Allen Iverson is one of those rare players that was able to influence not just the game of basketball but also the culture. When it comes to his popularity, numerous NBA players, even today, would always put A.I. on their list as one of the most exciting and entertaining players we’ve ever seen and rightfully so.
Chris Paul recently talked about Iverson’s impact on him and his career, when making a guest appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast. It’s no coincidence Paul also wears number three, and on top of that, a lot of his game, especially his ball-handling ability, is very similar to the one Iverson used to cross people up. Their main difference was that Paul wanted to involve other teammates more, while Iverson was in the mood to drop 40 points against any team in the league.
During the podcast, Paul said he would never forget his first game against Iverson, who was the first player to give him a lot of problems as a rookie. Paul soon realized he is playing against his idol, trying to break him down for the first moment, continuously attacking the basket.
The first one was Chuck. It was A.I. We were playing in Philly and A.I. shot 24 times in the first half..how do you do that man? It was Chuck for sure.Chris Paul, via Knuckleheads Podcast
When Paul was growing up, Iverson started to gain massive popularity, and you could see kids wearing his jerseys and braiding their hair in the same way he did. Paul did the same and watching number three in Philly inspired Paul to be an equally great player.
When I played against him, I wore number 3. I mean, I had braids in high school, and pops weren’t with it. I wanted tattoos and everything. Chuck used to be there with his jersey untucked.Chris Paul, via Knuckleheads Podcast
The Sixers won that game, and Chris Paul only finished with 9 points, while Iverson was the leading scorer for both teams with 24 points. Despite having a poor game against his idol, after the game, Iverson surprised Paul by asking him for a signature for his son. His son was a big fan of Paul at that time, and this was something that shocked Paul because he was still a rookie, and there he was signing an autograph for Iverson’s son.
I will never forget after one of those games he asked me if I can sign the shoes for him because his son wanted them and I was confused as hell. You are Allen Iverson, what does your kid care about me for. As soon as I started having kids, it started to made sense. about my shoesChris Paul, via Knuckleheads Podcast