Allen Iverson is one of the most universally liked NBA super stars. His edgy personality, cloudy past and aggressive game play made him the guy people loved to hate. If he was coming to town with the Sixers or Nuggets, it was a must watch game, as much as you wanted to see him lose, you secretly hoped he’d explode for 50. If he was on your team, well, he was the only player that mattered. As long as you had him, you had a chance at winning any game. It’s this universal approval, his style that went against NBA protocol and his ability to flat out put the ball in the hole that makes Allen Iverson’s Jersey so iconic.
Why are Allen Iverson’s Jerseys so iconic? Allen Ezail Iverson played for 17 seasons in the NBA. Averaging 27 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. He made the Allstar Game 11 times, winning MVP twice (2001,2005). In 2001 Allen Iverson won his first and only NBA MVP title. Iverson played 2 years for Georgetown before being taken 1st in the 1996 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Listed at 6ft0 he was the shortest player ever to be taken with the first draft pick. He would go on to transform the style of the NBA so much that his number 3 Jersey’s would go on to become a mainstay of any Basketball gathering all over the world, to this day. In 2016, despite never winning a NCAA or NBA title he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Iverson didn’t stand out because of his ability to height ratio. Nor was it simply his explosive play on the court. His whole attitude, demeanour and style spoke to Basketball fans from all over the world. He tapped into something pure about basketball, 1on1 best player wins, no fear, no backing down, “roll em’ out and let us play”. Let’s be clear, Iverson was a big game performer, he wasn’t talking about practice.
Allen Iverson Georgetown Hoyas Jersey
Iverson’s transition from High School to College didn’t go as most future Superstars would expect it to. At the age of 17, before he graduated, he was involved in an incident at a bowling alley, that led to a mass brawl. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released after 4 months and this conviction was later overturned in 1995 while he was at Georgetown.
It says something about how good Iverson was, that a school like Georgetown would take a risk on a 6ft0 guard with a prison conviction hanging over him. This wrongful conviction would form one of the cornerstones of his legacy. A bad boy that would take on the man and win. His time at Georgetown was relatively controversy free. He set school scoring records and won Big East Rookie of the year. In his second year he would reach the Elite Eight. His Georgetown Jersey isn’t as iconic as those of his next stop, but the true fans still wear them to show how deep their love goes.
Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers Jersey
If you close your eyes and picture Allen Iverson, he’s probably mid crossover, braids tight to his scalp, sleeve on his arm wearing a black 76ers Jersey (or maybe he’s stepping over Tyrone Lue in the 2001 NBA Finals). This is by far his most iconic look. His MVP win in 2001, followed by his march to the Finals – taking game one off the 11-0 Los Angeles Lakers, showed he could make a team a championship contender. Losing the next 4 games to what is considered to be one of the best teams of all time wasn’t seen as a loss, it just added fuel to his underdog story. He had got the 1 win no one else could. Iverson had arrived, he was a house hold name and would be imitated both on and off the court by millions of Basketball fans all over the world.
Allen Iverson Denver Nuggets Jersey
After some disappointing seasons for the team, Iverson was traded in 2006 to the Denver Nuggets. Iverson hadn’t lost a step; at the time of the trade he was the number 2 scorer in the NBA. In Denver he would pair up with the number one scorer, a young and hungry Carmelo Anthony. This paring would never reach the heights expected of it. Iverson was traded at the start of the 2008/09 season to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups. Chauncey and Melo would take the Nuggets to the Western Finals, narrowly losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. Iverson’s Detroit would exit again in the first round. The following season Iverson would state that he would rather retire than play from the bench, eventually Iverson would be traded to Memphis and be criticised for his lack of attention to practice. Finally, he went back to Philly where he would play 25 games and end his NBA career. Despite all of this his Denver Nuggets Jersey is still popular among NBA and Iverson fans. More of a “what could have
been” if Iverson had managed to make it work alongside on of the NBA’s other most lethal scorers in Melo.
Allen Iverson Team USA Jersey
Allen Iverson represented Team USA in the 2004 Olympics. A Jersey I still have hanging in my closet today. Although the team was seen as a failure, famously losing to Argentina’s Golden Generation, Iverson’s role in it was exciting. At 29 he led the team in scoring with almost 14pts a game. Creating some explosive highlights. This was a transition between generations. Featuring players like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire for the first time. Unlike 2019’s world cup failure, star power, raw talent wasn’t the problem. The team just didn’t fit well together, players from different generations, the new guard trying to elbow the old guard aside. The old guard still having plenty of life left in them. Either way, a number 3 Allen Iverson with USA splashed across the front is still a cool thing to wear from time to time.
Allen Iverson vs the NBA Dress Code
It is said that the infamous “NBA Dress Code” started during that Team USA failure at the 2004 Olympics. Rumoured that a team dinner in which the Serbian National Team arrived smartly dressed in matching sports Jackets, compared to the NBA stars, who arrived in an array of baggy tracksuits, oversized jeans with jewellery on full display. Head coach Larry Brown almost sent some of the players back to their rooms to change he felt so awkward. The truth is this had been coming along time. Iverson, nicknamed “The Answer” had long been considered more of “The Problem” to NBA Commissioner David Stern. His history with violence and prison not 100% set aside, he was aggressive and outspoken. Many in the NBA considered his style to be that of “gang bangers” or prison convicts. The dress code which required players to wear shirts with collars, sports jackets and dress shoes to games did not go down well. It was felt that it was particularly targeting black players. Although many players like Iverson, Paul Pierce and Stephen Jackson spoke out about it, other players, like Lebron James claimed he didn’t mind. Saying that everyone who works has a dress code, playing in the NBA is like coming to work. It should be noted, while accepting it, these new age players, many of whom were on the 2004 Olympics team slowly turned it to their advantage.
Players like Russell Westbrook and Lebron are famed for their wild style, that technically conformed with the NBA rules. These days it has been relaxed. Lebron even turns up for events holding a glass of his favourite Merlot as he gets off the bus.
Iverson, as always raged against it. This appealed to the young and restless teenage fans. It’s hard not to love a rebel. I remember eagerly typing in cheat codes into NBA Live games to remove his NBA mandated sleeve which covered his “explicit” arm tattoo.
Allen Iverson Legacy
Iverson changed the look and feel of the NBA. Not just in his play. Iverson wasn’t an innovator of fashion trends, but he bought them to mainstream attention, he stood on his beliefs when others backed down. Iverson was obstinate and charismatic. Just like his iconic number 3 Jersey will always hang in the rafters in Philadelphia, it will always hang in the closets of Basketball fans around the world. Probably in size XXXL.