I believe the first time on a regular basis I watched basketball was in the early 2000s or some time around there. During that time their were a lot of great players in the NBA that made a huge impact on several different teams. KG in Minnesota, Shaq in LA, Duncan in SA, T-MAC in Orlando, and AI in Philly.
I was young when I first started watching the NBA. My friend got me hooked after playing video games at his house. Before that it was all about cartoons and pro wrestling on Mondays. AI to me was the most exciting player to watch. My favorite when I first started watching. He was a different kind of player that not many ever saw play that good before at his size and continue to lead his team to victory. He played with heart, speed, and passion for the game. He was small, but he could score 30 a night. Has some scoring titles to show for it along with an MVP award.
All the announcers would praise him about his ability to score with his size. Some mention why hasn't his body broken down. He led the NBA minutes for several years. I stuck by AI throughout his career. Including MJ's last game vs the 76ers.....friend asked me who I wanted to win cuz it didn't matter who won cuz his team was in the playoffs and this was MJ's last game. He said he wanted MJ to win. I said I'm sticking with AI. 76ers did in fact win the ball game. Didn't win a championship throughout his years.
76ers was my favorite team for all the years watching the NBA til they traded Iverson. I couldn't believe they did that. He was the best player on the team and all. I went on to root for the Nuggets in the West. It didn't work out there even though Iverson and Melo were 2 of the top 4 scorers in the NBA they were the worst defensive team in the league. They were so undersized. Didn't like Anthony Carter playing point cuz he wasn't even 6FT tall. Than they traded their best defensive player Camby. Iverson voiced his unhappiness because that was their best defensive player and they were the worst defensive team in the league.
Later Iverson was traded to the Pistons which to many folks believe was the start of the downfall for him. I thought it was a great oppurtunity for him to win the championship at the time. Pistons were a very good team up til than with Rip Hamilton, Prince, Rasheed was still there. Some folks believe he was set up to fail from there cuz he was on the last year of his contract and AI nor most of the players were happy with the situation. Rip sat on the bench and well he went to FA....downhill from there.
Memphis signed him and was later released cuz his frustration of not starting. He wanted to play. Wasn't satisfied with the playing time. He signed back where his home was in Philly. Was very happy for him.....in the middle of the season AI left the team due to family issues. Never returned......sad to see him not getting signed this summer. I think he still has play left in him. Heck he is worth 1 or 2 million. I would have been happy to see him play with Orlando on the bench. He could have brought more great things to the team than Duhon or Malik Allen. He could have brought in his scoring ability late in the 4th. Carter could have started at the 3 spot. I don't know, but now he is on a team in Turkey. He can't opt to go to the NBA during at least the first year.
In the end, AI will always be remembered in the hearts of all his fans. I know I will never forget him. Critics would whine about him getting voted in the all-star game saying he didn't deserve to be in it. Fans just loved to see him play as did I. I voted for him every year...I didn't care for the stats. Fans decide the starters. No one wants to see Chris Kaman play. They want to see AI play!! I hope one day he will play in the NBA once again. Whether he does or does not he will always be remembered. In my opinion he was definately one of the top 5 players of the last decade. I wish him well going forward. I hope this isn't the last goodbyes. We will miss you AI. Allen Iverson thanks for the great memories. You are one of the best to ever play the game.