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NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Happy Birthday To Allen Iverson

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It may be hard to believe, but Allen Iverson turns 39 years old today. In honor of his birthday, let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of Iverson’s moments on the hardwood.

For 14 seasons in the NBA, Iverson was one of the greatest to lace them up. Iverson played for the Philadelphia 76ersDenver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and he also had a brief stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. Though Iverson played for several teams, his most memorable moments came as a member of the 76ers. Iverson is arguably the greatest 76er to ever wear that jersey, and could possibly battle Rocky for sports icon supremacy in the city of brotherly love.

Iverson will always be remembered for his heart, will and determination to lead his team. People always say that there will never be another Michael Jordan, and I believe that is true, but I will also say that there will never be another Allen Iverson.

Iverson stood 6-feet tall, and weighed 165 pounds soaking wet. Iverson appeared small in stature, but on the court, he was larger than life. From his 50-point games to his ankle-breaking crossovers, Iverson helped transcend the game of basketball on and off the court.

Iverson’s impact off the floor may never be duplicated, as he helped bring the hip-hop culture to the NBA. Players in today’s NBA are covered in tattoos and arm sleeves, which Iverson introduced to the game almost 15 years ago.

Thinking back to the 2000-01 NBA season, Iverson had his best year as a pro, and was named the MVP of the league. In that season, he led the 76ers to the Finals, but they fell short to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Iverson never made another trip to the Finals, but he went on to pad his Hall of Fame resume after that. He went on to win two All-Star MVPs, as well as four scoring titles.

Iverson always received his fair share of criticism for his on-court and off-court antics, but he remained true to who he was.

He may not have gotten the final stance in his career that all legends deserve, but his memories can never fade away.

As Iverson celebrates his 39th birthday, I am sure that he has zero complaints about his basketball career. A kid out of Newport, Va took his talents to Georgetown, and was eventually the No.1 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. Where Iverson comes from, that’s rare, and the same can be said for being an African American male turning 39 years old.

Iverson’s talents placed his names in the rafters in the Wells Fargo Arena, and his next stop will be the Basketball Hall of Fame. From a fan’s perspective, it was amazing to see the basketball journey of Iverson, and no matter what people may say about him now, they can’t take away what he has accomplished with a basketball in hand.

With that said, happy birthday to the great Allen Iverson. Your impact on basketball will forever be felt.

Ronnie Hampston is a writer for RantSports.com, follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.