Allen Iverson was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, especially when you consider he was often the smallest player on the court. On top of that, he was a cultural icon numerous younger players tried to emulate in any way possible. Ever since he came to the NBA in 1996, both fans and different analysts knew he was different and unique because of how he carried himself and the things he could do on the basketball court.
Throughout his career, there were so many stories from other NBA players that showed a tremendous respect everybody had for Iverson. One of them also comes from another great former NBA player Chauncey Billups who is in his own right a legend, and while making an appearance on the show NBA Countdown, he shared why he feared Iverson the most out of any player in the league back in the day.
For Billups, Iverson’s combination of quickness and the ability to handle the ball was a defense problem. He was also relentless and had that killer mentality of never letting up until he scores 40 points or even more, which was often the case with Iverson, especially in his prime years.
I loved it, and it’s not that I didn’t want to face him but knowing it’s going to be an uphill battle. I always had a tough time with little, really fast guys, and he got by me really easy. He was just fearless, and he never let up, and he was a warrior. You couldn’t bully him, and I could bully a lot of guys. AI was my guy for sure.Chauncey Billups, via ESPN
Kobe Bryant often said they were all lucky Iverson wasn’t 6’5″ or taller because it would be impossible to stop him if he were. Unfortunately, Iverson never won an NBA championship, even though he achieved almost every individual accomplishment you can in the league. Nevertheless, he remains one of the most influential basketball players in the last 20 years, and most certainly, we’ll never see anyone with the same combination of skill, charisma, and swagger in the NBA soon enough.