Childhood & Early Life
Allen Ezail Iverson was born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia, USA, to Allen Broughton and Ann Iverson. His mother was just 15 years old at the time of his birth and he was given his mother’s maiden name as his father had abandoned his mother.
He went to ‘Bethel High School,’ Hampton, Virginia, United States. He played for the football team and the basketball team in his school. In his junior year, he led both the teams to the Virginia state championships.
As he served a sentence in a correctional facility for the bowling riots case in 1993, he finished his high school education at ‘Richard Milburn High School,’ a school for at-risk students.
In ‘Richard Milburn High School,’ he was noticed by ‘Georgetown University’ Coach John Thompson, who saw his skills and offered him a scholarship to the ‘Georgetown Hoyas’ basketball team.
During his time in ‘Georgetown University,’ he excelled in basketball and received many prestigious awards like the ‘Big East Defensive Player of the Year’ award and the ‘Big East Rookie of the Year.’
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In 1995, as a member of the ‘USA World University Games,’ he led the U.S.A team to a 141-81 victory over the host country, Japan. The team won the gold medal for that year.
In 1996, after he had played two seasons for ‘Georgetown University,’ he was selected at the NBA draft by the ‘Philadelphia 76ers,’ a basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In the 1998-99 season, he averaged 26.8 points, leading the league and earning his first scoring title. This gave him a chance to be a part of his first All NBA team and play in the playoffs.
Before the 1999-2000 season, he signed a six-year contract extension for a sum of $70 million. ‘The Philadelphia 76ers’ qualified for the playoffs, in which he averaged 26.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.
During the off-season in 2000, he had many disagreements with Coach Larry Brown and the team attempted to trade him to ‘Detroit Pistons.’ However, player Matt Geiger, who was part of the deal, failed to forfeit his $5 million trade kicker.
In the 2000-01 season, he steered his team to victories in ten games. He averaged 31.1 points, earning his second NBA scoring title. In the playoffs, the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ defeated ‘Indiana Pacers’ in the first round and reached the finals.
The 2001-2002 season turned out to be a disappointing one for the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ as they managed to scrape their way into the playoffs only to lose to the ‘Boston Celtics’ in the first round.
In the 2002-2003 season, he averaged 27.6 points per game, helping ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ secure a win over ‘New Orleans Hornets’ in the first round of the playoffs. However, his team later lost to the ‘Detroit Pistons’ in the second round.
In 2003, he represented Team USA in the ‘FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament’ held in Puerto Rico. The team scored 10-0 and received the gold medal.
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In 2003, Coach Larry Brown resigned from his position and Randy Ayers took over as the coach of the ‘Philadelphia 76ers.’ Ayer failed to connect with his players and was eventually fired.
In the latter part of the 2003-04 NBA season, Allen faced many difficulties with the disciplinarian, interim head coach Chris Ford. He was even suspended for not attending practice sessions. Allen did not play in 34 games, and ‘Sixers’ missed the postseason.
In 2004, he led the roster for the US Olympic Team along with Tim Duncan and Stephon Marbury. The team competed in the 2004 ‘Athens Olympics’ and won the bronze medal.
In the 2004-05 season, the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ came back to form under the guidance of new coach, Jim O'Brien. The team also recruited Andre Iguodala and All-Star forward Chris Webber.
In the 2004-05 season, he earned his fourth NBA scoring title as he averaged 31 points and eight assists per game. However, the team lost in the first round to ‘Detroit Pistons,’ which was now coached by Larry Brown.
After one season, Coach Jim O'Brien was fired due to his disagreements with the players. Maurice Cheeks was appointed as the new coach, a move that Iverson welcomed.
In the 2005-2006 season, he averaged 33.0 points per game. However, his team missed the playoffs, a second miss in three years.
He started the 2006-2007 season on a bad note and it was alleged that he demanded a trade. He was not allowed to play any more games that season.
On December 19, 2006, he was traded with the ‘Denver Nuggets.’ In his first game with the team, he scored 22 points and 10 assists. ‘The Nuggets’ lost that game to the ‘Sacramento Kings.’
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On November 3, 2008, the ‘Denver Nuggets’ traded him with the ‘Detroit Pistons.’ Following this, he changed his jersey number from three to one.
On April 3, 2009, Detroit Pistons’ President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced that Iverson would not play for the rest of the 2008-2009 season.
On September 10, 2009, he signed a contract with the ‘Memphis Grizzlies’ for one year. However, he quit playing for the team in November 2009 as he was not happy to be on the bench.
In 2009, he returned to play for the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ and was welcomed into the team. However, the following year, he left the team stating health issues of his daughter as the main reason. It was later announced that he would not return to the team.
In October 2010, he signed a contract with the Turkish professional basketball team ‘Beşiktaş Basketbol.’ In November that year, he played his debut match for the team, scoring 15 points.
On October 30, 2013, he officially announced his retirement in the company of his former Georgetown Coach John Thompson and Sixers’ great Julius Erving.
In 2017, a 3-on-3 basketball league named ‘BIG3’ was founded by musician and actor Ice Cube. Iverson joined the league as player-coach for the team ‘3’s Company.’ In his debut game, he scored two points in nine minutes.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1993, he was involved in a fight at the ‘Circle Lanes’ bowling alley in Hampton, Virginia. It was alleged that he struck a woman in the head with a chair. He was arrested and spent four months at ‘Newport News City Farm,’ a correctional facility in Newport News, Virginia.
In 1995, the ‘Virginia Court of Appeals’ and Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder granted clemency and overturned the conviction as there was insufficient evidence.
On August 3, 2001, he married his childhood sweetheart Tawanna Turner. They divorced in January 2013, but reconciled within a month. The couple has five children.
In 2010, the bowling riot of 1993 and the subsequent trial was made into a documentary film titled ‘No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson.’ Directed by Steve James, the documentary featured actual footage of the 1993 riots.