On the day before Halloween, Allen Iverson will officially announce his retirement from basketball and on that day, the NBA will say goodbye to one of the all-time greatest shooting guards to lace up a pair of sneakers. Iverson left everything he had out on the court each and every night he played the game of basketball. Blood, sweat and tears could have been this man’s middle name. He carried an average team on his back to the 2001 NBA Finals, and although he came up short, Iverson made that whole season and postseason worth watching just to see what he would do next and how many points he would drop on a given night.
One specific moment I remember during Iverson’s career was in fact during the 2001 NBA playoffs. The seven game series between Iverson’s Philadelphia 76ers and Vince Carter‘s Toronto Raptors will be forever etched in my memory due to the back and forth scoring duel that Iverson and Carter put on. Both teams were average at best, but because of these two individuals, it made the series rather exciting and worth watching. In that same postseason, this time during the NBA Finals, Iverson is once again etched in my memory. The crossover on Los Angeles Lakers‘ Tyronn Lue during Game 1 of the Finals followed by stepping over him after the made shot is a memory and YouTube clip no basketball fan should ever forget.
Iverson had many great scoring years and was a perennial All-Star for quite a while. Towards the end of his career he wasn’t at the top of his game, but one thing Allen never lost was his heart. He may not go down as a top five shooting guard, but he forever will be considered one of the greatest shooting guards to play the game. Other shooting guards who look up to Iverson may practice really hard to replicate just what he did during his career, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be nearly as good as Iverson because “We’re talking about practice. We ain’t talking about the game. We’re talking about practice, man.”