“I own this locker room”
For 10 years Allen Iverson was the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the undisputed alpha almost from the time the franchise took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
When he returned to Philadelphia in 2009, Iverson expected business to run smoothly.
He was going to have a surprise.
Allen Iverson was an icon, even among other NBA players
In his first stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, Allen Iverson was a lightning rod for critics. There have been criticisms of his shooting volume, injuries, reluctance to share the ball etc.
There is some truth in criticism. Iverson shot the ball a lot. In his last eight seasons at Philadelphia, he’s averaged nearly 25 shots per game. On the other hand, who else was going to have the ball? Eric Snow? Iverson was a four-time scoring champion, NBA MVP in 2000-01, and appeared in 11 consecutive All-Star games.
Iverson was also influential off the pitch. It was his style that prompted the NBA to institute a dress code for players who do not wear the uniform. Essentially, this dress code invited players to look a lot less urban (to use a polite term for that). Standards relaxed, but Iverson was an influencer enough to be credited (or blamed) for the dress code.
A tense encounter with Thaddeus Young
Allen Iverson rebounded from the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies between 2006-09. Released by Memphis after just three games, Iverson reunited with the Philadelphia 76ers in December 2009.
Iverson was fading, but he was still a star to the fans. Even in his final season, fans voted him a starter for the 2010 All-Star Game. It’s impressive for a player who would be released by the 76ers less than a month after that game.
When he returned to the 76ers, he made himself back home. One of his new teammates thought maybe Iverson was a little too comfortable. As he said The NBA Show Crossover podcast recently:
âThe first day he walked in, and he had it all in my locker because he was sitting next to me in practice, so he had it all in my locker. And I walked in, and I was looking, and I just put his things down by his locker. [T]The first thing he said was – he was joking, but what he said, never touch my shit again, young punk beat the motherfucker.
“And I started to laugh like I thought it was the funniest thing ever. [H]It was like, he was joking about it. But it was like the first time we had, like, talked or had a conversation. [F]from that point on we were just super cool. And I kind of had to hold on as a young man, like, “No, man, you put your things in your locker, I’m gonna put my things in my locker!” And he said, ‘I own this locker room. I made this record. And I was like, ‘You’re right, but you haven’t been here for three years.’ “
Allen Iverson and Young were only together briefly with the Philadelphia 76ers
In 2009-10, Young was a third-year Georgia Tech player. The Philadelphia 76ers took him with the 12th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Young was a full-time starter for the first time in 2008-09.
He is still active with the Chicago Bulls, where he played two seasons. Young is signed for next season for $ 14.19 million, of which $ 6 million is guaranteed. Coincidentally, Young played 14 seasons, the same number Allen Iverson recorded during his Hall of Fame career.
The on-field collaboration between Young and Iverson lasted just 25 games and 933 minutes. The 76ers were 10-15 in those games, according to NBA Statistics. In those 25 games, Iverson averaged 13.9 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 31.9 minutes per game. But for a team that wanted to build around young veteran Andre Iguodala, Iverson didn’t fit.
Most notably, it involved rookie goaltender Jrue Holiday, a 19-year-old first-round pick at the time. For Iverson, his exit from the 76ers marked the end of his NBA run. He played three games for Turkish club Besiktas in the 2010-11 season.
Still, give Thaddeus Young credit for standing firm against Allen Iverson. He’s a future Hall of Famer with serious swagger.
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