Allen Iverson made a tremendous impact on the NBA and was considered an icon both on and off the basketball hardwood. During his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Iverson established himself as one of the deadliest scorers in NBA history, capable of taking over games by himself despite the fact he was often the smallest player on the court. His influence was remarkable, and numerous NBA fans admired Iverson because of the way he played the game, and every game he went all out like it was the last game in his career.
Iverson inspired the new generation of players who wanted to be just like him, and Lou Williams is one of those who patterned his game, watching Iverson as a kid. In an interview for ‘All The Smoke’ podcast, Williams talked about his admiration for Iverson when growing up not just from a basketball standpoint but also the cultural one.
For me, it was mind-blowing because I spent my whole high-school career modeling my game after this dude. He was literally the reason why I started getting tattoos, and he was so influential in my life, and I didn’t even know this cat. He was a role model to me that I didn’t even know. Going to the league, I’m like shit that is my teammate now.Lou Williams, via All The Smoke
Williams was surprised when he found out the 76ers drafted him because that allowed him to play alongside his childhood idol. At that time, Iverson was one of the biggest stars in the NBA, with all the spotlights concentrated on him at all times. Williams was fortunate enough that Iverson took him under his wing immediately. Williams said, watching Iverson going to work daily was something that inspired him to be the best he could be in his craft.
At one point in his career, Iverson was portrayed by the media as someone who lacks the work ethic, but Williams said that was utterly false. On multiple occasions, Williams saw Iverson playing games injured because he didn’t want to let his teammates down, which is a quality rarely seen among players in the league today.
Getting on the line every day. It was well documented how many injuries he played through and all the pain he played through broken bones and everything. It’s unfortunate, it will always be remembered by the practice thing, but he couldn’t practice. He was so banged up that he couldn’t. He laid on the line for his teammates every single team he went out there.Lou Williams, via All The Smoke
Williams was appreciative of everything Iverson brought to the team while at the same time mentoring him in the best possible way. He modeled his game watching Iverson, because similar to Iverson, Williams was an undersized two-guard who didn’t have that pass-first mentality. After Iverson left the 76ers, Williams tried to give the fans the same excitement and tenacity, playing in a similar way Iverson did. However, that kind of impact is almost impossible to replace, which is one part of Iverson’s legacy that will never be forgotten.