Allen Iverson, known by many as “The Answer,” was born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia. He’s an American basketball player known for both his explosive play on the court and his controversies away from the game. He is recognized for his prolific scoring and rebellious style during his 14-year N.B.A. career. He became the first great athlete to be strongly identified with the hip-hop movement, and E.S.P.N. rates him as the fifth-greatest N.B.A. shooting guard of all time.
Allen Ezail Iverson
Al, The Answer, Bubba Chucks
June 7, 1975
Allen Iverson is an African-American retired basketball player who faced poverty throughout his childhood and was raised by his single mother. Besides taking part in sports, he constantly watched N.B.A. games to learn a thing or two. Though not as tall as most basketball players, Iverson was a force to reckon with in his heydays. He was known for his speed, quick moves, and pinpoint accuracy, making him one of the best point guards in N.B.A. history.
Iverson attended Bethel High School and later joined Georgetown University, where his skills got noticed by the head coach of the University basketball team. He started as a quarterback for the school’s football team and as a point guard for the school’s basketball team. During his junior year, he led both teams to Virginia State Championships. In both sports, he was named Associated Press High School Player of the Year. He played for the Boo Williams A.A.U. basketball team and won the 1992 17-and-under A.A.U. National Championships.
After two seasons at Georgetown, he was taken first overall in the 1996 N.B.A. draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. What’s more, Iverson was recruited from prison, where he was serving a lengthy sentence for fighting in a bar. He was only able to help the 76ers to a 22-60 record in the 1996-1997 season. In a game against the Chicago Bulls, he scored 37 points and famously crossed over Michael Jordan. He was named the N.B.A. Rookie of the Year, averaging, per game, 23.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 2.1 steals each for the season.
He was named to his first All-N.B.A. first team in 1998-1999, averaging 26.8 points per game. He extended his contract for another six years, at a cost of $70 million. Under his direction, the Sixers improved more, qualifying for the playoffs with a 49-33 record. In January 2013, he was offered a contract with the N.B.A. D-Texas League’s Legends, but he declined. Iverson later announced his retirement on October 30, 2013, saying he had lost his desire to play. In November 2013, the Sixers announced that his shirt number, three, would be retired in a special halftime ceremony on March 1, 2014, when they hosted the Washington Wizards.
Iverson began dating Tawanna Turner, his high school sweetheart, when they were both 16 years old, and they later married at The Mansion on Main Street, in Voorhees, New Jersey. They are the parents of five children. Turner filed for divorce on March 2, 2010, requesting custody of their children as well as child support and alimony payments. Iverson says they reunited less than a month after their divorce was finalized in 2013. He currently lives in Charlotte, in the neighborhood of Ballantyne, with his ex-wife, Tawanna, and three of their five children.
He is picked first overall in the 1996 N.B.A. draft by Philidelphia 76'ers.
Iverson receives his first award after an amazing season with the 76'ers.
Iverson is considered the best point guard and one of the best basketball players of all time.
Iverson becomes the first point guard to win the M.V.P., averaging 31.1 points in his M.V.P. season.
He wins the bronze medal, alongside N.B.A. rookies Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.
The athlete signs with the Turkish team Beşiktaş Milangaz.
No one signs the aging star, so he is forced to leave the league.
Why We Love Allen Iverson
His unique appearance
It’s no wonder hip-hop and the N.B.A. became synonymous during Allen Iverson’s prime. His tattoos, clothing, and personality came to represent a period, prompting the N.B.A. to adopt a dress code.
Through his hard work and dedication, Iverson won many collective and individual awards. Yet he never wanted to quit, but he was forced to do so because of his age.
Iverson didn’t have a large arsenal of slam dunks — he was barely 6-feet tall, after all. But it was astonishing to witness a man of his size rise to the occasion with such force when he went to the rim.
5 Surprising Facts
He attempted a rap career
During his playing days, Iverson, like many other N.B.A. players, sought to begin a rap career.
The meaning behind his nickname
His high school friends gave him the nickname “The Answer” because they thought he was the answer to shaking up the N.B.A. with his attitude and off-court flair.
He is an avid artist
Behind his unruly personality and persona is someone who adores art, particularly cartoons.
He has a trust fund with Reebok
In order to protect him financially, Reebok set up a million-dollar trust fund account in his name that he can’t access until he’s 55 years old.
He dunked 40 times in his career
He's generously listed as six-feet tall but still managed to throw down enough dunks to create this three-and-a-half-minute highlight video.
Allen Iverson FAQs
How did Allen Iverson change the N.B.A.?
Iverson changed the league by bringing the hip-hop culture to the N.B.A.
How many shots did Allen Iverson take per game?
He attempted 21.8 field goals per game in his career.
Where does Allen Iverson rank all time?
The legendary basketballer is ranked number 26 best of all time.
Allen Iverson’s birthday dates