ALLEN EZAIL IVERSON (born June 7, 1975) is an American former
professional basketball player who played for 14 seasons in the
Iverson attended Bethel High School in
Hampton, Virginia , and was a
dual-sport athlete. He earned the
Following two successful years at Georgetown, Iverson declared
eligibility for the 1996
Iverson was rated the fifth-greatest NBA shooting guard of all time
* 1 Early life
* 2 College basketball
* 2.1 College statistics
* 3 Professional career (1996–2011)
* 3.1.1 Early years (1996–2000) * 3.1.2 MVP season and trip to the Finals (2000–01) * 3.1.3 Early playoff exits and Larry Brown\'s departure (2001–2003) * 3.1.4 Disappointment and frustration (2003–2006)
Denver Nuggets (2006–2008)
* 4 National team career
* 4.1 1995 World University Games * 4.2 2003 FIBA Americas championship
* 5 NBA career statistics
* 5.1 Regular season * 5.2 Playoffs
* 6 Personal life * 7 Awards and honors * 8 Filmography * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links
He attended Bethel High School, where he started as quarterback for
the school football team, while also playing running back, kick
returner, and defensive back. He also started as point guard for the
school basketball team. During his junior year, Allen was able to lead
both teams to Virginia state championships, as well as earning The
On February 14, 1993, Iverson and several of his friends were involved in an altercation with several patrons at a bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia . Allegedly, Iverson's crowd was raucous and had to be asked to quiet down several times, and eventually a shouting duel began with another group of youths. Shortly thereafter, a huge fight erupted, pitting the white crowd against the black crowd. During the fight, Iverson allegedly struck a woman in the head with a chair. He, andthree of his friends ,who are also black, were the only people arrested. Iverson, who was 17 at the time, was convicted as an adult of the felony charge of maiming by mob, a rarely used Virginia statute that was designed to combat lynching . Iverson and his supporters maintained his innocence, claiming that he left the alley as soon as the trouble began. Iverson said of the incident:
For me to be in a bowling alley where everybody in the whole place know who I am and be crackin' people upside the head with chairs and think nothin' gonna happen? That's crazy! And what kind of a man would I be to hit a girl in the head with a damn chair? I rather have 'em say I hit a man with a chair, not no damn woman.
Iverson drew a 15-year prison sentence, with 10 years suspended.
After Iverson spent four months at Newport News City Farm, a
correctional facility in Newport News , he was granted clemency by
Douglas Wilder , and the Virginia Court of Appeals
overturned the conviction in 1995 for insufficient evidence. This
incident and its impact on the community is explored in the
documentary film No Crossover: The Trial of
I had to use the whole jail situation as something positive. Going to jail, someone sees something weak in you, they'll exploit it. I never showed any weakness. I just kept going strong until I came out.
The prison sentence forced him to complete his senior year of high school at Richard Milburn High School , a school for at-risk students, instead of competing in sports at Bethel. However, the three years Iverson spent there were enough to convince Georgetown University head coach John Thompson to come out and meet Iverson, and offer him a full scholarship to join the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team.
In his first season at Georgetown in 1994–95 , Iverson won the Big East Rookie of the Year award and was named to the All Rookie Tournament First Team. That season, Iverson led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to North Carolina.
In his second and final season at Georgetown in 1995–96 , Iverson led the team to a Big East championship and all the way to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament , where they lost to Massachusetts . He ended his college career as the Hoyas' all-time leader in career scoring average, at 22.9 points per game . Iverson was named as a First Team All American.
Following the conclusion of his sophomore year, Iverson declared for the 1996 NBA draft. He was the first player under Coach Thompson to leave Georgetown early for the NBA.
YEAR TEAM GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1994–95 Georgetown 30 29 32.2 .390 .232 .688 3.3 4.5 3.0 .2 20.4
1995–96 Georgetown 37 37 32.8 .480 .366 .678 3.8 4.7 3.4 .4 25.0
Career 67 66 32.5 .440 .503 .638 3.6 4.6 3.2 .3 23.0
PROFESSIONAL CAREER (1996–2011)
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (1996–2006)
Early Years (1996–2000)
Iverson was selected first overall in 1996
After two seasons at Georgetown , Iverson was selected first overall
Coming to a
Aided by the arrivals of Theo Ratliff , Eric Snow , Aaron McKie , and new coach Larry Brown , Iverson continued to help the 76ers move forward the following season, as they improved nine games to finish 31-51.
The lockout-shortened 1998–1999 season would mark great improvement for the 76ers. Iverson averaged 26.8 points (which led the league, earning his first scoring title) and was named to his first All NBA first team. The Sixers finished the season at 28-22, earning Iverson his first trip to the playoffs. He started all ten playoff games and averaged 28.5 points per game despite being hampered by a number of nagging injuries. Iverson led the Sixers to an upset over the number three seeded Orlando Magic in four games, before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the second round in six games.
Prior to the next season , Iverson signed a six-year, $70 million
contract extension. That year, the Sixers would continue to improve
under Iverson's leadership, as they finished 49-33, once again
qualifying for the playoffs (this time earning the fifth seed, one
spot higher than the previous year's sixth seed). In the playoffs,
Iverson averaged 26.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.3 steals
That season, Iverson was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star
team for the first time of what would be 11 straight selections. He
was the only player other than Shaquille O\'Neal to receive a MVP vote
that year. In the 2000 off-season, the 76ers actively tried to trade
Iverson after his numerous disagreements with then-coach Larry Brown ,
and had agreed to terms with the
MVP Season And Trip To The Finals (2000–01)
Iverson attempting a free throw against the Lakers
During the 2000–01 season , Iverson led his team to a franchise
record 10-0 start to the season, and was named starter at the 2001 NBA
All-Star Game , where he won the game MVP. The Sixers posted a 56–26
record on the year, the best in the Eastern Conference that season,
earning the top seed. He also averaged a then-career high 31.1 points,
winning his second NBA scoring title in the process. Iverson won the
NBA steals title at 2.5 a game. Iverson was named NBA Most Valuable
Player ; at 6 feet and 165 pounds, he became the shortest and lightest
player to win the MVP award. He had 93 first-place votes out of a
possible 124. He was also named to the All NBA First team for his
accomplishments. In the playoffs, Iverson and the Sixers defeated the
Indiana Pacers in the first round, before meeting
Iverson led the Sixers to their first finals since their 1983
championship. In game one of the
2001 NBA Finals
Iverson began using a basketball sleeve during this season during his recovery from bursitis in his right elbow. Other players, including Carmelo Anthony , and Kobe Bryant , adopted the sleeves as well, as did fans who wore the sleeve as a fashion statement . Iverson continued wearing his sleeve long after his elbow had healed. Some believed that the sleeve improved Iverson's shooting ability. Steven Kotler of Psychology Today suggested that such sleeves may act as a placebo to prevent future injuries.
Early Playoff Exits And Larry Brown\'s Departure (2001–2003)
Iverson in 2003
Fresh off their trip to the NBA Finals, Iverson and the Sixers entered the 2001–2002 season with high expectations, but were plagued by injuries, and only able to muster a 43-39 record to just sneak into the playoffs. Despite playing in only 60 games that season and being hampered by injuries, 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 the defeat, Brown criticized Iverson for missing team practices. Iverson responded by saying, "We're sitting here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're in here talking about practice," and went on a rant that included the word "practice" fourteen times.
The 2002–2003 season started off poorly for the Sixers, who had
just traded defensive-standout
Dikembe Mutombo to New Jersey, and saw
a decrease in both offensive and defensive production from Aaron McKie
Eric Snow , all three of whom were key components to their Finals
appearance two years prior. Iverson would once again put up stellar
scoring numbers (27.6 points per game) however, and the Sixers
regrouped following the All-Star break to make the playoffs with a
48-34 record. They were able to defeat
Baron Davis and the New
Orleans Hornets in the opening round of the playoffs. Iverson later
described Davis as the most difficult opposing point guard to defend
in his career. In the six-game second round series, the 76ers were
eliminated by the
Head Coach Larry Brown left the 76ers in 2003, following the playoff loss. After his departure from the 76ers, both he and Iverson indicated that the two were on good terms and genuinely fond of one another. Iverson later reunited with Brown when Iverson became the co-captain of the 2004 United States Olympic men\'s basketball team . In 2005, Iverson said that Brown was without a doubt "the best coach in the world".
Disappointment And Frustration (2003–2006)
Randy Ayers became the next coach of the 76ers, but failed to develop any chemistry with his players, and was fired following a 21–31 start to the season. During the latter part of the 2003–04 NBA season , Iverson bristled under the disciplinarian approach of the Sixers' interim head coach Chris Ford . This led to a number of contentious incidents, including Iverson being suspended for missing practice, fined for failing to notify Ford that he would not attend a game because he was sick, and refusing to play in a game because he felt "insulted" that Ford wanted Iverson to come off the bench as he worked his way back from an injury. Iverson missed a then-career-high 34 games in a disastrous season that saw the Sixers miss the postseason for the first time since the 1997 season.
The 2004–2005 season saw Iverson and the Sixers bounce back under
the tutelage of new head coach Jim O\'Brien , and additions of their
first round draft pick
Despite O'Brien helping the team back into the postseason, disagreements with players and management led to his firing after just one season. He was replaced by Sixers' legend Maurice Cheeks , in a personnel move Iverson praised, as Cheeks had been an assistant coach with the team when they reached the NBA Finals in 2001. During the 2005–2006 season , Iverson averaged a career high 33.0 points per game. The Sixers, however, missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
On April 18, 2006, Iverson and
Iverson and the Sixers began the
2006–07 NBA season at 3-0 before
stumbling out to a 5-10 record through 15 games. Following the
disappointing start, Iverson reportedly demanded a trade from the
Sixers (although he would deny that). As a result, Iverson was told
he would not play in any more games. During the following game against
Iverson ended his 10-year
DENVER NUGGETS (2006–2008)
On December 19, 2006, the
On December 23, 2006, Iverson played his first game for the Nuggets. He had 22 points and 10 assists in a losing effort to the Sacramento Kings . In 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 .
Iverson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing referee Steve
Javie following a game between the Nuggets and Iverson's former team,
Former referee Tim Donaghy supported the claim that Javie had a longstanding hatred for Iverson in his book, Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, which a Florida business group published through a self-publishing arm of Amazon.com after it was dropped by a division of Random House , who cited liability issues after reviewing the manuscript.
In a December 2009 interview with 60 Minutes , Donaghy said he and fellow referees thought the punishment was too light. Before Iverson's Nuggets played the Utah Jazz on January 6, 2007, Donaghy said he and the two other officials working the game agreed not to give Iverson favorable calls as a way to "teach him a lesson". Iverson attempted 12 free throws, more than any other player on either team. On 12 drives to the basket, he drew five fouls, three of which Donaghy whistled himself, and did not receive a call on one play in which he was obviously fouled by Utah's Mehmet Okur .
Iverson returned to
DETROIT PISTONS AND MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (2008–2009)
Iverson, as a member of the Pistons
On November 3, 2008, Iverson was dealt from the
Denver Nuggets to the
Iverson scored at least 24 in four of his first five games with
On April 3, 2009, it was announced that Iverson would not play the remainder of the 2008–09 season. Dumars cited Iverson's ongoing back injury as the reason for his deactivation, although two days prior Iverson stated publicly that he'd rather retire than be moved to the bench as Pistons coach Michael Curry had decided.
On September 10, 2009, Iverson signed a one-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies . Iverson stated that "God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career", and that "I feel that they are committed to developing a winner."
However, Iverson again expressed his displeasure at being a bench player, and left the team on November 7, 2009 for "personal reasons". On November 16, the Grizzlies announced the team terminated his contract by "mutual agreement". Iverson played three games for the Grizzlies, averaging 12.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, and 3.7 apg in 22.3 mpg.
RETURN TO THE 76ERS (2009–2010)
Iverson shoots a jump shot in 2010
On November 25, 2009, analyst
Stephen A. Smith
Less than a week later on November 30, Iverson and his
representatives met with a
On December 7, 2009, Iverson made his return to Philadelphia,
garnering a thunderous ovation from the sold-out crowd, in a loss
against his former team, the Denver Nuggets. He finished the game
with 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, a steal, and no turnovers.
Iverson's first win in his return to
On January 3, 2010, he returned to Denver to face the Nuggets; Iverson scored 17 points and had seven assists in the 108-105 win. He was voted as a starter for the All-Star Game for the 11th straight season. He scored a season-high 23 points (on 56% shooting from the field) in a 99-91 loss to Kobe Bryant and the defending champion Lakers.
On February 22, 2010, Iverson left the 76ers indefinitely, citing the need to attend to his 4-year-old daughter Messiah's health issues, which he revealed years later as Kawasaki Disease . On March 2, Ed Stefanski announced Iverson would not return to the 76ers for the rest of the season to deal with the personal matter. His final NBA game was a loss against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on February 20, 2010.
On October 26, 2010,
Iverson returned to the United States in January 2011 for calf surgery. He only played ten games for Beşiktaş that season, and did not play professional basketball after that.
In January 2013, Iverson received an offer to play for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League , but he declined.
On October 30, 2013, Iverson announced his retirement from basketball, citing he'd lost his desire to play. At the 76ers 2013–14 season home opener that night, he received a standing ovation at the beginning of the second quarter. The retirement ceremony was attended by former Georgetown coach John Thompson and Sixers great Julius Erving . Iverson said he would always be a Sixer "until I die", and that while he always thought the day he retired would be a "tough" day, he instead stated it was rather a "happy" day.
In November 2013, the 76ers announced that they would officially retire Iverson's number 3 in a special halftime ceremony on March 1, 2014 when the Sixers hosted the Washington Wizards. The ceremony took place in front of 20,000 spectators and 76ers greats such as Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and former team president Pat Croce.
In 2017, the creation of the 3-on-3 professional basketball league
BIG3 was announced, with Iverson set to be a player and coach on 3\'s
Company . In March, it was announced that Iverson's co-captain would
DerMarr Johnson .
3's Company drafted
Andre Owens , Mike Sweetney
Ruben Patterson during the 2017
BIG3 Draft. On June 25, 3's
Company played its first game of the inaugural
BIG3 season against the
Ball Hogs . In the game, Iverson scored 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting
in 9 minutes of play. On only playing 9 minutes, Iverson stated, "I
signed up to be a coach, player and captain. Coach part is going to go
on throughout the game. Playing part is not going to be what you
expect. You're not going to see the
NATIONAL TEAM CAREER
Iverson after a 2006 game with Barcelona
1995 WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
Iverson was a member of the USA World University Games Team in Japan in 1995, that included future NBA stars Ray Allen and Tim Duncan , among others. Iverson led all USA players in scoring, assists, and steals, averaging 16.7 points per game, 6.1 assists per game, and 2.9 steals per game. He helped lead the team to an undefeated record en route to a 141-81 victory over the host country, Japan, for the gold medal.
2003 FIBA AMERICAS CHAMPIONSHIP
Iverson was selected to be part of Team USA for the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico in August of that year. USA had a perfect 10–0 record, and won the gold medal as well as qualifying for a berth in the 2004 Olympics. Iverson started all eight games that he played in, and was second on the team with 14.3 points per game, while also posting 3.8 assists per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 1.6 steals per game, and shooting 56.2 percent (41–73 FGs) from the field, 53.6 percent (15–28 3pt FGs) from 3-point and 81.0 percent (17–21 FTs) from the foul line.
In the USA's 111–71 victory over Canada on August 25, he accounted for a USA Olympic Qualifying single game record 28 points and made a single game record seven 3-pointers. Playing just 23 minutes, he shot 10-for-13 overall, 7-for-8 from the 3-point line, 1-for-1 from the foul line and added three assists, three steals, and one rebound. All seven of his 3-point field goals were made during the final 7:41 of the third quarter.
He finished the tournament ranked overall tied for 10th in scoring, tied for fourth in steals, fifth in 3-point percentage, tied for seventh in assists, and ninth in field goal percentage (.562). Iverson also missed the USA's final two games because of a sprained right thumb which was suffered in the first half of the August 28 Puerto Rico game. In a game against Puerto Rico, he recorded 9 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field overall, and added five assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes of action in the USA's 101–74 exhibition game victory on August 17 in New York. He was also named to the 2003 USA Senior National Team on April 29, 2003.
NBA CAREER STATISTICS
GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
Field goal percentage
3-point field goal percentage
RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game BOLD Career high
* Led the league
YEAR TEAM GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 Denver 50 49 42.4* .454 .347 .759 3.0 7.2 1.8 .2 24.8
2007–08 Denver 82* 82* 41.8* .458 .345 .809 3.0 7.1 2.0 .1 26.4
2008–09 Denver 3 3 41.0 .450 .250 .720 2.7 6.7 1.0 .3 18.7
2009–10 Memphis 3 0 22.3 .577 1.000 .500 1.3 3.7 .3 .0 12.3
Career 914 901 41.1 .425 .313 .780 3.7 6.2 2.2 .2 26.7
All-Star 9 9 26.6 .414 .667 .769 2.6 6.2 2.3 .1 14.4
YEAR TEAM GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007 Denver 5 5 44.6 .368 .294 .806 .6 5.8 1.4 .0 22.8
2008 Denver 4 4 39.5 .434 .214 .697 3.0 4.5 1.0 .3 24.5
Career 71 71 45.1 .401 .327 .764 3.8 6.0 2.1 .2 29.7
Iverson and rap star
During the 1997 offseason, Iverson and his friends were stopped by a police officer for speeding late at night and was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and for possession of marijuana . He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to community service .
During the 2000 offseason, Iverson recorded a rap single called "40
Bars". However, after being criticized for its controversial lyrics,
he eventually was unable to release it. Going under his moniker,
Jewelz, the album was alleged to have made derogatory remarks about
homosexuals. After criticism from activist groups and NBA Commissioner
In August 2001, he married his high school sweetheart Tawanna at The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, New Jersey . In 2002, Iverson was alleged to have thrown Tawanna out of their home after a domestic dispute and later threatening two men with a gun while looking for her. All charges against him were later dropped after the judge cited lack of evidence with contradictory statements from witnesses.
On February 24, 2004, Iverson urinated in a trash can at Bally\'s Atlantic City casino and was told by casino management not to return.
On December 9, 2005, after the Sixers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats
, Iverson paid a late-night visit to the
Trump Taj Mahal
Also in 2005, Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane was accused of assaulting a man at a Washington, D. C. nightclub after the man, Marlin Godfrey, refused to leave the club's VIP section so Iverson's entourage could enter. Godfrey suffered a concussion , a ruptured eardrum , a burst blood vessel in his eye, a torn rotator cuff , cuts and bruises, and emotional distress. Although Iverson did not touch Godfrey himself, Godfrey sued Iverson for the injuries caused by his bodyguard. In 2007 a jury awarded Godfrey $260,000. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the verdict in 2009.
On March 2, 2010, Iverson's wife filed for divorce, seeking custody of their five children, as well as child support and alimony payments.
In August 2011, an Ohio man sued Iverson for $2.5 million in damages,
claiming he was assaulted by Iverson's security guard in a 2009 bar
On May 14, 2015, Iverson appeared on CBS This Morning in support of a Showtime Network documentary on his life, during which he addressed long-discussed rumors of financial struggles, denying any notion that he was struggling. "That's a myth. That's a rumor... The fact that I'm struggling in any part of my life", he said.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Main article: List of career achievements by Allen Iverson
* Hall of Famer
* Class of 2016 – Individual
NBA Most Valuable Player – 2001
NBA scoring champion
NBA All-Star Game MVP
* 7-time All-NBA
* Three-time NBA steals leader
NBA Rookie of the Year 1997
* Number 3 retired by the
* List of National
* ^ LYNN BURKE 247-4961 September 24, 2004 (2004-09-24). "3. Allen
Iverson". dailypress.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
* ^ A B "Allen Iverson". Georgetown
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* * Career statistics and player information