ARTICLE WAINAO N°43 - THE NEXT ONE
March, 12th 1997: During a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago bulls, Rookie Allen IVERSON face Michael Jordan, and hit him with arguably the best crossover of all time.
Michael Jordan is a Basketball Icon and one of the most successful, popular, and wealthy athletes professional sports history. Michael Jordan was born in 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. Jordan loved sports but failed to make his high school basketball team as a sophomore. He continued to practice and made the team the next year. After high school he went to North Carolina, where he played under head coach Dean Smith. He left North Carolina after his junior year and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 they were a losing team, drawing only around six thousand fans to home games. Jordan quickly turned that around. His spectacular stylme and his competitove spirit made him a star immediately.
Jordan broke a lot of individual records until his teammate Scottie pippen reach his prime and then won 3 titles in a row. In 1992 Jordan also played on the "Dream Team," which participated in the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
After his father James passed out Jordan retired. In 1994–95 , he returned with 17 games left to the Chicago Bulls during the 1994–95 regular season, . The Bulls were defeated in the playoffs by the Orlando Magic. After a summer of playing basketball during breaks from filming the live-action cartoon movie Space Jam, Jordan returned with a fierce determination to prove that he had the ability to get back on top. The 1995–96 Bulls finished the regular season 72–10, an NBA record and won their fourth NBA championship, then their fifth and finally their sixth before he retired again.
MJ is an icon ……………Allen Iverson too.
Allen Ezail Iverson was born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia, to Ann Iverson. Iverson and his sisters soon had to endure deplorable living conditions at home, Iverson proved a gifted athlete. He led Bethel High School to basketball and football state titles as a junior, earning AP high school athlete of the year honors for both sports. However, his promise was nearly derailed by his involvement in a bowling alley brawl in February 1993. Despite differing accounts of what transpired -- Iverson claimed he left before the fighting even started -- he was convicted of three felony counts and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Iverson was released after serving four months in prison after Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder granted him conditional clemency, and he earned the chance to play for Georgetown University men's basketball coach John Thompson. Iverson rewarded Thompson's faith with his stellar play, averaging 22.9 points per game and twice winning the conference defensive player of the year award. He was then selected with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Iverson quickly became one of the NBA's must-see spectacles. Barely 6 feet tall, he blew past defenders with his blinding speed and fearlessly attacked the much larger players guarding the basket. He also became one of the league's most polarizing players. Critics pointed to his missed shots and turnovers, and wondered why, as a point guard, he wasn't passing the ball enough to his teammates.
Iverson was very relatable with his stature. Iverson didn't invent cornrows, sleeve tattoos, and all that stuff, but he popularized it and made the younger generation of kids want to actually do that. Iverson Gave small guys hope in modern NBA, he was barely six-feet tall and 165 pounds soaking wet, yet he feverishly attacked the rim against opponents 50+ pounds and half a foot taller than him. He never gave up. NBA was used to athletes, from Julius Erving to Michael Jordan, who subscribed to their middle-class "role model" mores; they were mystified by Iverson's in-your-face persona. It was a classic culture clash; they saw Iverson as a basketball player, when, in fact, he had already transcended his sport and become a hip-hop icon.
"In a sense, Allen Iverson is Tupac with a jumpshot," says cultural critic Michael Eric Dyson. "Like Tupac, he carries his history with him. Usually, America says to somebody, If you want to be successful, you gotta be blanched, you gotta be whitewashed. This is the United States of Amnesia -- we want to distance ourselves from everything. Get over your blackness. Now here comes this basketball player who understands that the ghetto is a portable metaphor for how he has faced odds and won. Like Tupac.
on March 12th, 1997 the most memorable Allen Iverson instant is that an epic 1-on-1 moment against MJ and the Bulls.
Michael Jordan wasn’t just the biggest thing in the NBA, he was the biggest thing in sports. His Bulls had just won a record 72 regular season games the season before, and in the 1996-1997 season, they’d go on to win a second consecutive title. A.I. wanted his moment with MJ to prove that he was much more than a hyped draft pick, and Jordan was looking to diffuse the moment, to treat A.I. like the rookie he was. A.I. was 21-year-old but coming into the league, he was waiting for this showdown with the day’s best living player: Michael Jordan.
in the 3rd quarter of the Bulls vs. Sixers game in Philadelphia on March 12, 1997, A.I. caught a pass at the top of the key, dribbled himself into position, and looked up to find Michael Jordan staring him down. Allen sized up Michael with a small crossover to the left, to see if he would bite—he did. Iverson smelled blood. BANG. Bubba Chuck ices Jordan with a 2nd crossover to the right, rises up and fires up a 20-foot jumper…the jumper found twine. The crowd erupted as if he had brought the city an NBA Championship.
It was a moment that transcended that game, that night, and certainly that season. A skeptic might watch that footage and say, “Hey, Iverson’s had way better crossovers,” and they’d be correct. But this was less about the crossover, and more about the idea that in that moment, at the top of the key on the Sixers home floor, David defeated and that sums up Iverson’s entire career.
I remember that play vividly because Michael Jordan was my hero; "So I remember I came off a screen or something and I heard Phil Jackson say his name, called him to switch out on me. Looking back on it, I'm thinking to myself, 'Damn, did you get nervous or did you think about it?' All I saw was him. And I just backed up and gave him a little one and he went for it, and I was like, 'Oh yeah, I got his ass now.' And all I was thinking about after the fact was that no one never probably would've known anything about that move if I wouldn't have made the shot afterwards because they don't do that on ESPN." all of these years later, you got little kids, 5 or 6 years old, walking up to me like, 'Hey, you're the guy that crossed Jordan, right?'
this was more than a crossover. It was a crossover against Michael Jeffery Jordan. It was the moment when Philadelphia fell in love with Allen Iverson. It was a, “Hey, this kid is pretty damn good” moment. He had officially arrived. what rookie would have the balls to go mano-a-mano with Jordan? He was supposed to be unshakable. Be real for a second: How many times can you remember someone schooling and embarrassing Michael Jordan?
Kids across the United States would focus on dribbling drills to be like Iverson, instead of like Jordan.. Iverson didn’t live and die on elite dribbling, but his crossover of Jordan gave way to players that strongly emphasized that part of their game.
AI had the same mentality than Michael when he made his way into the NBA. he wore his North Carolina shorts under his NBA ones. His UNC shorts wouldn’t fit under his Chicago Bulls short, so he had to wear baggy, knee-length Bulls shorts instead. In 1989, he was the first player to have his own custom longer shorts made. With the black shoes and longer shorts, MJ made some noise with gold chains too, Michael Jordan was the first player to challenge the NBA and wear whatever shoes he wanted even if it meant a $5,000 per game fine. As a result of Jordan’s defiance and Nike’s marketing, the majority of players in the league now wear Nike and Jordan shoes.
These two players had the most impact in NBA history. Iverson told a story " I went to a Hornets game and and we were in one of his offices (It was just me and him and one of my friends)," Iverson told" I was in his office., and I was just telling him how much he meant to me and how much I love him. And I don't know if I can say it in here, but he was like, 'MF, you don't love me, you wouldn't have crossed me like that.”
They are so different...and so similar !
To know more about the subject:
pennyccwai (May 25, 2017), One of the most REALEST interview on Allen Iverson (2017) *talking about big3, nba etc., retrieved June 27, 2017
Allen Iverson Scores 40 in Five Straight Philly Sports History". Retrieved March 5, 2017.
Check Out These Stories from Our Partners (December 10, 2009). "Allen Iverson Rewind: Georgetown University". The Hoop Doctors. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
Teel, David; Chernicky, David (February 24, 1993). "Feb. 24, 1993: Iverson still for Bethel playing despite his arrest". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia: Tribune Media. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
Nance, Roscoe (February 22, 2004). "Iverson puts heart on line, ignores injuries". USA Today. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
Artner, Alan G. (November 2, 1994). "Jordan Truly Larger Than Life: Sculpture Shows Spirit Of The Man, But Little More". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
Kerr, Steve. The greatest team in history – day four: Chicago Bulls, BBC. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
Schwartz, Larry. Michael Jordan transcends hoops, ESPN. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson. Tobias, Scott. AV Club. April 13, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2011. Archived September 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine