A Tribute To Allen Iverson, A Star Like No Other

Are we talkin’ bout…*sniff*…RETIREMENT? According to SlamOnline.com, Iverson is set to officially end his professional basketball career.

1. He overcame a tumultuous childhood growing up in Hampton, Virginia to become a star athlete in high school.

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He led the Bethel High School basketball team to a state title in 1993.

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2. He also led his high school to a state football title. No big deal.

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3. However, his athletic career seemed done when he received a fifteen-year prison sentence for allegedly hitting a woman with a chair in a brawl.

Kartemquin Films

His trial, which was the subject of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary No Crossover, was very controversial; many felt Iverson had been singled out without enough evidence. After serving four months in prison, Iverson was granted clemency by Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder.

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4. Georgetown gave Iverson a second chance. He became a college star.

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5. He went first overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and made basketball relevant again in Philadelphia.

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6. Because before he came along, this was the Sixers’ franchise player.

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7. As a rookie, he made Michael Jordan look silly.

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8. Everything about him seemed magical. Like those cornrows…

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9. …or that arm sleeve that seemed to give him super powers.

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10. He made scoring look totally effortless, leading the NBA in points per game three times.

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11. He never won an NBA title, but this cherished moment was a nice consolation prize.

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12. His press conferences were never boring.

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13. Sure, he hated practice, but he wasn’t lazy.

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14. He was one of the smallest superstars to ever play in the league.

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15. But what he lacked in size he made up for in toughness, leading the league in minutes per game SEVEN times.

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16. And, despite his stature, dunking was no problem.

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17. He could definitely pull off the throwback look.

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18. He wasn’t afraid to criticize the NBA’s half-assed efforts to improve its image and marketability.

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19. He totally predicted the LeBron backlash back in 2006.

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20. His foray into rap was…interesting.

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21. And while he slowed down with age, he at least grew craftier.

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22. Even as recently as last year he was still breaking ankles overseas.

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The jumper needed work, though…

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23. Regardless of his flaws, he will always be one of the most beloved athletes in Philadelphia sports history.

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24. The NBA just isn’t the same without you, A.I.

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25. We’ll miss you.

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