Friday, February 17, 2012

Allen Iverson. Do Remember.


There has been a ton of "coverage" more recently about Allen Iverson and his personal and professional "meltdowns." Unfortunately that is the nature of media. I guess as I compose this post, I serve as a member of the ILLustrious group. We sometimes pry for stories and create stories from the same place we dispose of our feces. It happens everyday. Sue them. Not me. Digression. In the midst of all of these "Allen Iverson is broke, and has to go back to playing JV basketball" reports...I wanted to take sometime out to remind you of the Allen Iverson I remember. The Answer.

It's not everyday you get to witness greatness.

Chapter 1: The Introduction.

On June 26, 1996 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Allen Iverson with the 1st OVERALL Pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. For the next decade, Allen Iverson would raise HELL in the National Basketball Association - both on and off the court, break not only records, but Sir Michael Jordan's ankles in an unforgettable 16-second match up, and single-handedly lead his team to an NBA Finals appearance...all the while rocking a Philadelphia 76ers jersey.

The Pictures In Between

Really quick and just in case, you need a reminder...

Chapter 2: Disclaimed.

Now, my partner and a few of my closest friends are actually Kobe Bryant fans. Which is fine. But I have always been an Allen Iverson fan...and will continue to believe he is the greatest player I've ever seen play - throughout an entire career.

BREAKER: I have to exclude Michael Jordan. Yes, he was the greatest player to ever touch a basketball. He's done amazing things. However, as a 24-year old basketball enthusiast, Jordan was DRAFTED 3 years before I was born. I missed a lot of his damage and have to depend on highlights, reports and sneakers as proof of the Michael Jordan Massacre pre - I'd say the 1992-93 season. Word to Shaq x Penny for truly introducing me to the game.

More digression. There has been a ton of unfair comparisons of A.I. and Kobe Bryant. My not-so-bold statement of the week: Allen Iverson was a better INDIVIDUAL basketball player than Kobe Bryant.

Chapter 3: The Breakdown.

Iverson outplayed Bryant throughout his rookie year and would go on to have not only done that, but record one of the best rookie seasons in NBA history averaging 24 ppg and 8 apg, locking up the 1997 NBA Rookie Of The Year Awards. Bryant who came straight out of high school averaged 7.6 ppg and played only 15 mpg for (in his defense) an already deep Lakers squad. Sophomore year, Kobe would up those totals and average 15.4 ppg and 2.5 apg. Allen Iverson didn't play as well in his second season as he did in his rookie year but he still did his thing averaging 22 ppg and 6 apg. The following year, Michael Jordan would announce his retirement, signaling the GREEN for the likes of future NBA Superstars Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.

To date, Allen Iverson has gone on to...
- Win the 1997 Rookie of the year award
- Win the 2001 NBA MVP
- Win 4 scoring titles (becoming one of only four players: in league history to capture four+ scoring titles)
- Win 3 steals titles
- Be selected to 11 All-Star games and win 2 All-Star game MVP Awards (2001, 2005)

For his career, has scored 30+ points 345 times, including 40+ 79 times and 50 or more 11 times with a high of 60 against the Orlando Magic on February 12, 2005. Iverson has amazing career averages of 27 ppg and 6.2 apg along with 2.2 spg. He scored 24,368 points and had 5624 career assists in just 914 career games.

To date, Kobe Bryant has went on to...
- Win 5 NBA Championships
- Win the 2010 and 2009 Finals' MVP Awards
- Win the 2008 NBA MVP
- Win 2 scoring titles
- Be selected to 14 All-Star games and win 4 All-Star game MVP Awards (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011).

Not to mention the 13 All-NBA Teams (nine times to the All-NBA First Team) and 11 All-Defensive Teams (nine times to the All-Defensive First Team) he's made. In 1,132 career games Bryant has scored 28,699 points. Very impressive.

Comparing Allen Iverson's NBA tenure to Kobe Bryant's is - at this point, with Allen Iverson's basketball career dwindling, and Kobe's 4 year up on A.I.'s - unfair. However, considering the time period where Allen Iverson was regularly playing NBA games, the two are close but Kobe is the hands down winner ONLY DUE to those 5 Championships.

Another not-so-bold statement here: Iverson would probably have won MULTIPLE Championships if he had as adequate a supporting cast and as much opportunity as Bryant had in his prime and an "Iverson and Shaq combo in the early 2000's could have been the most dominant 1-2 punch in the history of sports." Agreed.

So yes Kobe Bryant has had a better overall career than Allen Iverson...however one can argue if you disregard team success, Iverson was probably the better player individually then Bryant.

Chapter 4: Look What I've Found

An excerpt from Antwan Brown (of, Was Allen Iverson a Better Individual Player Than Kobe Bryant?

Iverson's career stats of 27 ppg, 6.2 apg, 2.2 spg and 3.7 rpg are better then Bryant's 25.3 ppg, 4.7 apg and 5.3 rpg. In the playoffs Iverson averaged 30 ppg(2nd all-time) and 6.0 apg which beat out Bryant's 25 ppg and 4.7 apg, but the playoffs are all about winning championships and Bryant did that better than most players the league has seen, clearly Bryant had much more playoff success. Bryant and Iverson both have played 14 seasons in the league and the year by year breakdown comparing their statistics and individual accomplishments may give you a better idea of who was a better individual player:


Iverson: 23.5 ppg, 7.5 apg, 2.1 spg and 4.1 rpg. 96-97 Rookie of the year.

Bryant: 7.6 ppg, 1.3 apg, 0.7 spg and 1.9 rpg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 22.0 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 spg.

Bryant: 15.4 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3.1 rpg, 0.9 spg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 26.8 ppg, 2.3 spg, 4.6 apg, 5.0 rpg. Wins 1999 scoring title.

Bryant: 19.9 ppg, 1.4 spg, 5.3 rpg, 3.8 spg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 28.4 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.8 apg, 2.1 spg.

Bryant: 22.5 ppg, 1.6 spg, 4.9 apg, 6.3 rpg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 31.1 ppg, 2.5 spg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg. 2001 NBA MVP, Scoring title, Steals title, All-Star Game MVP, Lead scrubs to the 2001 Finals. One of the best individual seasons in NBA History.

Bryant: 28.5 ppg, 1.7 spg, 5.0 apg, 5.9 rpg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 31.4 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.8 spg, 4.5 rpg. Wins 3rd scoring title, 2nd steals title.

Bryant: 25.2 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 spg. Bryant 2002 All-Star Game MVP

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 27.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 spg. Iverson wins 3rd steals title.

Bryant: 30.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.2 spg.

Winner: Bryant


Iverson: 26.4 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg.

Bryant: 24.0 ppg, 1.7 spg, 5.1 apg, 5.4 rpg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 30.7 ppg, 8.0 apg, 2.4 spg, 4.0 rpg. Iverson wins 4th scoring title, becomes only 5th player in history to average 30 ppg and 8 apg in one season. Wins All-Star game MVP

Bryant: 27.6 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 spg.

Winner: Iverson


Iverson: 33.0 ppg, 7.4 apg, 1.9 spg, 3.2 rpg.

Bryant: 35.4 ppg. Enough said. Bryant wins 1st scoring title. Should have won MVP this year.

Winner: Bryant


Iverson: 26.3 ppg, 7.2 apg, 1.9 spg, 3.2 rpg.

Bryant: 31.7 ppg, 5.4 apg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 spg. Bryant wins scoring title. Probably should have won MVP.

Winner: Bryant


Iverson: 26.4 ppg, 7.2 apg, 2.0 spg, 3.0 rpg.

Bryant: 28.3 ppg, 5.4 apg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 spg. Bryant wins his first NBA MVP award.

Winner: Bryant


Iverson: 17.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 3.0 rpg.

Bryant: 26.8 ppg, 4.9 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 spg. Bryant wins 2009 NBA Finals MVP

Winner: Bryant


Iverson: 13.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 3.0 rpg.

Bryant: 27.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 spg.

Winner: Bryant

Tally that up. Of 14 comparable seasons, your final score is 8 - 6. Now, go judge that.

Chapter 5: The Update

My good friend, and soon-to-be legendary disc jockey, Dj R To Da IzzA pretty much bullied his way into this article...

Career Season Averages:

Allen Iverson
Click image for source.

Kobe Bryant
Click image for source.


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