Iverson's time in college.
"I think you also have to throw into the equation is the fact that he was Defensive Player of the Year two times in the Big East, you know that with the basketball from end to end, no one is gonna be quicker. Plus, you know because of his explosiveness, he can break you down from the defensive standpoint, and a major plus with this guy, he gets to the foul line."
Iverson made an instant impact on the league, delighting fans with his incredible plays, even going against Michael Jordan and crossing him in one of the most memorable plays of his career. He finished his rookie season with averages of 23.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 34.1% from beyond the arc and 70.2% from the free-throw line.
The Answer tried hard to win a championship, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to the Finals in 2001, but Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal ruined his dream of becoming a champion. He was a fierce competitor, finishing his career averaging 26.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per contest, shooting 31.3% from deep and 78.0% from the foul line.
AI is one of the best players to never win a ring, but that doesn't take anything away from him. He's a huge legend that did a lot for the game and deserves all the respect in the world.