Kevin Durant and Allen Iverson were hanging out and Durant wrote this to go with the above photo on Instagram:
Chuck too real. He changed the way we play ball. He changed the culture of ball. He is pound for pound the best. He paved the way. I can go on and on. But he’s a legend and I’m just walking the path he created.
LeBron James said the same thing about Iverson.
To this day Iverson remains a controversial figure — his fans believe he was one of the greatest players of his generation, close to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. His inefficient stats don’t fit well in today’s NBA. When SB Nation’s Tom Ziller suggested last week that Chauncey Billups was better than Allen Iverson, an internet storm broke out. Iverson’s defenders are passionate.
You can put Durant in that group.
I loved watching Iverson, but I wouldn’t have wanted my team built around him. We should note he led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals, he was an 11-time All-Star, and he averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals a game. But mostly he is beloved because he had one of the more entertaining styles of play the league has seen — he was maybe six feet tall and was rail thin guard who brought some playground to the HGA with a fearless style of attacking the rim and finishing over and around the trees that populate the NBA’s paint. More than that, Iverson changed the game off the court with his style — he brought hip-hop to the NBA with his look and swagger. (David Stern tried to kill that with the dress code.)
All that said, I don’t think you could have won a title with Iverson at the front of the offense. Efficiency does matter, and it’s something Durant has in droves.
Pound for pound… It’s a fun barstool debate. Isiah Thomas. Jerry West. Bob Cousey. Iverson and others. Have at it in the comments.