Once upon a time, Allen Iverson held the hearts of basketball enthusiasts from his home turf in Virginia to the blacktops of Philly. You could cop a pair his signature shoe, The Question, from Reebok, anywhere. As AI made his retirement official on Nov. 25, we look back on his career.
Allen was often misunderstood for his personal style and attire during his tenure in the NBA. He made the transition from a Georgetown Hoya to a Philadelphia 76er and trashed the competition with his deadly crossover. During his pre-afro/corn-row years, where his look was often duplicated, AI took to center stage; his most notable – putting Michael Jordan on skates:
The man they call The Answer provided a solution for every kid who wanted to make things happen beyond the basketball court. As seen in the A5 commercial above, Iverson shot the video with rapper Jadakiss and even spit some bars on the A6 commercial. AI always tried to make the best of his situations and ended up on various magazine covers, including Bounce family’s DIME Magazine.
Eventually, he took his game from the hardwood to the asphalt, where his game stood out once again. The clip below shows Iverson’s venture to the Hallowed Ground at 155th St & 8th Ave in Harlem, also known as Rucker Park. His street game brought the crowd to their feet amidst other NBA players and celebrities at the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) as The Answer solidified his street rep.
The NBA’s little man with the big heart proved to be humble on all ends from his family and Reebok to the community and hoop head fans everywhere. In his retirement statement, he recognized the City of Brotherly love – a place he called home for eleven years.
And finally, to the city of Philadelphia: I have wonderful memories of my days in a Sixers’ uniform. To Philly fans, thank you. Your voice will always be music to my ears.
Allen Iverson, you are streetball. The epitome of everything street. You never changed for anyone and we love you for it. Like all post careers (a la Michael Jackson or Marilyn Monroe), the legend will live on…