Allen Iverson: How Should He Be Remembered?

Dwayne MontellCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2010

The Allen Iverson Era came to an end on Tuesday, when the Philadelphia 76ers and Iverson agreed to part ways because Iverson had to take care of his four-year-old, ill daughter Messiah.

Iverson was in and out of the lineup all season for the Sixers.

The former MVP played only 28 games with the Sixers, and he only averaged 14 points and four assists—which were career lows.

Iverson tried to fit in all season by shooting less, moving the ball around, playing less minutes, and keeping his mouth shut about it. Iverson was supposed to be proving people wrong and showing them that he can still play at an elite level, but he did the opposite.

Trying to fit into the system hurt Iverson more than anything because his stats took a major hit, and this made people think he was a shell of his former self.

Iverson has been unfairly given a bad reputation his whole career and, ever since the situation in Detroit last season, people thought Iverson was the bad guy. He was actually trying to sacrifice and clearly trying to fit into the system.

But he knew he was too good to come off the bench and, like always, Iverson spoke his mind, and it hurt him.

Many people are blaming the Detroit Pistons for Iverson having a bad ending to such a legendary career, and some are saying that it was all Iverson's fault.

But if you know basketball, then you know Iverson was treated a little unfairly in the past year, and he probably will never play in another NBA game again.

It is sad that such a legendary career had to end this way. The ending wasn't so great, but it will easily be forgotten.

Just like we forgot Michael Jordan's sad ending in Washington, the sad ending to Iverson's career will easily be forgotten. 

So how should Allen Iverson be remembered?

Well that is an easy question to answer.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game and as a cultural icon.

Iverson will be remembered as one of the greatest scorers of all-time and as the best little man to ever play the game.

Many people consider Iverson as one of the 25 greatest basketball players ever.

Pound for pound Iverson is the greatest ever. It is amazing how many things he accomplished despite being just 6 feet tall and 165 pounds.

Iverson changed the NBA forever.

He influenced and inspired so many people and so many current young NBA stars. Actively in the NBA there are only about three players that have better careers than Iverson, and those guys are Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant.

Iverson will be remembered as a warrior and one of the toughest players ever. Iverson threw his body around more than any player in league history, and he took more hits than any player. 

Iverson accomplished so much in his career. His career averages were an amazing 27 ppg, 6.2 apg and, in the playoffs, he is second all-time in scoring next to Michael Jordan, averaging about 30 ppg.

Iverson scored an amazing 24,368 points, had 5,624 assists and 1,983 steals in 914 career games played. Iverson's numbers were off the charts and, statistically, he could be considered the best player since Michael Jordan.

Iverson was drafted No. 1 overall in the star-studded 1996 NBA Draft Class.

He was the 1996 Rookie Of The Year, an 11-time NBA All-Star, two-time All-Star game MVP, three-time steals leader, and four-time NBA scoring champion.

He was selected to seven All-NBA teams (even though his teams weren't great).

He was the 2001 NBA MVP and had one of the best individual seasons in NBA history.

These accomplishments will not be forgotten because not many players in NBA history have achieved these things. Iverson was one of the greatest, and his career stats and accomplishments prove that.

Iverson will be remembered by many for his accomplishments, but a lot of people will remember him for the cultural icon he was.

Iverson changed the league by bringing the hip-hop culture to the NBA. Iverson was the first star player that had cornrows, tattoos, and wore hip-hop clothing such as du-rags, baggy jeans, and throwback jerseys to games.

Players and fans across the world followed his lead and the whole league started doing what Iverson did.

Now the league is full of players who have tattoos and cornrows. Before the dress code was created, everyone was wearing hip-hop clothing like Iverson did.

Iverson influenced so many players and people around the world—watch an NBA game and Iverson's impact is felt because you are bound to see someone with cornrows or tattoos wearing baggy shorts and a sleeve.

Iverson was the ultimate trend setter in sports. Iverson made the league get used to his style. He was real and always spoke his mind. Iverson made his style mainstream and didn't change for the league like other stars have, and he didn't ever do something that he felt wasn't right.

At one point, everyone wanted to be like Allen Iverson. To this day, he is one of the most loved players in NBA history and has one of the highest selling jerseys in NBA history.

Iverson had many great moments in his career.

Nobody is going to forget when he crossed over Michael Jordan after telling reporter's that he wasn't afraid of him.

His magical season in 2001 still remains the best individual season of the past decade because, not only did Iverson put up monster stats and win all the awards, he took his lousy Sixers squad to the NBA Finals and even won them a game by dropping 48 points in Game One.

Nobody is going to forget the 1-on-1 battles he had with Vince Carter in the 2001 Eastern Conference Semis—the two exchanged 50-point games all series long.

The walk over Tyronne Lue in the Finals will not be forgotten and neither will the 60-point explosion he had in 2005 on the Orlando Magic. He had one of the deadliest crossovers ever and could drop 30 points in his sleep.

Iverson was one of the most exciting players to ever play the game.

Allen Iverson didn't have a happy ending to his legendary career, but he will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

He has accomplished too many things in his career to be remembered for one bad season in Detroit, and he has made a bigger impact on the game than possibly any player ever has.

He is a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer who is going to go down as one of the 25 greatest players to ever play the game. Pound-for-pound, he was the best player ever to play and he inspired and influenced millions. He is a legend and an icon, and he should be remembered that way.

He will be missed, and the league will never be the same without the "The Answer", Allen Iverson.