Zach Tennen on Basketball - NBA and College
Michigan native Zachary Tennen is a basketball expert and blogs about his basketball perspective
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Allen Iverson retires a legend
Allen Iverson is a sure first-ballot Hall-of-Famer that has made his mark on the history of the game. Sure, A.I. may not have ended his career on the note he would have liked to. However, a superstar status like Iverson truly can’t go a whole career without receiving criticism and making a few poor decisions.
For the majority of his career, Allen Iverson was fantastic, to say the least. “The Answer” was definitely one-of-a-kind with his lethal combination of blazing speed and scoring ability. That brings me to an interesting point.
Iverson came into the league as pure a scorer as they get as he averaged 23.5 points per game his rookie season (that’s harder than it sounds). A lot of great players take a few years to become first-class bucket-makers. Even rookie LeBron James didn’t quite have the touch to consistently put the ball in the basket like Iverson could (excluding LeBron’s strength to get to the line).
At his peak, A.I. averaged 31 points per game and he did that three different years. Unfortunately, Iverson wasn’t able to stick around as long as Kobe Bryant as an elite superstar. Had Iverson been in the same situations as Kobe, maybe he would have. Regardless, it was almost impossible to make a gameplan to stop both Kobe and Iverson.
Allen Iverson managed to reach the Finals only once and lost in five games to the Kobe & Shaq-led Lakers. You can’t hold that against him, though. There were definitely times Iverson could have been more mature in the locker room. However, all-in-all, Iverson ultimately brought his team to another level (2001 76ers).
It wasn’t only about skill and craftiness for A.I., though. He had that hunger almost nobody else played with. His mentality to carry his team and be that guy is what brought him to the top of the NBA. His swagger and mean attitude to go along with that, Iverson would never go unnoticed by his NBA peers.