Allen Iverson is one of the most prolific offensive players of all time. However, his scrawny frame made him susceptible to getting picked on by taller and heavier opponents. His height is listed at six feet, but some say he is shorter by an inch or two. As for his weight, he was 165 lbs during his playing days. Fortunately, the Hall of Famer had his teammates' support, including Vernon Maxwell's. The two played together in the 2000-01 season.
"There's going to be some repercussions."
In a recent appearance on Maxwell's podcast, the Philadelphia 76ers legend recalled drawing a foul on a defender and "Mad Max" coming to his aid.
"I don't remember who it was," Iverson said while reminiscing on their big brother-little brother relationship. "But I just remember Vernon telling the guy, 'Look, don't do that again because he's gonna pay my fine. So, you foul him like that one more time, there's going to be repercussions.' Man, I don't think nobody breathed on me no more after that."
Whoever the opponent was, if he knew Maxwell, he probably understood the realness of the warning.
The 6-foot-4 guard made a name for himself as a scoring threat, being the fifth NBA player to score 30 points in a single quarter in the 1990-91 season. He also became known for his clutch 3-point shooting, which he displayed in the Houston Rockets' title run in the 1993-94 campaign.
But aside from that, Maxwell also became infamous for frequently clashing heads with other people, including players, referees, and fans. The fiery guard even allegedly almost stabbed Hakeem Olajuwon, his own teammate. Furthermore, Kenny Smith claims that Mad Max was the only guy he saw who could irritate Michael Jordan.
It's quite evident that Iverson was elated that Maxwell had his back. And if his veteran teammate were penalized for protecting him, AI would have happily obliged to pay out of his pocket. After all, the 11-time All-Star's salary that season was more than $10 million.
Where are the enforcers now?
Maxwell's story underscores how important it was for teams back in the day to have enforcers, especially considering how physical players were then.
Of course, these days, there is not much need for such players because of how the game has evolved, which many fans have lamented about. You could say that Maxwell was among the last of a dying breed as the physicality in the NBA continued to wane in the early 2000s.