It’s hard not to envision how Morant looks a lot like prime Allen Iverson.
Iverson sees it, too.
“The eye test says ya, it’s Ja,” Iverson said during an interview he did as an ambassador for PointsBet (a partner of NBC Sports). “And 99% of the people I think, that I’ve had a conversation with, that I’ve heard on social media on everything is me and him being compared. You look at the size, well, everybody’s taller than me.
“The attitude, the ‘if it’s me against you it’s me.’ The way his teammates feel about him… The greatest feeling that I had as a player was my teammates feeling like if they had me with them, then we could beat anybody… And I feel like that’s how Ja’s squad, that’s how they feel about him — we got him, we can beat anybody.”
Are their games that similar?
“The similarities? I was able to jump like that, but he’s 6’3″,” Iverson said. “Our style, when you look at it, his jumper doesn’t look like mine, I was never good with my left hand, but you can see the aggressiveness going to the basket, and the way he controls the game, he’s the guy on the top of the scouting report in the game, I see those similarities.”
In his Hall of Fame career Iverson has some monumental playoff moments, particularly in 2000 leading a 76ers team — where he was the offense — to the NBA Finals and taking Game 1 from the Kobe/Shaq Lakers. That was Iverson in his stepping-over-Tyronn-Lue peak, and it was the last time the Sixers were in the NBA Finals.
Morant is just having his first taste of playoff success, but it may well not be his last with a promising young group of Grizzlies around him.
If, when he hangs up his sneakers, Morant is remembered by fans with the love and admiration that Iverson has from fans around the globe, it will have been an impossibly fantastic career.