There comes a time when not every story gets to have a happy ending, no flowers, parade, or cinematic score to signify the end and in the sports world, unfortunately this may be the case in the story of Allen Iverson. On August 21st, 2013, according to SLAM.com, the 11 time NBA all-star and former league MVP announced that he was officially stepping away from the game that not only brought him fame, fortune and joy but also heartache, financial strain and pain.
Iverson, 38 in his 13 season career spent a majority of his career with the 76ers but also had stints with the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Pistons as well. The announcement gave fans and critics alike a chance to reflect and remember the player Iverson was. Through social media fans began to remember the passionate, fearless, undersized scoring machine that was indeed one of the greatest small guards to ever play the game; he ended his career with averages of 26.7 points, 2.2 steals and 6.2 assists a game, but his statistics truly don’t measure the cultural impact that in both American and urban culture. Iverson embodied the rags to riches story for the African-American athlete and was instrumental in the merging of the hip-hop culture and the NBA. His legendary style of play was able to integrate street ball to the NBA game and indirectly brought popularity to breaking down your defender over scoring. Iverson in his prime was the most dangerous guard in the NBA and was definitely one of the most exciting players in the history of the league. The NBA is still benefiting from the influence of AI through today’s generation of players who grew up watching “The Answer” and patterned their style of play and on-court swagger after him.
One thing that is undisputed by anyone about Iverson is that during his 13 year career despite his bad boy image, he was a warrior in a sport where most of his peers towered over him. The book of Iverson shall end with him making his greatest move of all, one final crossover into the Nasmith Basketball Hall of Fame and hitting a fade away into basketball immortality.