Allen Iverson had one of the most deadly, iconic crossovers in NBA history. You knew it was coming and still couldn’t do anything about it. I mean, the first time he faced his idol, AI went toe to toe with Black Jesus and gave us one of the most iconic moments in basketball history.
All that being said, when you say Allen Iverson and crossover, the first thing people go to is the 2001 NBA finals and Tyronne Lue. The thing is, if you look at the tape – there was no crossover. Iverson went for a step back, and Lue contested the shot. After that, Lue tripped by stepping on AI’s shoe, and then the iconic step-over happened. Everyone remembers an ankle breaker that never happened.
If you get the chance to meet AI, don’t ask him about the step-over – he’s not a fan of it. In addition to the fact the moment is completely misremembered, Iverson always loved Lue. The fact AI’s brilliance ruined the Lakers’ perfect Playoff score, and he carried the 76ers with 35.6 points per game in the Finals makes it seem like he destroyed Lue in their direct matchup. The Answer doesn’t agree with such a point of view.
“He was giving me so many problems, man. He was harassing me, straight dog.”Allen Iverson, All The Smoke
Lue, on the other hand, is OK with talking about it. Not only that – he’s thankful for it. All we remember is the photo. But for Tyronne Lue, that series changed his entire career.
“Iverson making it to the Finals really saved my career. Without Iverson, there probably wouldn’t be me. If Milwaukee had beat Philly, I wouldn’t have played. So that could have possibly been my last year in the NBA. People don’t understand that. The funny part about it, people think like he crossed me over, I fell down, and then he stepped. I contested his shot. And I’m walking backwards, and I step on his foot, and I fall. And he stepped over me. And they make a big deal out of it.”Tyrone Lue, via Howard Beck
Back in 2001, teams had to set their Playoff roster before the Playoffs started. Lue didn’t expect to make the cut, but Phil Jackson needed someone specifically to “harras” Iverson if the 76ers make it to the Finals. To jog your memory, the 76ers beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals that year (with significant help from the refs). If the Bucks made it to the Finals, Lue probably doesn’t play, and his career is quite possibly over.
”The stepover definitely made me famous. The thing with Allen Iverson is, he made me.“Tyrone Lue, via Howard Beck