When thinking of words to put together to describe Allen “Bubba Chuck” Iverson, it is a challenging feat because there is so much complexity to describing such a legend. The term legend is thrown around often in the world of sports and entertainment to describe an individual or group of individuals who were transcendent, before their time, and often unknowingly heavily influenced a culture or community.
Let's look his road to the NBA.
(Early Years 1996-2000)
During his 1st year in the NBA, Allen Iverson broke the record in the franchise history for having at least 40 points in 3 straight games. The Sixers didn't have a good record in their 1st season with Iverson but they knew that they already found the guy that would lead their franchise to a better future.
In the 1998-1999 NBA Season, Iverson averaged 28.6 points per game. He won the NBA scoring title and he was awarded to be a part of the All-NBA 1st Team. Iverson led the Sixers to his 1st playoff appearance with a record of 28-22.
Road to the NBA Finals
The 2001 NBA season is the best season in Allen Iverson's career. He won the All-Star game MVP and the regular season MVP. The Sixers posted a 56–26 record, the best in the Eastern Conference that season, earning the top seed.
Iverson led the Sixers to their first NBA Finals since their 1983 NBA Championship. During the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson had a very strong performance. Iverson averaged 35.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game against Lakers, but he couldn't win against Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Philadelphia Sixers lost 1-4 against Los Angeles Lakers.
After the NBA Finals
They didn't have a great run in the regular season and playoffs despite having Iverson averaged 31.4 points per game to earn his second consecutive scoring title. The 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs 3-2 in the five-game series.
After their disappointing run in the season, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Larry Brown criticize Allen Iverson for not participating in the team's practice.
After criticizing by Brown, Iverson made one of the most unforgettable statements in basketball history:
"We're sitting here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're in here talking about practice" and he went on a rant that included the word "practice" fourteen times in his interview.
Iverson continued to dominate the league by his very impressive scoring ability but still he couldn't lead the Sixers to an another Finals appearance. The Sixers traded away some of the key players that helped Iverson to have a Finals appearance and Larry Brown left the Philadelphia 76ers.
They didn't have so much success with the Sixers until they acquire All-Star Chris Webber in a trade and drafted Andre Iguodala. Iverson won his fourth NBA scoring title with 30.7 points and 7.9 assists and helped the 76ers climb back into the postseason with a 43-39 record. In that year, they faced the defending NBA Champions Detroit Pistons. In the series, Iverson had three double-doubles, including a 37-point, 15 assist performance. They lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round (1-4) versus Detroit Pistons
During the beginning of the 2006 NBA season, the Sixers had a slow start and then Allen Iverson was demanding a trade. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets where he got another hope for a Championship chance.
Denver Nuggets (2006-2008)
He had a new hope for a Championship when he got traded to the Nuggets. He had to team up with one of the best scorers in the league, Carmelo Anthony. Iverson's first year as a Nugget they made the playoffs. They won the first game and lost the next four to the San Antonio Spurs.
In his second year with the Nuggets, they were swept by the L.A Lakers. Iverson led the team in both scoring and assists average in that series.
After the season '07-'08, Allen Iverson played just 3 games for Denver Nuggets and they decided to trade him, because they wanted from Carmelo Anthony to led their roster in the future.
Denver Nuggets sent Allen Iverson to Detroit for Chauncey Billups. He didn't have a very successful season with the Pistons and he ended by a back injury. Iverson averaged 17.4 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.1 rebounds while playing 54 games with them.
“Detroit was a bad situation for me,” Iverson told Smith. “I was told something, and I was promised something that wasn’t to be.”
After complaining about his role, the organization deactivated Iverson with seven games remaining in the season.
"God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career," and that "I feel that they are committed to developing a winner."
Iverson stated that as he accepted a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately, he had problems with being just a bench player. They terminated Iverson's contract, after playing just 3 games with the Grizzlies. He averaged 12.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game
Philadelphia: Back to the Old Home Place
Heart Over HeightOn December 07.2009. Iverson made his return to Philadelphia, garnering a thunderous ovation from the sold-out crowd, in a loss against his former team Denver Nuggets 83-93.
His final NBA game was against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on February 20, 2010. Iverson averaged 13.9 points, 4.1 assists, and 3 rebounds while playing only 25 games.
He had many ups and downs but he never gave up. It's so sad that he never won the NBA Championship in his career despite having a tremendous scoring ability. He's one of the most favorite players of many NBA fans because he had his heart over the height and he always gave more than 100% on the court. Those insane handles by him will be remembered forever.