One of the greatest basketball players to ever sport a Philadelphia 76ers uniform, Allen Iverson, solidified his legacy as a basketball legend with an enshrinement to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Despite Iverson’s plethora of accomplishments, how would the supposed “6-foot” guard perform in the modern rendition of the NBA.
The beauty of sports fandom, regardless of the appreciation or disdain for an athlete and or an organization, is that everything is opinion-based. Some opinions are fueled by statistics, others by preference, some by bias, and some even hindsight, but the right answer is typically unattainable because there is none. Hindsight and statistics, though, are the closest thing to concrete and both positively contribute to this Allen Iverson hypothesis.
The NBA is ever-growing and correspondingly, evolving on an annual basis, but presently emphasizes the importance of a fast-paced guard with range. Likewise, in a society dominated by social media, Iverson’s extravagant outfit selection, myriad of tattoos, varying hair styles, and abundance of accessories would presumably be hailed rather than suppressed.
The duration of Iverson’s 14-year career spanned from 1996-97 to 2009-10, but he only participated in 34.1 percent of the season in his final year as an NBA player. For 85 percent of his career, NBA teams averaged fewer than 100 points per game (the league average was 100.2 points per game in his final two seasons) while the 2018-19 league average is 10.6 points higher than the highest per game amount in Iverson’s career (100.4).
The league average amount of team three-point shots attempted per game throughout his career was 15.5, whereas the team per game average of attempted three-point shots this season is more than double that (31.7). In fact, James Harden and Stephen Curry shoot double-digit three-point attempts on a per game basis, followed by an influx of players that attempt at least five regularly.