For these reasons, it would be easy to be thrilled with what’s going on currently and not be tempted to take a trip down memory lane. However, something very special occurred on this date ten years ago that bears revisiting.
A couple of years ago, Ed enacted a cease-and-desist order on me writing about Allen Iverson on ETSF. It is the first and only time the order has been used, and for the most part, I adhere to it. However, the order will be broken today, so here goes…
Ten years ago, the Toronto Raptors were playing the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals, and after four games, some pretty memorable events had already taken place.
For one, Allen Iverson was awarded the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award before Game Two, and punctuated his night by scoring 54 points in a Sixers win. The very next game, Vince Carter went nuts and scored 50 in a blowout win. To see two of the young stars in the NBA going at it on one of the biggest stages was amazing, and little did we know Game Five was about to be even more memorable.
It’s no secret that Allen Iverson is my favorite basketball player of all-time, as he is for other people as well. Up to that point, we witnessed Iverson win an All-Star Game MVP, have 40 and 50-point games, and provide countless other amazing moments. We saw him do many things on the court, but on that night, especially after just having a 54-point night the last time the Sixers were in Philly, it's safe to say that even we didn’t see this coming.
God bless Alvin Williams; the man didn’t have a chance in hell against Allen Iverson. Lenny Wilkins insisted on throwing him out there on Iverson, and the man made him pay. The Sixers jumped on Toronto early, with Iverson all over the court. The crowd was going crazy, the Raptors were in disarray, and even with that, there was a long way to go.
The man drove to the bucket, crossed people over, hit them with stutter-steps, pull-up jumpers, and rained threes from every single spot on the court. The Sixers made sure the Raptors felt every single bit of that whooping, and by the end of the game, the margin of victory was 33, with Iverson leaving his mark all over the outcome.
Afterward, somebody asked him if the basket looked like a lake. Iverson remarked, “It looked like an ocean,” and the entire room exploded in laughter. They knew they were on hand for a special event, and one that hasn’t been duplicated by a guard since.
That’s why when people say “such-and-such is the next Allen Iverson,” it always makes me cringe. May 16, 2001 simply serves as Reason #1,821 why there will never be another Allen Iverson ever again.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!