Allen Iverson was voted as the NBA's Most Valuable Player in the year 2000-2001, and helped the 76ers make it to the NBA finals that season. Despite being relatively shorter than his counterparts, his sheer natural talent, accompanied with grit and determination, helped him achieve a scoring average of 27.1 points. He is considered to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.
While he was studying at Bethel High School, he donned the position of a quarterback in the school football team. At the age of 17, along with his friends, he got into an altercation with some white youth in a bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia. The verbal duel erupted into a fight, with the white crowd exchanging blows with the black community. Allen was alleged to have hit a woman with a chair on her head. Eventually, he was arrested along with three of his friends. Although Allen claimed his innocence, it was of no avail. He was made to spend four months at a correctional facility in Newport News, Virginia.
Allen didn't like the idea of practicing basketball for long hours. It was his hard-working mother that truly inspired him to take up the game seriously. In 1995, he won a gold medal at the World University Games that were held in Japan. Coming from a poor background, Allen needed to turn pro soon, in order to improve his family's financial situation. The basketball coach of Georgetown, John Thompson, took him under his wings, and helped him make it to the NBA at an early stage in his life.
In the 1996 NBA Draft, he was selected as the first overall pick for the Philadelphia 76ers. His tenure with the 76ers spanned ten years, during which, his first season score was an amazing 23.5 points per game. He also earned the title of NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996. Although Allen had a spat with the 76ers head coach Larry Brown a couple of times, he often cited him as being instrumental in his success. In the 2002-2003 season, Allen put up a stupendous performance, averaging 27.6 points per game, which resulted in the 76ers making it to the playoffs, and Allen earning the NBA All Star title. In 2003, Larry Brown parted ways with the 76ers, but later reunited with Allen as a part of the 2004 United States Olympic men's basketball team.
In the 2005-06 NBA season, Allen averaged 33.7 points per game, but that was still not enough to take the 76ers to the playoffs. His clashes with coach Jim O'Brien became increasingly prominent, and led to Jim being fired at the end of the season. On December 19, 2006, Allen was traded to Denver Nuggets. Although he had 10 assists and 22 points in his first game, the Nuggets lost to the Sacramento Kings. On November 3, 2008, Iverson was traded to Detroit Pistons. The number 3 jersey that he had worn in his NBA career was switched to number 1. On April 3, 2009, it was announced by Joe Dumars, the President of Basketball Operations for Pistons, that Iverson would not take part in the remaining 2008-09 season due to a back injury. However, prior to the announcement, Iverson had stated that he would rather retire, than be moved to the bench.
The success Allen Iverson has achieved is well-deserved. A truly inspirational figure, his flamboyance and passion for the game has influenced teens the world over to take up the game of basketball professionally.