A lot of fans and analysts consider Michael Jordan to be the GOAT, and it’s hard to argue with something like that; however, when it comes to the actual influence on the game and culture surrounding it, other players come to mind. One of them is without a doubt Allen Iverson who indeed established himself as an NBA and cultural icon a lot of players and fans looked up too.
Chris Paul, who grew up in North Carolina and watched Jordan a lot, said Iverson had a more significant influence on him growing up. The way Iverson played the game in combination with his style that was heavily influenced by the hip-hop culture left a tremendous impact on a lot of kids growing up back in the day. Paul also said you could see that in the league today, you can see players wear sleeves on their arms, which is something popularized by Iverson. That is a perfect example of how something he initially started was caught up among everyone else.
“I grew up in North Carolina and I loved Michael Jordan to death but I think Allen Iverson had the biggest influence on the game of basketball more than anybody. I don’t even think it’s close and a lot of kids and guys in the NBA will tell you. The sleeves the guys are wearing on their arms, that’s Allen Iverson. Some wear it as a fad now and stuff like that but that’s Allen Iverson. When I was a kid I wore braids because of Allen Iverson and I wear number three and the way I play is because of Allen Iverson. It was tough to see him retire because he is A.I. There are a few guys in the league I’ll never forget the first time I played against, and he is one of them. His imprint of the game will never be forgotten. “