The slam dunk might be the most exciting move in basketball and throughout league history, there have been a handful of players who turned it into an art form.
Most would agree that ever since the league was founded, the NBA’s highest flyers chronologically were Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and most recently Blake Griffin.
And when talking about the GOAT dunker, the majority of fans are always torn between either MJ or VC, as their athleticism and dunking styles had the most cultural impact on the game.
Not Allen Iverson though. In a recent sit-down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their show “All The Smoke”, AI reminisced on his finest year in the league; 2001. The same year Allen Iverson won the MVP award and was the league’s scoring champion. Coincidentally, that was also the year The Answer had his best postseason run, as he and his Sixers made it all the way to the Finals where they were defeated by the Lakers led by Kobe & Shaq.
While reminiscing on that deep post-season run, Matt Barnes reminded Iverson of his most memorable duel that summer, going up against Vince Carter and his Raptors in a legendary 7 game series. When asked what was his most memorable moment of that series, Allen simply said: “Him. (Carter)”.
Now you already know that any discussion related to Half Man Half Amazing cannot go by without talking about dunking. And so Iverson after giving Vince praise quickly asked the hosts a question that sparked an interesting exchange:
Iverson: “But look who do you think had the craziest hops ever?”A. Iverson & M. Barnes – SHOWTIME Basketball (All The Smoke)
Barnes: “Him (Carter).”
Iverson: “As much as I want to agree with you… ‘Dre (Igoudala)… I know I know… But I don’t want to be politically correct”
The exchange reminded us of what an outstanding athlete young Andre Igoudala was during his early years in the NBA. I mean Iggy was arguably one the most explosive players in league history, and his one-legged dunks in transition always seemed to catch defenders off-guard, resulting in some of the nastiest posters ever.
“That guy right there was the most exciting… And his style, he just changed the culture. We all know Dr. J, was Dr. J, then Mike came with the whole new everything else, you know like, different. And then Vince took it to another level after Mike… I just don’t want people to not recognize what Andre Igoudala was or is as far as leaping, you know what I mean like?”A. Iverson – SHOWTIME Basketball (All The Smoke)
According to the Answer though, ‘Dre’s leaping ability was also something he worked constantly:
“I remember him telling me: ‘Man, all you gotta Chuck, is work on your legs, just work on your legs.’ And I’d tell him like: ‘Man, I’m not lifting no weights.’ He be like: ‘Why you don’t wanna lift weights man?’
‘Coz they too damn heavy! I don’t lift weights, man!'”A. Iverson – SHOWTIME Basketball (All The Smoke)
Iverson went on to say that he was always seeing Igoudala work really hard with his trainer which ensured that his jumping ability stayed elite.
Iverson and Igoudala played together for two full seasons before AI was traded to the Nuggets. During their stint together, they were one of the league’s most exciting duos thanks to their flashy and athletic style of play. When Iverson left, Iggy stepped up and became the leader for the Sixers and went on to have an amazing career, which in comparison to Bubba Chuck’s was much more successful in terms of rings. We’re just glad AI reminded us of what a freak of nature Andre Igoudala was.