Standing Tall: A Small Tribute to One of the Biggest Hearts to Ever Play the Game

Allen Iverson had a personality that before him, had never been seen in the NBA. The jewelry, the baggy clothes, the braids, the tattoo’s, the arm sleeve, hip-hop, and the list goes on. The energy surrounding him made him, easily, the most emulated basketball player EVER.

Allen Iverson's 1st of 12 SLAM Magazine covers

Every kid that touched a basketball wanted to be Allen Iverson. The media loved to cover him, the kids wanted to be him, the barbershops couldn’t stop talking about him, and David Stern was afraid of him. All of this in a 6 foot, 165 pound frame.

It wasn’t all about the appeal, or the shin splitting crossover dribble that made him so famous- It was about the heart he played with. You know he loved the game and genuinely wanted to win. He played game after game with a list of injuries no player in the history of the game would even fathom getting out of bed with! Shaquille O’ Neal said in an interview that Allen Iverson was one of the 5 best players to ever play the game. He is undisputedly the best player, pound for pound, in the history of the NBA.

Erza Shaw/Getty Images

Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue in the 2001 NBA Finals against the heavily favored LA Lakers

What he did for the whole city of Philadelphia was amazing. The City of Brotherly love, loved their Superstar through all the scrutiny he was under and through all the great times. In his time in Denver and Detroit, Iverson always returned to a sell-out crowd in Philadelphia. That love is why he chose to resign and finish his career with the 76ers.

His refusal to come off the bench, even for the betterment of the team, may have been part of the reason he left the NBA the way he did. It wasn’t the story book ending for Allen Iverson, who still believes he can play at a high level, but he should be remember for his heart and his dedication to winning.

The legacy of Allen Iverson will live on forever... (Erza Shaw/Getty Images)

  • #1 Pick in 1996 NBA Draft
  • 1996-1997 NBA Rookie of the Year
  • 2001 NBA MVP
  • 2 time All-Star Game MVP (2001, 2005)
  • 11 time NBA All-Star
  • 4 time NBA Scoring Champion (98-99, 00-01, 01-02, 04-05)
  • 17th All-Time on NBA Scoring List
  • 12th All-Time on NBA Steals List
  • 6th All-Time in Regular season PPG (26.7)
  • 2nd All-Time Playoff PPG (29.7)
  • Career Highs: Points: 60, Assists: 16 (twice), Rebounds: 11, Steals: 10

 Video by Samuelb025

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