Welcome to yet another entry to the “Buckets” section, where we highlight the game’s most prolific scorers. Today, we take a look back at one of the most electrifying guards to ever step on the court. Allen Iverson got the crowd on its feet when he stepped on the floor. Night in and night out he graced NBA fans with his offensive repertoire. The small, tough guard embodied the Philadelphia spirit. Iverson had one of the best crossovers in the game, he possessed blinding speed that allowed him to beat virtually any opponent to the hoop, and his pull-up jumper was as deadly as it gets.
The pull-up jumper is a basic offensive move, but there actually aren’t that many players who use it as a weapon and knock it down consistently. Iverson could walk up the court casually and make the defender think he’s just getting into the offense and then before he knows it, AI is already in the air releasing the ball. If he wasn’t pulling up while coming down the court, he would set the defender up by making it look like he was ready to pull out the crossover. Once he made a little hesitation the defender would think crossover and back off, which would just allow him to pull up with ease. Watch here how Iverson resets himself after some tough defense and pulls up in the defender’s face.
Now, let’s take a look at the blinding speed that allowed Iverson to blow by anyone with ease. There were so many times that the defender was thinking Iverson will just slow it down and run the halfcourt offense, but then as soon as he rested on his heels AI went right past him. That first step when he decides to take it to the hole is so quick that the defender just can’t recover to get in his way. Since his pull-up jumper is so deadly the defender also has to respect that move. So, as a quick recap, the defender is now thinking about Iverson running a play and then maybe pulling up for a jumper. Imagine all of that going through the opponent’s head and then watching Iverson turn on the burners like he does in this clip. This GIF is a small clip from Iverson’s 60-point outburst against the Orlando Magic in 2005.
Finally, there is the move that arguably made him who he is today. He’s often been named the king of the crossover and he’s known to have one of, if not, the best crossover in the game. Iverson has crossed over numerous defenders and some of the biggest names in the game. One of those victims was none other than Michael Jordan. AI would lull the defender to sleep by just dribbling back and forth and then before he tried to steal the ball, Iverson had it in the other hand and was half way to the hoop. Another famous crossover moment came in the finals agains the Lakers. Arguably his most famous play was in the corner when crossed over Tyronn Lue, stepped back, and hit the jumper in Lue’s face.
No matter who The Answer was facing come gametime, he was ready to pour in buckets. He’s not number 22 on the all-time scoring list for nothing. This man brought heart and passion to the game and he his grit was the x-factor that helped him score night in and night out. One of the most beloved players in Philadelphia deservingly had his jersey retired and now we will just have to wait and see if the Hall of Fame gives him a call.
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