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Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons: Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers shooti...Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers shooting a jumper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Austin Darrow | CNBNewsnet


Philadelphia, a sports town full of greatness. A place where the fans are tough and expect results immediately or else they want your head.

Some people are made for the spotlight, while others just can’t handle it.

There have been a ton of great athletes who have played in this town, but some of those athletes exceeded greatness and solidified themselves as icons.

I’m going to give my Mt. Rushmore of Philly sports icons, who have played during my generation.

Allen Iverson, “The Answer”

1996 NBA Draft, the 76ers select, Allen Iverson from Georgetown University. On this night, Philadelphia went from a laughing stock to a team to watch.

Iverson is the first man on my Mt. Rushmore of Philly sports icons and for good reason.     

Who can forget when he pulled the unthinkable? Iverson put the G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan, on skates. That crossover made everyone forget the loss the 76ers took that night and made everyone see how special this young man was.

That was only the first of many devastating crossovers Iverson delivered.

Iverson’s play on the court was incredible, but he was crucified by the older generation because of his hip-hop look.

Iverson had changed the culture of the NBA and every little kid and high school basketball player wanted to be him. People didn’t want to be MJ or Magic anymore, you wanted to be Allen Iverson.

The older generation visualized Iverson as a thug. His durags, tattoos, baggy clothes, big jewelry, braids and his game apparel made him look like one.

No one was used to seeing that. More and more players were starting to wear that and present themselves like that.

The NBA was growing uneasy about how the game was changing, and then in 2005, the “Malice at the Palace” happened. Even though Iverson wasn’t a part of that, people strongly believed that his presence was hanging over it.

Then the dress code came into play and it was directly aimed at Iverson. The NBA had rid of Iverson and so did the 76ers.

Iverson was traded in 2006 and the Iverson era was done in Philadelphia, but we can’t forget all the joy he brought Philadelphia during his tenure.

He led a mediocre team to the NBA Finals, and even though the Sixers lost, more people remember the Tyronn Lue step over more than the series.

His “practice” rant won’t be forgotten by us and we still mock it today. The last-second game winning shots are still there in our hearts. The shooting sleeves that he made fashionable today for every player to wear and the braids aren’t forgotten either.

We knew he was one of the best guards to play the game. His MVP Award, ROY Award, 2x All-Star Game MVP Awards and 3x All-NBA Team solidified his greatness in the NBA.

After giving us years of excellence, he now joins the greats at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.