Top 10 Surprising Facts About Allen Iverson
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One of the most entertaining basketball players of all-time, Allen Iverson never ceased to amaze fans. With one of the best crossover moves ever, he terrorized defences and scored almost any time he wanted. Although he won the MVP award once, he never achieved the ultimate goal of any NBA player: the NBA championship. Nevertheless, “The Answer” will always be remembered as one of the most popular players of all-time.
He Was an Extremely Talented Football Player
Despite being recognized as a basketball superstar in the NBA, Allen Iverson was once a football star during his high school days in Virginia. In fact, he won the High School Player of the Year in both football and basketball after leading both teams to state championships. That’s pretty impressive considering he played PG in basketball, and QB in high school. He also played running back, kick returner, and defensive back at times.
He Had Trouble With the Law Early On
At the age of 17, Allen Iverson was involved in an incident at a bowling alley. He and his group of friends were arrested under questionable circumstances after a fight broke out. Iverson received a sentence of 15 years in prison. Four months later, due to a lack of any evidence and a large public outcry, Iverson was released from prison and was able to resume playing basketball. Georgetown offered him a scholarship and he never looked back.
His Playoff Scoring Average is Second in NBA History
Despite never winning the big prize, Allen Iverson was always trying his best to carry his team. He achieved a stunning 29.7 points per game in the playoffs in 71 games. This is puts him in second place, behind only the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan. His 2001 playoff run was extra special to witness because he carried the 76ers all the way to the Finals with a scoring average of 32.9 points per game.
Iverson’s Rap Backlash
In 2001, Allen Iverson released a track called “40 bars” that received backlash after an uncensored version was played on the radio. The then-NBA commissioner David Stern said the track was offensive and it didn’t have its place in the NBA. In response to the negative reception, Iverson changed the original name of its album to “Misunderstood”. He ultimately ended up never releasing the song.
Allen Iverson Popularized the Arm Sleeve
In today’s game, we see a lot of players wearing arm sleeves and we think it’s for performance purposes. However, originally, it was for health reasons. In January 2001, Iverson wore a shooting sleeve for the first time to combat bursitis. That season, he wore one every single game and averaged 35 points a game and won the MVP award. He then continued to wear a sleeve for the rest of his career. Due to his big influence, kids and fans wanted to be like him and that’s why it’s still so popular and common.
He was the First Great Athlete to be Associated with Hip-Hop
Before him, no player really stood out from the NBA with his style and attitude. His famous corn rows, his baggy clothes, his multiple tattoos, and his headbands all attracted critics, but also fame. He was the first superstar athlete to bring Hip-Hop culture to professional sports.
One of Only Three Players to Have a Career Average of 26 PPG and 6 Assists
The only two players to achieve this feat: Lebron James and Jerry West. Not a bad group to be a part of and that’s what fans will remember. His effort on the court and his score-at-ease play amazed fans during his career. Not only that, but he was also a great passer with 6 assists per night. He was truly unique and one of the greatest scorers ever.
The Meaning Behind His Nickname
His famous nickname “The Answer” was given to him by friends in high school because they thought he was the answer to shaking up the NBA with his attitude and his style off the court. The way he dressed and the way he played really fits with the nickname because he was truly “The Answer” to 76ers fans.
Allen Iverson is an Avid Artist
Behind his rebellious attitude and character, there is someone who loves art, more specifically cartoons. He said in an interview that he used to draw players who talked trash to him or players he didn’t like in a cartoonish way. He revealed that he wasn’t much of a talker on the court, but he talked trash with his pencils.
Iverson Has a Trust Fund at Reebok
In order to protect him financially, Reebok set up a $32 Million trust fund account to his name that he can’t access until he’s 55 years old. This was set up to protect him from bankruptcy or other financial issues, and it shows great commitment from Reebok. They also continue to pay him $800,000 a year as part of a lifetime contract as a Reebok ambassador.