Allen Iverson has his jersey retired

Divisive. Renegade. Avant garde. Ground breaker. Unique. Brilliant. Breath-taking. Fantastic.

Those are just a small selection of the adjectives anyone could use to describe Allen Iverson.

The man was simply electric and defined the post-Michael Jordan NBA for the cultural shift he represented and the way he dominated the games with his scoring ability.

Saturday night, Iverson was given the ultimate honor from the Philadelphia 76ers as his No. 3 jersey was raised to the rafters:


Iverson scored 24,368 points in his 17-year career. He averaged 26.7 points per game in his career, mostly with Philadelphia.

His crossover became legendary and his attitude became David Stern's bane. He joked about practice, bristling against common NBA norms. Then he went out and played with his entire heart on his 6-foot, 165-pound sleeve, leaving nothing out on the court. No one played harder than Iverson most nights.

His style of play was probably not conducive to winning. He needed the ball in his hands and he took a ton of shots, 21.8 per game for his career on 42.5 percent shooting. He would not quite fit in today's NBA which emphasizes efficiency. He is 13th in NBA history in field goal attempts.

Each field goal attempt came after a dizzying array of dribbling moves and the thought of: how did someone that small get off and make that shot?

Iverson never won a championship — he made one Finals — but he came to define that generation of the NBA as the league tried to find itself after Michael Jordan's retirement. Several of today's players grew up idolizing him.

His attitude may not have remained in the game — whittled away by David Stern and the dress code along with the realization of players as international brands — but his impact in the game certainly remains.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily