Allen Iverson: Is "The Answer" a Hall of Famer?
Does Allen Iverson deserve basketball immortality?
"The Answer" has racked up over 20,000 points, scoring titles, and an MVP in his career.
But he also has a big omission: a title.
Titles have been a main talking point about legacies these days—Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, anyone?—so the fact that Iverson is without one is notable.
Whether his individual accolades overshadows this fact will be up to the voters to decide.
Yes: The accolades
He's an 11-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, three-time All-NBA First Team selection, 2001 Most Valuable Player, and 1997 Rookie of the Year.
Other than maybe an All-Defensive team selection, there's really nothing else The Answer can put on his resume.
Obviously, Iverson is one of the most decorated players in recent years.
A.I.'s efforts on the court drew the attention of the league.
The NBA and its fans recognized Iverson's play by awarding him with the prestigious honors listed above.
Not many can say they've been featured in the All-Star game for a decade.
And only Michael Jordan (10) and Wilt Chamberlain (7) have more scoring titles than A.I.
I'd say he's in pretty good company.
No: Zero titles
Whether you like it or not, people judge players these days on the amount of titles they have.
It's what separates Kobe Bryant from LeBron James.
Unfortunately for Iverson, he was never able to lead his team to an NBA championship.
But he's been close.
A.I. and the 76ers reached the 2001 Finals before losing the series 4-1 to the Los Angeles Lakers, who captured their second of their three straight titles.
While this probably won't keep him out of the Hall, it is worth noting that he hasn't won a title yet after all the Bryant and James talk.
Yes: His numbers
Iverson's numbers speak for themselves.
That's how many points A.I. has in his career, which is good for 17th all-time among NBA scoring leaders.
Then there's his 26.7 career points per game average—sixth all-time—despite being more of a secondary option the last four years.
And Iverson scored over 30 points per season for more than a third of his time in the league.
Some say he scored so much because he took way too many shots, but the reality is he has hit nearly 43 percent of his shots during his tenure. Fire away, A.I.
And although The Answer isn't known as a passer, the Hampton, VA native has averaged a surprising 6.2 assists per game throughout his career.
All of this has been done over 14 seasons. Yes, 14 seasons. And the guy has played over 40 minutes per game in 12 of those.
No: He didn't make his teammates better
It's been said that great players make those around them better.
Allen Iverson wasn't one of those players.
Even the biggest A.I. fanboy can admit that A.I. was a "shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later" kind of guy.
The me-first attitude definitely helped showcase his jaw-dropping crossover and scoring ability, but it was sometimes at the expense of teammates.
For eight straight years in Philly, The Answer chucked up over 20 shots per game, including an unbelievable 27.8 in the 2001-02 season.
Sure, he scored 31.4 points per game and won another scoring title, but it didn't ultimately lead the 76ers to glory.
Yes: Unmatched passion and dedication
One thing that's unmatched as Iverson's crossover is his dedication to the game.
For A.I., basketball is life.
Whether it's the teary-eyed charity press conference or the sheer grit he shows on the court, there's no doubt A.I. loves the game as much as anybody.
The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson" not only takes an in-depth look at the controversial brawl during his high school years, but how Iverson gives back through basketball to today's kids.
The Hampton Celebrity-Charity Basketball game is the event that highlights Iverson's desire to help his community.
At the game, A.I. gave two kids scholarships so they could afford an education they otherwise could not pay for.
All of the charitable stuff is irrelevant in the voting process and doesn't affect anything he did on the court, but it speaks volumes about the kind of person A.I. is.
And although he doesn't like to practice that much, he sure does enjoy the game.