Iverson's rise to stardom remarkable
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Iverson proves worthy of MVP award
By Mike Sielski
Special to ESPN.com
May 16, 2001 - Before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, NBA Commissioner David Stern presented Allen Iverson with the Most Valuable Player trophy. Iverson then showed why he won it.
Setting a 76ers playoff record with eight three-pointers, Iverson scored 52 points in a 121-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the First Union Center that gave the Sixers a 3-2 lead in the series. Shooting mostly jumpers, he hit 21-of-32 field-goal attempts and took only two foul shots.
"People say I have a flaw in my game; I'm not able to make the outside shot," he said. "My whole thing is to punish people when they back up off me."
With his performance in Game 5, Iverson, who had scored 54 points in a Game 2 victory over Toronto, joined Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to score 50 or more points twice in a playoff series. Jordan had two 50-point games against Cleveland in 1988.
Odds 'n' Ends
Iverson's nickname, "Bubbachuck," combines the names of two of his uncles.
During Iverson's freshman season at Georgetown, his mother Ann filed a lawsuit in Allen's name against the lawyer who had defended him pro bono in the bowling alley brawl case. The suit was later withdrawn.
Iverson was named Big East rookie of the year as a freshman and was an All-American as a sophomore.
Iverson's younger sister, Iiesha, has suffered from seizures since birth. When Iverson entered the NBA, he said the opportunity to have money for Iiesha's medical care was part of the reason he left Georgetown after his sophomore season to turn pro.
In April of his sophomore year, Iverson began driving a black S600 Mercedes-Benz Coupe around Georgetown in what the Washington Post called "apparent violation of (NCAA) rules." Priced at $107,000, the car had heated leather seats, a cell phone with voice-activated dialing and a six-liter, V12 engine.
According to the Washington Post, a used-car dealer said Iverson told him he was turning pro, so the dealer gave Iverson the car, telling him he could pay for it after he announced he was jumping to the NBA.
Iverson denied that he told the dealer he was turning pro and had agreed to purchase the car. Iverson eventually returned the car at the urging of Georgetown coach John Thompson.
Iverson is an avid drawer and caricaturist. At Georgetown, he majored in fine arts.
Iverson has at least 21 tattoos on his body.
Officials in Iverson's hometown of Hampton, Va., declared July 6, 1996, to be "Allen Iverson Day." It was celebrated with a three-car motorcade through the town, although many of the town's residents objected to holding it because of Iverson's alleged involvement in the 1993 brawl at a bowling alley.
In January 1999, Iverson signed a $70.8-million, six-year contract extension with the 76ers.
Although Iverson and Larry Brown began mending their relationship in the summer of 2000, the situation took a turn for the worse in December and Brown considered quitting as coach.
But two months later at the All-Star Game, when Iverson received the MVP award after scoring 25 points, he had Brown come up and share the moment.
Also that February, the NBA fined Iverson $5,000 for making degrading remarks about gays, directed toward fans in Indiana.
Iverson had a career-high 16 assists in Philadelphia's 88-87 victory over Toronto in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals. He also had 16 in a regular-season game against Cleveland on April 8, 2005.
Iverson's 48 points against the Lakers in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals were the sixth-highest single-game total in Finals history.
In the 76ers' loss to the Lakers, Iverson set NBA Finals records for a five-game series for points (178), field goals (66) and three-point attempts (39).
Iverson's 42.5 minutes per game in 2003-04 led the NBA.
Iverson is the smallest player to score 60 points in an NBA game. On Feb. 12, 2005, the 6-foot guard shot 17-of-36 from the field, including 2-of-5 from three-point range, and made 24-of-27 foul shots in the 76ers' 112-99 win over Orlando.
Eight days later, Iverson won his second All-Star Game MVP. He scored 15 points, had 10 assists and made five steals in the East's 125-115 upset of the West.
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