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Allen Iverson

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Full Name: Allen Ezail Iverson Current Team: Detroit Pistons
Height/Weight: 6'0"/180 Number: 1
Birthdate: June 7, 1975 Entry Draft: 1st round (1st) in 1996
Birthplace: Hampton, Virginia Drafted By: Philadelphia 76ers
Position: PG/SG College: Georgetown University


Biography

Allen Ezail Iverson, (born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia), nicknamed A.I. and The Answer, is a professional professional basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons. He is an All-Star point/shooting guard. A ten-year veteran at the age of 31, he is considered by many to be among the greatest guards of his generation and one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the game.

Iverson is the third leading points per-game scorer in NBA history. He has averaged 27.7 points per game in his career, trailing all-time leader Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain in this category by only 2.0 points per game. Iverson is one of only 30 players in NBA history to score over 20,000 points in his career, and he was the 6th fastest in the history of the game to achieve this feat.

Iverson averages 6.2 assists per game over his career so far, as well as 3.8 rebounds per game.

On defense, Iverson is also an adept ball-thief and is known for playing the passing lanes. He regularly ranks among the league leaders in steals and averages over 2 steals per game for his entire career.

In 2003, Iverson was ranked 53rd on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA players of all time.

Before the NBA

Early years

On June 7 1975, Allen Iverson was born on the Virginia Peninsula (where both Hampton and Newport News are located). The son of Allen Broughton and Ann Iverson, his dad skipped out on the family and their then 15-year-old mother was left caring for him and his sister Brandy. Shortly after being born, his maternal grandmother - often the pillar in an inner-city family - passed away. In 1991, Iverson, Brandy and their mother welcomed a new addition to the family, Leisha, who was ill, adding to the family bills. Growing up, Iverson was often responsible for taking care of his younger sisters Brandy (born 1979) and Liesha (born 1991), which was especially difficult with the toddler, who suffered frequent seizures.

Mounting medical bills pushed the family further in debt. Ann's boyfriend, Allen's de facto father, Michael Freeman has been in and out of jail all of his life. After a car accident left him unemployed once again in 1991, desperate for money Freeman was caught and convicted for drug possession with intent to distribute. "I didn't buy Cadillacs and diamond rings," Freeman explains, "I was payin' bills."

Iverson used to blame the man who taught him how to play basketball and pushed him to excel at it. Today he's proud of Freeman. "He never robbed nobody," said Allen. "He was just tryin' to feed his family. It would kill him to come from jail and find out how his family was living. Every time his mother saw him lose heart, she told him "go till the end every time you see the chance".

Iverson once recalled about his childhood - "Coming home, no lights, no food, sometimes no water. Then when there was water, no hot water. Living in a house where the sewer was busted under the house and having to watch my sister walk around in her socks all day because the floor was wet from the sewage. The smell was making my sister sick."

He had two role models in his youth, his mom and Tony Clark, with whom Iverson had a close relationship. Iverson's mom would tell Allen he could be somebody and could do anything with his God given talent. She told him "never let anyone tell you differently." Tony Clark (not to be confused with the baseball player also inspired Iverson. When Iverson skipped school, he hung out with Tony, who was six or seven years older. Tony would tell Iverson's mom what was going on and Allen's mom would come and get him. Allen would kick and scream and tell Tony that he hated him, but Tony did what he did because he loved Allen and cared. Allen was like his little man, and he stayed with them for two years. Tony, who had a lot going on between his family and his girlfriend, was killed when Iverson was 15. Allen had no more male role models to replace Tony, but there is one guy that he hangs with now, Andre Steele, and now he looks out for him.

Bethel High School/The Brawl

In his days at Bethel High School in Hampton, Iverson was a star football and basketball player. He had scholarship offers from all over the country, as he quarterbacked the football team to a state championship his junior year. He was in the midst of leading the school's basketball team to a state title when he went to a Hampton bowling alley with friends on Valentine's Day 1993. A brawl broke out between Iverson's friends, all of whom were African-American, and several white teenagers.

Iverson claims that the brawl was triggered by racial slurs, and although the level of his involvement remains unclear—he has maintained his innocence—Iverson was alleged to have hit a woman in the head with a chair. He and three other African-American youths were arrested.

At 17, Iverson was convicted on a felony charge of "maiming-by-mob" and drew a 15-year prison sentence, with 10 years suspended. All scholarship offers were quickly rescinded. He spent four months at the Newport News City Farm before Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder granted him a pardon. In 1995, the Virginia Court of Appeals overturned the conviction, citing insufficient evidence of his guilt.

Georgetown University

While Iverson was in prison, his mother visited Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson in December 1993, begging him to help her son. "She was the reason why I helped her child," Thompson said.

In spring 1994, he visited Iverson at Hampton's Richard Milburn High, a school that catered to at-risk students or students who already had dropped out of high school. Thompson told the prolific guard that he would offer him a scholarship, but he would not hesistate to send Iverson "back to Hampton with his tail between his legs" if he failed to comply with the legendary coach, or strict honor code of Georgetown.

At Georgetown, Iverson was an Arts major, his first love as a child. He is still known for impressive caricatures that depict teammates and celebrities.

As a Hoya, Iverson won two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards, a Rookie of the Year award, 1995-1996 All-Tournament 1st Team, and a Gold Medal for his win at the World University Games in Japan in 1995. He was also the Hoyas All-Time leading scorer.

As his family situation worsened and financial responsibility mounted, Iverson needed to turn pro early, which meant leaving school before graduating. Iverson was the first of just two basketball players (Victor Page being the other) to leave Georgetown without a degree under Thompson.

After two phenomenal years at Georgetown, Allen left his coach John Thompson and announced himself eligible for the NBA draft.

NBA career

Sixer years from 1996 to 1999

After two outstanding seasons at Georgetown, Allen Iverson was the first player picked in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson quickly established himself as one of the premier pointguards in the NBA. In his debut against the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored 30 points. He was named Schick Rookie of the Year and was a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Iverson led the Sixers with 23.5 points (sixth in the NBA), 7.5 assists (11th) and 2.07 steals (seventh), leading NBA rookies in each category.

Despite his outstanding play on the court, Iverson often experienced difficulty handling the media and pressure of his new celebrity status. He was criticized by players, coaches, and the press alike, who often pointed to his lack of respect for great NBA players and his selfishness with the ball, and often backed this up by emphasizing the Sixers' poor record despite his achievements.

Even though his scoring dropped from 23.5 in 96/97 to 22 that year, Allen became more of a team player.

In the 1999-2000 season, Iverson had his first trip to the playoffs, having played well in a year in which he set records, was the NBA scoring champion, and a starter for the All Star game - Iverson felt he deserved to go to the play-offs, He started all ten playoff games and averaged 44.4 minutes per game despite being hampered by a number of nagging injuries. He averaged 26.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.20 steals per game, with a high of 40 points in the First Round opener at Charlotte on April 22.

2000-2001 MVP season

Iverson arguably had his best season in 2001 - he led his team to win their first ten games, he started and won All-Star MVP honors at the All-Star game, was the NBA scoring champion for the second time, was the NBA steals champion, and ultimately led his team to an NBA finals appearance against the Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

For most of the early portion of Iverson's career, his head coach with the Sixers was Larry Brown. Iverson often praised Brown, saying that he would not have achieved so much in the sport without Brown's guidance. Iverson had a love-hate relationship with Brown, however, and the two frequently clashed, most famously after the 76ers were defeated in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs. Brown criticized Iverson for missing team practices and Iverson defended himself with what would become a famous and oft-quoted monologue which some observers felt indicated a lack of appreciation by Iverson for the importance of practice.

If Coach tells you that I missed practice, then that's that. I may have missed one practice this year but if somebody says he missed one practice of all the practices this year, then that's enough to get a whole lot started. I told Coach Brown that you don't have to give the people of Philadelphia a reason to think about trading me or anything like that. If you trade somebody, you trade them to make the team better...simple as that. I'm cool with that. I'm all about that. The people in Philadelphia deserve to have a winner. It's simple as that. It goes further than that ... If I can't practice, I can't practice. It is as simple as that. It ain't about that at all. It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about practice. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we're talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game last it's my last but we're talking about practice man. How silly is that? ... Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about practice. We're talking about practice man. We're talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you've seen me play right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about practice right now. ... Hey I hear you, it's funny to me too, hey it's strange to me too but we're talking about practice man, we're not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we're talking about practice ... How in the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing? [1]

Transactions

Statistics

Totals

Season Team G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1997 PHI 76 74 3045 625 1504 .416 155 455 .341 382 544 .702 115 197 312 567 157 24 337 233 1787
1998 PHI 80 80 3150 649 1407 .461 70 235 .298 390 535 .729 86 210 296 494 176 25 244 200 1758
1999 PHI 48 48 1990 435 1056 .412 58 199 .291 356 474 .751 66 170 236 223 110 7 167 98 1284
2000 PHI 70 70 2853 729 1733 .421 89 261 .341 442 620 .713 71 196 267 328 144 5 230 162 1989
2001 PHI 71 71 2979 762 1813 .420 98 306 .320 585 719 .814 50 223 273 325 178 20 237 147 2207
2002 PHI 60 59 2622 665 1669 .398 78 268 .291 475 585 .812 44 225 269 331 168 13 237 102 1883
2003 PHI 82 82 3485 804 1940 .414 84 303 .277 570 736 .774 68 276 344 454 225 13 286 149 2262
2004 PHI 48 47 2040 435 1125 .387 57 199 .286 339 455 .745 34 144 178 324 115 5 209 87 1266
2005 PHI 75 75 3174 771 1818 .424 104 338 .308 656 786 .835 51 248 299 596 180 9 344 140 2302
2006 PHI 72 72 3103 815 1822 .447 72 223 .323 675 829 .814 44 188 232 532 140 10 248 121 2377
2007 PHI 15 15 640 151 366 .413 12 53 .226 154 174 .885 7 34 41 109 33 1 66 21 468
2007 DEN 50 49 2121 430 947 .454 50 144 .347 331 436 .759 16 136 152 359 90 12 202 74 1241
2007 Total 65 64 2761 581 1313 .442 62 197 .315 485 610 .795 23 170 193 468 123 13 268 95 1709
2008 DEN 82 82 3424 712 1556 .458 95 275 .345 645 797 .809 47 196 243 586 160 12 245 109 2164
2009 DEN 3 3 123 18 40 .450 2 8 .250 18 25 .720 3 5 8 20 3 1 10 3 56
2009 DET
Career

Per Game

Season Team G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1997 PHI 76 74 40.1 8.2 19.8 .416 2.0 6.0 .341 5.0 7.2 .702 1.5 2.6 4.1 7.5 2.1 0.3 4.4 3.1 23.5
1998 PHI 80 80 39.4 8.1 17.6 .461 0.9 2.9 .298 4.9 6.7 .729 1.1 2.6 3.7 6.2 2.2 0.3 3.1 2.5 22.0
1999 PHI 48 48 41.5 9.1 22.0 .412 1.2 4.1 .291 7.4 9.9 .751 1.4 3.5 4.9 4.6 2.3 0.1 3.5 2.0 26.8
2000 PHI 70 70 40.8 10.4 24.8 .421 1.3 3.7 .341 6.3 8.9 .713 1.0 2.8 3.8 4.7 2.1 0.1 3.3 2.3 28.4
2001 PHI 71 71 42.0 10.7 25.5 .420 1.4 4.3 .320 8.2 10.1 .814 0.7 3.1 3.8 4.6 2.5 0.3 3.3 2.1 31.1
2002 PHI 60 59 43.7 11.1 27.8 .398 1.3 4.5 .291 7.9 9.8 .812 0.7 3.8 4.5 5.5 2.8 0.2 4.0 1.7 31.4
2003 PHI 82 82 42.5 9.8 23.7 .414 1.0 3.7 .277 7.0 9.0 .774 0.8 3.4 4.2 5.5 2.7 0.2 3.5 1.8 27.6
2004 PHI 48 47 42.5 9.1 23.4 .387 1.2 4.1 .286 7.1 9.5 .745 0.7 3.0 3.7 6.8 2.4 0.1 4.4 1.8 26.4
2005 PHI 75 75 42.3 10.3 24.2 .424 1.4 4.5 .308 8.7 10.5 .835 0.7 3.3 4.0 7.9 2.4 0.1 4.6 1.9 30.7
2006 PHI 72 72 43.1 11.3 25.3 .447 1.0 3.1 .323 9.4 11.5 .814 0.6 2.6 3.2 7.4 1.9 0.1 3.4 1.7 33.0
2007 PHI 15 15 42.7 10.1 24.4 .413 0.8 3.5 .226 10.3 11.6 .885 0.5 2.3 2.7 7.3 2.2 0.1 4.4 1.4 31.2
2007 DEN 50 49 42.4 8.6 18.9 .454 1.0 2.9 .347 6.6 8.7 .759 0.3 2.7 3.0 7.2 1.8 0.2 4.0 1.5 24.8
2007 Total 65 64 42.5 8.9 20.2 .442 1.0 3.0 .315 7.5 9.4 .795 0.4 2.6 3.0 7.2 1.9 0.2 4.1 1.5 26.3
2008 DEN 82 82 41.8 8.7 19.0 .458 1.2 3.4 .345 7.9 9.7 .809 0.6 2.4 3.0 7.1 2.0 0.1 3.0 1.3 26.4
2009 DEN 3 3 41.0 6.0 13.3 .450 0.7 2.7 .250 6.0 8.3 .720 1.0 1.7 2.7 6.7 1.0 0.3 3.3 1.0 18.7
2009 DET
2009 Total
Career

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