Posts Tagged ‘Allen Iverson’

Iverson documentary trailer debuts

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The story of Allen Iverson is one of the most compelling, amazing, divisive, interesting stories in all of sports. And for those of us from my generation, we got to live through it, seeing The Answer as he fought for his place among the NBA’s great, eventually scoring an MVP award and a trip to the NBA Finals. Now that AI is officially retired, he’s telling his own story with an upcoming documentary, simply titled Iverson. The movie debuts this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, and will certainly make its way to a larger audience soon…


VIDEO: Iverson Documentary

Rockets teammates get a little bit of NCAA fever

By Jeff Case

ICYMI last night, the Final Four from Dallas, Texas had two classic games: No. 1-seeded Florida vs. No. 7-seeded UConn and, in the late game, No. 2-seeded Wisconsin vs. No. 8-seeded Kentucky. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s a UConn-Kentucky national championship game tomorrow).

As you’d expect, such great matchups weren’t lost on many of the NBA’s best players, some of whom took to Instagram to reveal who they were rooting for … or to show you which game they were attending.

The Florida-UConn game saw Houston Rockets stars Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons (an ex-Gator himself) in the crowd.

Former Georgetown star Allen Iverson surprisingly had some nice words for the UConn Huskies after the win … mostly because Iverson’s former Sixers teammate (and an ex-Husky himself) Kevin Ollie coaches the squad. Here’s what AI had to say:

Congratulations K.O. this couldn’t happen to a better person. I’m very excited about you being in the National Championship game. I never thought I could pull for UConn, but I will this year because you’re there. Good luck and God bless you … #TheAnswer

 

Throwback Thursday: Allen Iverson


VIDEO: David Aldridge interviews Allen Iverson

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s TBT topic: Allen Iverson

The Philadelphia 76ers are set to retire the No. 3 jersey of Allen Iverson during halftime of Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

To honor Iverson’s transcendent career, we’ve created a gallery of the major moments from his 14 seasons in the NBA.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Allen Iverson

What’s your favorite Allen Iverson moment? Leave your comments below!

Allen Iverson’s Crossover

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There is no real secret to performing the crossover dribble. You have the ball in one hand, and then you bounce it in front of your body to the other hand. Sure, there are other things involved, from footwork to head fakes, but for the most part, successfully crossing someone over is about changing directions when they aren’t expecting you to change directions, and leaving your defender in the dust.

Allen Iverson was among the best ever at crossing people over, and this fan-made video mix shows working his craft, from Georgetown to the NBA, breaking ankles and creating space to get his shot off. It looks like such a simple move, until you see defender after defender fall by the wayside…
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(via BIL)

Allen Iverson: An Appreciation

 

Somewhere deep underneath my desk, shuffled into a stack of fraying papers and yellowing memories, I have a photo print of Allen Iverson attempting a layup. It’s a moment from the 2001 NBA Finals, with Iverson near the rim, trying to get a shot up and over Lakers colossus Shaquille O’Neal.

AI vs. Shaq in the 2001 Finals.

AI vs. Shaq in the 2001 Finals. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE)

There’s O’Neal, perhaps the most dominant player of all time, extended and hovering off the ground, trying to get a piece of the ball. And next to him is Iverson, floating in the ether. Iverson is over a foot shorter than Shaq, but in this instant, Iverson is using every millimeter of his body to get yet another shot to go.

The photo is from Game 4 of the Finals, a game the Lakers won 100-86. The Lakers won the series, 4-1, but it was Game 1 of the series that resonated, which the Sixers won in overtime, 107-101, behind 48 points from Iverson. That was the game that included the iconic instance where Iverson hit a jumper and then stepped over Lakers’ guard Tyronn Lue like he was just another line on the court. During that game — and really, through that entire 2000-01 season — it felt as if Iverson and his fans had finally found validation. The 25-year-old Iverson, a fifth-year veteran just weeks off being named the NBA’s MVP, had finally found a place among the game’s elite, leading the NBA by averaging 31.1 points per game, clocking over 42 minutes a night and controlling game after game despite being the smallest man on the floor.

The other day, when word broke that Iverson would be officially announcing his retirement, I called Rick Fox, a starter on that Lakers team in 2001. “Iverson’s speed was the premiere expression of his game for me,” Fox said.  “When I think back to those Finals to any discussion of how we collectively stopped him — and I say collectively because you couldn’t stop him one-on-one — you just had to be aware of where he was on the floor. He used his speed to get wherever he wanted to get. And Larry Brown had that offense completely structured for him. The four other guys on the court were doing everything they could to get him open. His quickness and his speed were just …”

And there Fox’s voice just trailed off, because really, it’s impossible to describe exactly how prevailing Iverson’s speed was. Despite the quickness and the preternatural scoring ability, though, Iverson’s place among the best NBA players proved tenuous. Iverson converted a dizzying amount of buckets throughout the rest of his career — he would end up with 24,368 points — and he won hearts and minds with his relentless, blunt style. But he never would make it back to the NBA Finals.

Still, to judge Iverson’s career on wins and losses is to completely miss the point. Part of the story of Iverson was that the story was never solely about basketball. For so many sports fans, particularly of my generation, Iverson was a walking representation of the audacity of hope. Almost everyone who considered him could find something identifiable in him; we have all had the odds against us at some point. We were too short, too skinny, misunderstood, outmanned, outmaneuvered … whatever. Every time Iverson took the court, he was overcoming improbable odds. For all the remarkable things about him, perhaps the most remarkable was that he was so applicable to so many different situations.

For many people of my generation, even if we weren’t Sixers fans, it was hard to root against Iverson. Like AI, I am from a generation born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and 90s. We were fed a steady diet of Magic, Bird and Jordan, with small doses of Wilt and Russ and The Big O as background. To our generation, these were the pillars of the game, the spokes in the NBA’s big wheels. They were all different yet versatile players with well-rounded games, men who found different ways to win playing within themselves and inside a team concept.

And then here came Iverson, at 6-feet tall, the shortest player ever picked first overall in the NBA Draft. (A record, by the way, that still stands.) He’d been great in college for two seasons at Georgetown, but would that ferocity and raw skill transfer to the NBA? Iverson quickly staked his claim when, toward the end of his rookie season, one night he found himself isolated against the great Michael Jordan. Iverson went left to right … back to his left … and then … back to his right, leaving Jordan grasping at air, his Jordan XII’s smoking in AI’s wake.

If there was a moment that cemented Iverson’s position as the leader of the NBA’s new school, this was it. The game, at least as we knew it, had changed.

Just as important as his fearlessness on the floor was his singularity off the court. Iverson had an ever-growing collection of tattoos and hair that lent itself to a constantly shifting mélange of braids. Iverson was the crux of the NBA culture in the late 90s and early 00s, in the days when mixtapes met old school, when a new NBA counter-culture collided with the mainstream. If he wasn’t always among the NBA’s absolute best players, he was one of the most important. His persona was as much a referendum on the style of the times (his elbow sleeve, the headband, the baggy shorts, the tattoos) as his game was an affront to the history of hoop (heavy on crossovers, with no shot left untaken). In many ways, Iverson argued without words that in order to be successful, one didn’t have to constantly defer to teammates or give in to authority. Sometimes, he seemed to be saying, being the best version of you is good enough.

The thing was, it would have been easy for Allen Iverson to never become Allen Iverson. He grew up with every disadvantage — born to a single mother, Anne, who would eventually become his biggest fan in Philly. He was an exceptional high school athlete, All-State in both basketball and football. Yet he never even made it through his senior year, as a fight at a bowling alley spiraled into a cause célèbre court case, and Iverson was eventually sentenced to five years in prison. A pardon from Virginia governor Douglas Wilder would allow Iverson to matriculate at Georgetown, which is where the legend began, at least on a national stage.

Whenever I was around Iverson, in locker rooms or at photo shoots, it was always surprising how much larger he seemed in person than he did when he was on the court. On the floor, Iverson looked like a sigh of a man, almost childlike, easily bouncing off bigs like they were traffic cones there to mark his way. But in person, he was always just a bit sturdier and stronger than you would expect. His durability was part of what made his career so stunning — in each of his first dozen NBA seasons, he averaged at least 39.4 minutes per game, and he led the league in minutes per game in seven of those campaigns. It carried him through issues, from arguments with coaches to the infamous “Practice?” press conference of 2002. Away from the court, he did memorable sneaker ads and posed for iconic magazine covers that cemented his spot in the culture. After a long run with the Sixers, Iverson played parts of three seasons with the Denver Nuggets, as well as a portion of a season with Detroit and three games with Memphis. At the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, Iverson, by then a member of the Pistons, emerged for media availability with his trademark braids shorn, his hair short for the first time since his rookie season. I asked him if it saved him half an hour of prep time in the morning. “Naw, an hour, actually,” Iverson said, smiling. “That’s an hour I don’t have to get my hair done, so that’s another hour I get to sleep.” As tempting as it was to draw comparisons to Sampson, Iverson didn’t seem concerned about the lost locks. For whatever it’s worth, he never played another full season in the NBA.

When his career reached the point where he could extend it by embracing being a role player, Iverson seemed to find that an untenable proposition. Come off the bench? Set up teammates? In recent years, without the buckets to distract us, Iverson’s familial and financial legal wrangling seemed unnaturally loud. Yet Iverson had never promised us that he’d be a perfect person — just that he would wring every drop from his heart and soul out on the court, and allow us to watch as it happened. It’s become something of a trope in athletics, the idea that an athlete will “give 110 percent” or “leave it all on the floor.” Iverson, more than any other NBA player of his generation, actually did, night after night after night.

Iverson may have never returned to the Finals, but his career was anything but a disappointment. Some recall “Practice?” or the way things flamed out in Philly, but I’ll never be able to forget that little man floating through the air in the 2001 Finals. Could he have won a title if he’d sublimated his game more often? Could he have had a longer career? Did he maximize the gifts given to him?

Sure, there were always questions. But then, Allen Iverson always had The Answer.

 

NBA Style: Classic Uniforms #TBT



By the NBA.com Style Crew –

While the NBA is a League that has always had its share of individuals, the one unifying feature of all players is that everyone wears uniforms. But that doesn’t make them uniform. Some franchises have opted for simple jerseys with their team name in a stylized font, such as the Knicks or the Minneapolis Lakers, other teams have gone for more interesting expressions. Check out, for instance, the New Jersey Nets, with a red/white/blue stars and stripes motif; All-Star Game jerseys, with stars literally all over them; a Toronto Raptor jersey featuring an enormous cartoon raptor. Sometimes it’s in the details, like with the trim on the throwback Syracuse Nationals jersey. And then sometimes we’re drawn to the colors, like with the gorgeous baby blue and red of the old Sacramento Kings jerseys.

Whatever you like, for many of us uniforms can be much more than just a statement of which team we’re cheering for. We picked some pics in the gallery below of uniforms that caught our eye.

What is your favorite uniform of all-time? Let us know in the comments section, and don’t forget to continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NBAStyle…
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Allen Iverson’s Answer DMX 10 Returns


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – Allen Iverson may not be playing NBA basketball any longer, but his impact is still felt upon the hoops landscape. For proof, look no further than the feet of ballers worldwide who continue to rep the Answer.

And it don’t stop: On May 24th, Reebok Classic is re-releasing the Answer DMX 10 for the first time since the shoe’s debut in 1997. Iverson wore the shoe with the Sixers his second season, and the shoe drew attention with its concealed lace system, as well as the debut of the I3 logo.

According to Reebok Classic, the black/gold Answer DMX 10 will be available at Finish Line, Foot Locker, Champs, City Gear, DTLR and Reebok.com for $150 on Friday, May 24th. The shoes will also have a hook-up snapback and tee-shirt for sale as well.

Check the gallery below for pics of AI and the kicks…

Animated Stick Figures Recreate Some Of Basketball’s Most Iconic Moments

by Micah Hart

Reason #1,723,486 to love the Internet: some one started a thread on InsideHoops.com’s message boards with animated gifs featuring some of the NBA’s greatest moments, recreated by stick figures.

I don’t know who did this, or why, but that’s the beauty of the web. I don’t have to know, all I have to do is sit back and enjoy, and contemplate how awesome/terrifying it is that I can immediately pick out most of the plays being referenced here. By all means help yourself to that thread to peruse the full assortment, but here are a few of my favorites to whet your whistle:

Have we really considered what a post-Kobe Bryant NBA is going to look like? I knew I recognized this play from somewhere, but was having a difficult time nailing down the specific game and opponent. So I did what any good investigative journalist would do, I hit up YouTube. Well guess what, Kobe’s scored on layups like this roughly a billion times. I mean, I know Kobe is an all-timer, but sometimes it takes watching an 11-minute highlight reel of JUST HIS LAYUPS to make you remember how special he truly is. I finally found the play, by the way, it was against the Spurs and it’s at about the 6:45 mark.

Pretty obvious which this is. All I have to say is, whoever created this, you get the shot but not the resulting jump and fist pump?

For my money, still the greatest dunk of all time.

Ohhh, don’t do it to him AI!

Hakeem says he wants to work with Serge Ibaka this summer. Serge, you got a long ways to go before you can pull this off.

And finally:

If anyone has the know how to pull these off, by all means send them over and we’ll do more galleries. It’s the offseason, we have plenty of time to kill.

[Classic Moments in NBA recreated in stickman gif, Inside Hoops]

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Top 10 Most Amusing Moments From The 2012 Playoffs

by Micah Hart

What a shortened, yet still very long, strange trip it’s been. In a season that felt like we inhaled on Christmas Day, only to exhale roughly two hours ago, I’m already counting down the days until we start this whole thing over again in November.

But before we start dreaming of a fresh start, let’s pause for a few moments to remember some of the fun and funny we had over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which started somewhat slowly but picked up speed to the thrilling conclusion that was the Finals series between the victorious Heat and vanquished Thunder.

Here’s a look back at the 10 most amusing moments from the last seven weeks:

10. Amar’e channels Andy Bernard

The Knicks had a lot of hype at one point in the NBA season, but it all began to fall apart starting with a rash of injuries to the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert. At least their injuries occurred on the court though. Amar’e Stoudemire made headlines when he punched a fire-extinguisher case after Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Heat, causing a huge laceration and forcing the Knicks’ big man to miss the next game of an eventual 4-1 series defeat.

No one saw it happen, but I have to imagine it went something like this.

9. Spurs fan gets Matt Bonner haircut, gets suspended

In case you forgot, a Spurs fan got this shaved into the back of his head:

For doing so, he got suspended from school, which seems bad, until the Internet found out about it and the Spurs ended up invited him to a playoff game. Miss school AND see playoff basketball? BEST WEEK EVA! By the way, a month later, the kid did it again.

8. Metta World Peace being Metta World Peace

His playoff run may not have lasted long (one game against Denver and five against OKC), but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace didn’t have time to make lasting contributions, including doing the local weather in Vancouver, being in Vancouver in the first place because he’s filming a movie there based on a novel by Nancy Freaking Grace, and unveiling his new superhero alter ego Metta Man:

(more…)

Allen Iverson Delivers Game Ball Before Game 6

by Micah Hart

With the Sixers a game away from elimination in their series against the Celtics, the franchise decided they could use a little inspiration. With that in mind, the team brought back Allen Iverson to deliver the game ball before tonight’s Game 6. Consider the crowd inspired:



Very few people receive near-unanimous approval in Philadelphia, but if ever an athlete fit the bill its AI — maybe Rocky. Whether his appearance propels the team to victory, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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