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Tema: Allen Iverson  (Pročitano 1838 puta)
13. Jun 2008, 15:20:33
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Allen Ezail Iverson (born June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia)  nicknamed "A.I." and "The Answer", is an American professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. An 11-year veteran at the age of 32, he is considered to be one of the most prolific and consistent scorers in the history of the game. His career scoring average of 27.8 points per game is third all-time behind only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

Early life

As a junior, Iverson quarterbacked Bethel High School's football team to the state championship, which they won.

Iverson was later involved in a highly publicized incident on Valentine's Day that almost jeopardized his college career. On February 14, 1993, Iverson and several of his friends became involved in an altercation with a group of white teenagers at a Hampton, Virginia bowling alley named Spare Times. Allen's crowd was raucous and had to be asked to quiet down several times, and eventually something of a shouting duel began with another group of youths (all white). Then shortly thereafter, a huge fight erupted, pitting the white crowd against the blacks. During the fight, Iverson allegedly struck a woman in the head with a chair. He, along with three of his friends who are also African-American, were the only people arrested. Iverson, who was 17 at the time, was convicted as an adult of the felony charge of "maiming-by-mob". Iverson and his supporters maintain his innocence, claiming that he had left the alley as soon as the trouble began. "For me to be in a bowling alley where everybody in the whole place know who I am and be crackin' people upside the head with chairs and think nothin' gonna happen?" asks Iverson. "That's crazy! And what kind of a man would I be to hit a girl in the head with a damn chair? I wish at least they'd said I hit some damn man.

This incident was profiled on the television news magazine 60 Minutes due to claims of racial bias in the adjudication of the case. Douglas Wilder, at the time Governor of Virginia, became convinced that Iverson had been treated unfairly and controversially granted Iverson clemency, releasing him from his sentence. Iverson's conviction was later overturned on appeal.

College basketball

In spring 1994, Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson visited Iverson at Hampton's Bethel High School. Thompson told the prolific guard that he would offer him a scholarship, but he would not hesitate to send him back to Hampton with his "tail between his legs" if he failed to comply with the legendary coach, or strict honor code of Georgetown.

At Georgetown, Iverson was an Arts major, his first love as a child. He is still known for caricatures that depict teammates and celebrities.

As a Hoya, Iverson won two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards, a Rookie Tournament 1st Team, and a gold medal for his win at the World University Games in Japan in 1995. Iverson led all USA players in scoring and assists, averaging 16.7 ppg. and 6.1 apg. He was also the Hoyas All-Time leading scorer.

As his family situation worsened, Iverson needed to turn pro early, which meant leaving school before graduating. Iverson was the first of just two basketball players (Victor Page being the other) to leave Georgetown early for the NBA under Thompson.

NBA career

76ers years from 1996-2006

After two seasons at Georgetown, Allen Iverson was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft. Iverson quickly established himself as one of the premier point guards in the NBA. He also gained a reputation as fun to watch and promptly filled the Sixers arena. He was named 1996 Rookie of the Year and was a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Despite his play on the court, Iverson often experienced difficulty handling the media and pressure of his new celebrity status. He was criticized by players, coaches, and the press alike, who often accused Iverson of a lack of respect for great NBA players, selfishness with the ball, and failure, despite his individual achievements, to lead Sixers to a better record. He also endured scrutiny from the league office, who didn't like his hip-hop based persona, which included cornrows and a growing number of tattoos on his body. Even though his scoring dropped from 23.5 in the 1996-97 season to 22 in 1997-98, Iverson became more of a team player.

In the 1998-1999 season, Iverson had his first trip to the playoffs. He started all ten playoff games and averaged 44.4 minutes per game despite being hampered by a number of nagging injuries. Iverson led the Sixers to an upset over the higher seeded Orlando Magic, before losing to a veteran laden Indiana Pacers squad. That year, he averaged 26.8 points earning his first scoring title.

The next year, Iverson averaged 28.4 points and once again led the 76ers into the playoffs. In the playoffs, Iverson averaged 26.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.30 steals per game, with a high of 40 points in the first round opener at Charlotte on April 22. That season, he was the only player other than Shaquille O'Neal to get a NBA Most Valuable Player vote. However, the Sixers were once again eliminated by the Indiana Pacers.

2000-2001 MVP season

Iverson arguably had his best season in 2001 — he led his team to win their first ten games, he started and won All-Star MVP honors at the All Star Game. The Sixers also posted a 56-26 record, which was best in the Eastern Conference that season. He also averaged a then-career high 31.1 points, winning his second NBA scoring title in the process. Iverson won the NBA steals title at 2.5 a game. Iverson was named NBA Most Valuable Player for his accomplishments.

In the playoffs, Iverson and the Sixers defeated the Indiana Pacers in the first round, before meeting Vince Carter-led Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Semifinals. The series went the full seven games. In the next round, the Sixers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, also in seven games, to advance to the 2001 NBA Finals against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Iverson scored a playoff high 48 in Game 1, which the Sixers won, and which would prove to be the only game the Lakers lost during the playoffs. However, the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led Lakers would win the next 4 games and the title. It was the high point of Iverson's tenure in Philadelphia.

Mid career

After the defeat in the 2001 Finals, Iverson's Sixers would never again see the success he had in the 2000-01 season. In the next season Iverson again won the scoring title averaging 31.4 points, but the Sixers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in Iverson's career.

Relationship with Larry Brown

For most of the early portion of Iverson's career, his head coach with the Sixers was Larry Brown. Iverson often praised Brown, saying that he would not have achieved so much in the sport without Brown's guidance. Iverson had a love-hate relationship with Brown, however, and the two frequently clashed, most famously after the 76ers were defeated in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs. Brown criticized Iverson for missing team practices and Iverson defended himself with what would become a famous and oft-quoted monologue which some observers felt indicated a lack of appreciation by Iverson for the importance of practice.

Izvor: Wikipedia

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