As Allen Iverson announces that he will be officially retiring from the NBA fans everywhere remember an amazing player who regularly awed both on and off the court. When his jersey ascends into the rafters, many will reflect on classic A.I. moments like his 48 point performance in game 1 of the 2001 Finals series vs. the LA Lakers (especially when he made Tyronn Lue fall and then stepped over him!), his ankle breaking, reflex shaking (we see you MJ), have em falling, crossover and the innumerable times he, as the David to Goliath sized defenders, fiercely maneuvered his way through their 6'6" plus, brolick frames to rack up another basking. Retiring this year would make The Answer eligible for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. In an interview with SlamOnline.com Iverson voiced his thoughts on his induction possibilities saying,
"If I'm blessed with being a Hall of Famer, it will be emotional," Iverson said to SLAM last spring. "You can't mention 'Allen Iverson' and don't mention basketball." (Slamonline.com)
That said, though only the induction committee knows if the Third Degree delivered enough heat on the court to join the hall of fame ranks with greats like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and Julius Irving I know of a few Hall of Famers that he could be inducted in today with a unanimous vote from any committee!
The Cornrows Hall of Fame
Cornrows came back with a vengeance in the early '00s with every dude trying to grow his hair out to get "braided up." It was crazy. Girls were getting carpal tunnel in hoods across America trying to make plaits out of 1.5 inches of ungreased hair. I look to Iverson as the leader of this movement. Retiring his "juice and berries" mini blowout he went from basketball player to cultural icon when he began rocking the braids full time. Unlike his tattoos, they were always unique, perfectly done, and went perfect with his off court uniform of velor suit, fitted and chain. When Iverson cut his cornrows it was the end of an era. All of a sudden Puerto Rican dudes were now the only guys who could rock them without looking silly, rappers like Jim Jones and Pusha T (wishful thinking) followed suit and barber shops from sea to shining sea rejoiced at the return of the fade! But before that, Allen Iverson, who flew his personal braider to whatever city he was in so he could have a fresh 'do, was a leader amongst hairstyles and a shoe in for the Cornrow Hall of Fame.
The Worst Tattoos Ever Hall of Fame
It's almost as if he went TO the jail to get tattooed so they would look authentically as bad as jail tattoos.
The Athletes Who Can't Rap Hall of Fame
Jewels. Or was it with a 'z,' as in, Jewelz? When Allen Iverson came out boasting that he was going to spend his time off the hard wood on the mic, hip-hop aficionados and artists alike let out a collective "C'mon Man. Really!?" It is a little known fact that basketball players have the highest rate of inductions into the A.W.C.R. Hall of Fame. The most notable being of course, Shaq Diesel aka Shaquille O'Neal along with Black Mamba aka Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd (see: "What the Kidd Did"... or don't. It's better that way.) Meta World Peace aka Ron Artest (who, no lie, saw me in a club once and started rapping fervently in my ear. I smiled and went along with it. Don't judge me. He's a big dude!), and who could forget the Spur's Tony Parker, rapping, IN FRENCH?! No dice. Undeterred, Iverson vowed to be the exception! Against advice from his coach, peers, strangers on the street, possibly even a dreamed visit from Tupac himself, he forged forward. Jewelz would show the world that basketball players can and will rap! Yeah, not so much. Jewelz was here then he was gone and Ivy was back where he belonged, on the court. We love your 40 point games brotha, but we don't need to add another to the 40 MCs. Put the mic down. Please.
The Smile Hall of Fame
Ladies and dentists will agree, Iverson has one of the best smiles to ever grin. This is uncontested. NO ARGUMENT! And he was very generous with it as well. Whether during a game, press conference, or photoshoot, Iverson was free with his cheesing. He just seemed to genuinely be having fun being gorgeous, talented and rich. You understood why. He almost didn't have the opportunity. The "situation" at Georgetown could have easily gone another way and Allen Iverson would have been another tragic story of untapped potential. However, lucky for him, and for us, it didn't and Iverson went on to be one of the best players of his time. Though there were constant rumblings of his missing practice, having a "thug attitude" and being uncooperative with coaches, to fans, when Allen "The Answer" Iverson was on the court and flashed that smile, you knew he was doing his favorite thing in the world, and you felt like you were in the Hall of Fame just watching him.
Do you all have any more "Hall of Fames" you think Iverson should be inducted into? Let me know in the comments!