Allen Iverson is one of the most legendary figures in NBA history. One of the most important figures in the NBA, Iverson's impact on the game is taken for granted on several occasions.
Iverson's play on the court was truly incredible. He helped reinvigorate the 76ers franchise in the early 2000s, even winning an MVP in 2001 and leading the franchise to the 2001 NBA Finals.
Iverson was a fan favorite in the NBA. But that doesn't mean that he was universally loved. AI learned this lesson during a 2002 playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The 76ers were soundly beaten by the Celtics in Game 5 of their first-round series.
In an effort to cheer the team up, Iverson gave a Celtics ballboy $2,000 and told him to get beers for him and the team. The ballboy, who went on to become Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix, went and bought $2,000 worth of Corona beers.
But on his way back, celebrating Boston fans started stealing the beers from his hand cart. The number of beers in the case was diminishing. Then Mannix ran into a Celtics player when entering the arena, who took some of the beers for themselves to celebrate.
By the time Mannix reached Iverson with the cases of beers, there were only 4 left for him, as others had taken or stolen the rest. Iverson was confused, asking Mannix how he spent $2,000 only to return with that amount. But he let it go, as he was glad there was at least something for him and the team to drink.
"He goes, 'That's what my money bought you?'" Mannix said. "That's what $2,000 bought you?... I think he was just in such a foul mood that he didn't really argue," Mannix said. "As long as there was something on that bus for him, he took it."
Iverson is an icon in the NBA and revolutionized the way we look at basketball and basketball players. Many consider AI to be one of the originators of flash in the NBA.
His slick moves and incredible skill enthralled several fans and inspired a whole generation of NBA stars, many of whom have found great success in the league over the last few years.
On top of that, Iverson was also a great fashion symbol for the league. Many of the fashion trends on and off the court became the signature style that so many players in the league adopted, and those trends are still seen in the league to this day.