January 11, 2006

Iverson ... Greatest little man ever?: This may be the first Iverson hagiography.

posted by Mike McD to basketball at 04:20 PM - 52 comments

Nate Archibald.

posted by dyams at 04:22 PM on January 11, 2006

Michael Adams.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:41 PM on January 11, 2006

its defenely not him i would rather have john stockon

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 04:46 PM on January 11, 2006

No Question. Stats, toughness, leading the league in scoring, 8th in assts, 5th in steals. Some may say his shooting percentage is not that great and he takes to many shots to get his points. I use to think the samething until i watched him in a game get 4 shots in 1 possesion by chasing the rebound down 3 times in like 20 seconds while dribbling circles around everyone. In the top 10 greatest of all time. No matter the size.

posted by BlogZilla at 04:46 PM on January 11, 2006

Greatest little man? I don't know but he's deffinately my favorite.

posted by tron7 at 05:00 PM on January 11, 2006

I like A.I. too, but that article was so far up his butt I'm surprised they didn't find Stephen A. Smith in there.

posted by chicobangs at 05:13 PM on January 11, 2006

Earl Boykins.

posted by Joe88 at 05:43 PM on January 11, 2006

They dont call him The Answer for nothing. A.I. rocks. And he doesnt mind the NBA's dress code, imagine that.

posted by GoBirds at 05:53 PM on January 11, 2006

Eddie Gaedel. C'mon now, let's get serious, 6'1 is not little.

posted by dfleming at 05:54 PM on January 11, 2006

Perhaps if he could take time off from beating his wife I could have some respect for him. I do not think that he is a good "Role Model" for the young fans who follow him!

posted by westcoast at 05:57 PM on January 11, 2006

I was never a great fan of Science Fiction!!!

posted by Jamliltay at 05:59 PM on January 11, 2006

athletes as role models = overrated... and in the case of whether he's the most talented and accomplished small basketball player ever, irrelevant.

posted by ninjavshippo at 06:01 PM on January 11, 2006

Hey westcoast, not only are you deeply misinformed, you're about a decade behind the times. It was a public argument with his wife, no violence happened or was threatened, and no charges were pressed. Try to keep up.

posted by chicobangs at 06:06 PM on January 11, 2006

Hey Chicobangs, what was she doing at the hospital when she spoke to the cops, training the staff?

posted by westcoast at 06:10 PM on January 11, 2006

I don't know. If you were actually there and have more insight than what the newswires and biographies have about whatever incident you're talking about, then let me know offthread. I'm not picking a fight with you, but this conversation is moving outside the realm of this website or this link.

posted by chicobangs at 06:19 PM on January 11, 2006

Iverson is far and away the best little guy I have ever seen. But what impresses me more than his game is his wisdom. In his early NBA days, Iverson very well could have followed the wrong fork and become the Michael Vick of the hardwood. But apparently, after tiring of getting busted for weed, shutting naked chicks out of his mansion and ridiculous attempts at gangsta rap, he's grown up, quit bitching, shows up for work ever single night regardless of whether his teammates do, and leaves it all on the court. The irony is that now that Iverson is behaving himself, he gets less attention. Theo Fleury could learn something from A.I.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 06:34 PM on January 11, 2006

westcoast: You may want to check out this link:

posted by L.N. Smithee at 06:37 PM on January 11, 2006

Chico, I think that's pretty valid to the story where Iverson's good-ctizenship is being championed. That said, I think westcoast is misinformed.

posted by tron7 at 06:40 PM on January 11, 2006

People have short memories. The best little man ever was Isiah Thomas. I'll take him over any the players mentioned. When AI actually wins something and doesn't need 30 shots to score 30 points, then we'll talk.

posted by bawanaal at 06:54 PM on January 11, 2006

yea hes the best not b.c he little but hes a true baller hes the toughest player this guy will play with broken fingers his hand in a cast hes an ankle breaker he will burn u on the court

posted by defrag3x at 07:06 PM on January 11, 2006

AI has grown up a lot since the "practice? We're talking about practice?" dumbness. He is a decent member of his community. Where were you this past Thanksgiving? He was handing out turkey dinners to needy people. Not much but more than most.

posted by GoBirds at 08:06 PM on January 11, 2006

dfleming, the post is in the category Basketball so please try to stick to, um, basketball players. (Since it is specifically about NBA Basketball I won't mention Bobby Hurley.) Your other point about what height makes someone a small man is a good one. This site, (with no supporting facts and dated sometime in 2002), lists the average height of an NBA player as 6'6". Is anyone at or under that height considered a small man? Then I'd have to say Michael Jordan at 6'6". Isiah Thomas - 6'1" Nate Archibald - 6'1" John Stockton - 6'1" Allen Iverson - 6'0" Chucky Atkins - 5'11" Jim Les - 5'11" Michael Adams - 5'10" Spud Webb - 5'6" Earl Boykins - 5'5" Muggsy Bogues - 5'3" The Great FireWall blocks Wikipedia but this article is probably a good place to start. Incidentally, the average height of a male age 20-74 is 5'9.5" according to this with CDC references that, again, I can't get to. Another good reference here that says, 'the percentage of men taller than 6'4" is 0.5%'.

posted by geekyguy at 08:47 PM on January 11, 2006

I agree Isaiah Thomas. Not only the 2 rings but also his performance in all of his playoff/Championship series. The man simply would not be denied in his quest for a championship. He blocked out injuries to play at a high level with it all on line. AI has got a great game but he doesn’t have a post-season history as glorious as Thomas, let alone a ring or 2.

posted by directpressure at 09:02 PM on January 11, 2006

Who is the Greatest Little Man?          or Who is the Littlest Great Man?

posted by geekyguy at 09:07 PM on January 11, 2006

Being an athlete in Philadelphia has got to be a very trying experience. Being a fan is even worse. For whatever reason even our good teams have us worrying about when the next "blow up" will occur and if it will ruin another years hopes for a world championship. We all should be proud of guys like AI, who actually have some loyalty to their fans and teams, play hurt night after night, and still have suffered the heartbreak of another post season early exit with at least some decorum and dignity.

posted by GoBirds at 09:56 PM on January 11, 2006

Wow, My favorite athlete of the millenium. He is the ultimate protagonist. I feel like I watched him grow up or at least watched him go through major character changes. The very first time I saw Iverson it was in a fuzzy security tape of a bowling alley brawl. He was doing time as being implicated in the severe beating of a rival gang member. Then the governor stepped in and granted him amnesty. Wow you know you have some game when the governor bails you out. Next time was in NYC at MSG. It was the much anticipated match up of the two super freshman, Iverson from Georgetown and Felipe Lopez from St Johns. No contest AI's first step was legendary that night! He never looked back and Lopez never recovered. It is amazing to watch him drive right at, around and sometimes over the big guys in the middle of the NBA. Not a consistant shooter, but as hot as anybody when he's hot. Remember the shoot outs with Vince Carter in the playoffs? How about his rookie year, when he broke Jordan off his dribble, Then popped one right in his hall of fame grill? Nobody else ever did that to MJ! The most impressive thing for me is the way he matured intellectualy, but still retained all his "street cred". He never back peddled from anything he said or did. Always showing character even if it was flawed. He, along with Larry Bird, has to be among the poorest kids ever to make it in pro sports. Any mis judgements had to be expected when you go from abject poverty(basically homeless) to abstract wealth. It is just a great American story. The thing with his wife was about her going on a shopping spree, basically showing no respect for the origin of the money she spent. AI threw her out of the house naked, after he stripped off all her furs and jewlery. Iverson went to look for her at his cousin's house.( where AI paid the rent!) He demanded that they give her back to him. They refused so Iverson made some threats. He got her to come home eventually. Maybe not acceptable in most of polite society, but probably common place where he grew up. I would love to see him get a ring and give it to his mom, who is at every game, in a number 3 jersey.

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 11:05 PM on January 11, 2006

I will agree that AI is without a doubt, a great player. The manner in which he has matured and stepped up is also commendable. But lets be for real, just because someone is a good player, who happens to finally grow up and act his age, that does NOT make him the greatest little player of all time. At best it makes him a good player who took his time learning what the rest of us did ages ago. As far as the best, I have to fully agree with directpressure. Isiah Thomas was without a doubt the best to ever step foot on the hardwood. When he got it in his head that they were going to win, it was as good as over. Opposing teams could still play if they wanted to, but it made little difference. He showed intensity and skill that are still unrivaled. He fully earned the right to wear those rings with pride. Also being in the 0.5% taller than 6'4" I personally have no issues calling them "little guys". In a sport where height makes right, I am pretty sure they already know that they are the little guys on the floor.

posted by rawpwr at 11:31 PM on January 11, 2006


posted by LiveWithIt at 11:46 PM on January 11, 2006

Good post gronir_ hitrops. I was having a conversation with a friend about AI just the other day. I'd have to give the nod to Thomas as well because of the rings, although I would say AI is the toughest. He has really become a pleasure to watch, and who knows? He could play 7 or 8 more years and overtake Thomas. However, Webber is a loser and the 76er's are doomed with him as their two-man.

posted by vito90 at 11:54 PM on January 11, 2006

The only issue i have with measuring a great player by the amount of rings they have is, noticing the bench sitters next to them with the same ring. If this thread was about the greatest centers ever, Bill Laimber wouldn't be mentioned at all ring total-2. Alonzo mourning would be in the top 15-20 with ring total-0. If it was about power forwards, Barkley and K.G. would be in the top 10. ring total-0. Robert Horry wouldn't crack the top 30. ring total-ridiculous. Isaiah Thomas had great coaching, and a great supporting cast around him. Okay, maybe not the greatest, but they were good with a deep bench. A.I went to the finals with Theo Ratliff at center, Eric Snow at pointgaurd, Tyrone Hill at power forward, and George Lynch at small forward. I'll agree A. Mckey was 6th man of the year off the bench, but besides that, the others off the bench were Raja Bell, Rodney Buford, Jumaine Jones and Todd McCoullah. Whooooooo? That said, Isiah Thomas - 6'1" Nate Archibald - 6'1" John Stockton - 6'1" Chucky Atkins - 5'11" Jim Les - 5'11" Michael Adams - 5'10" Spud Webb - 5'6" Earl Boykins - 5'5" Muggsy Bogues - 5'3" Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Stephon Marburry, instead of AI on that team and they're out the first round if they even make the playoffs. Winning rings doesn't measure your greatness, John Sally, Kurt Rambus, Bobby Jones, Mark Ivoroni, Greg Kite, Robert Horry all Good players. But great? AI, Barkley, Garnett, Nowitzski, these are great players. AI is listed at 6'0 or 6'1, hes actually 5'11 1/2. Barkley was listed at 6'6, he was 6'4 1/2.

posted by BlogZilla at 01:10 AM on January 12, 2006

The thing about giving someone - anyone - the monicker of "greatest" usually brings on some baaaaad Karma. A.I. is truly an acceptional athlete. Hope he doesn't end up an also-ran like Stockton did after giving all he had for the game. Here's a question: What one or two players would A.I. need on his team to win the hardware? Sorry, 'nother thread, 'nother time.

posted by babooze808 at 01:37 AM on January 12, 2006

I'll come clean. I'm listed at 6'9", but I'm actually 4'10". Yeah, I know. I couldn't dunk on Estelle Getty.

posted by chicobangs at 02:04 AM on January 12, 2006

as an old ABA fan, i think you all are failing to mention someone. granted, he was not in iversons class as a scorer ( but shooting percentage comparism, yes, they match up well), but he is the alltime assists leader in the ABA, and, AI could not learn the concept of assist under his tutelage. I am referring , of course, to Larry Brown. a pretty decent "little man".

posted by mjkredliner at 02:33 AM on January 12, 2006

From the list I would go with 1)Thomas 2)Archibald 3)Stockton.....but all that said I never saw any of them do THIS!!! ahhh memories of my childhood!!!

posted by Grrrlacher at 03:36 AM on January 12, 2006

I think Thomas was the greatest pure point guard that I ever saw play. He was tough and rose to the occasion to win two titles. Its just that I never liked him or his team. The night he kissed Magic Johnson before the game really challenged me, not interms of gender kissing, but in terms of rivalries. Then there was also the time he took his ball and went home early, when Jordan's Bulls final beat the Pistons in the playoffs.WAAAAAAA!

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 06:46 AM on January 12, 2006

You need to have someone that can make shots to get an assist, its not a one sided ordeal people. Isiah and Stockton had a LOT of help, AI almost has none. I've never seen any 6 footer score on an entire team in a half court set night in and night out. Boykins? C'mon atleast stick to allstars. Nobody wants to grow up and have game like Stockton. Matter of fact I dont want to hear Stockton's name referenced as the greatest ever again. Hell I could feed the Mailman for 10 assists a game off a pick and roll. The Answer, enough said.

posted by Drallig9399 at 06:54 AM on January 12, 2006

Iverson is for sure a top 5 guy 6'1" and under. Top 20 out of any pllayer any height. He almost single handedly carried the sixers for 10 years! I don't know how many times they've made the playoffs in those years on his back. That championship year he did have SOME help(Kukoc, Mutombu, Mckie) but still they rode his back to finals. Have him and Kobe switch places for there careers and Shaq and AI would still be winning rings. Its a shame the Sixers can never seem to put a decent team around him...

posted by JJfromPAinMI at 08:12 AM on January 12, 2006

Let us not forget in this discussion that AI was the starting shooting guard and co-captain on the 2004 olympic team that was nothing short of a disgrace. We were bested by Argentina and Italy at our own game. Great leadership skills. To be the best you have to beat the best. Plus, you have to show the leadership and interpersonal skills to be respected by the best. Iverson, NONE of those. Sorry Allen, get another tatoo and you'll feel better.

posted by mcstan13 at 08:50 AM on January 12, 2006

Spud Webb was the greatest little man ever! Do you ever see that guy dunk?!

posted by grabofsky74 at 08:57 AM on January 12, 2006

Ah, I was hoping Spud would finally get some love. I mean, maybe not THE greatest stats, but they were decent. I find it incredibly impressive that the man was 5'7", he competed for 12 years in a league of 6 foot+ giants, and he won a freakin' DUNK CONTEST! Against Dominique Wilkins!!! Talk about athleticism. And anyway, how cool is that picture?!? He looks like a Hobbit - like they scaled the set & props up so the regular-sized guy would appear smaller. He also looks like he's standing on a 4 foot high platform that's been doctored out of the photo.

posted by cybermac at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2006

you are not old enough to call A.I. the best ever. Of his generation thats another story. My Dad would say Bob Cousy,I would say Tiny, My son would say A.I. Know who's right? Whoever's picking up the tab.

posted by thatch at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2006

Rings don't make the player, but they put him over the top in this particular arguement. If you're part of a winning team AND have the stats then you have a leg up on the guy with stats alone.

posted by vito90 at 11:08 AM on January 12, 2006

Chico, Estelle Getty? That is funny!

posted by Desert Dog at 06:21 PM on January 12, 2006

To be the best you have to beat the best. Plus, you have to show the leadership and interpersonal skills to be respected by the best. Iverson, NONE of those. Sorry Allen, get another tatoo and you'll feel better. posted by mcstan13 at 8:50 AM CST on January 12 "Allen Iverson,The best player in the league". -Shaq Allen Iverson not respected by the best? Who would be more qualified to comment on the best, Shaq?, or the guy who thinks tatoo's make you feel better?

posted by BlogZilla at 06:37 PM on January 12, 2006

Allen Iverson = Shortest guy ever drafted #1 Allen Iverson = Shortest guy to win a scoring title x 4 Allen Iverson = shortest MVP in 30+ years Allen Iverson = the guy the storylink is about!

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 09:42 PM on January 12, 2006

Let us not forget in this discussion that AI was the starting shooting guard and co-captain on the 2004 olympic team that was nothing short of a disgrace. We were bested by Argentina and Italy at our own game. Great leadership skills. Yeah well at leat he had the balls to show up and give it a shot! Paging Shaq..Shaq hello..Kobe...Kevin,.. Tracy, Vince anybody?... where are you guys?.. come on this ain't funny anymore!..Hellooo, U..S..A...U..S...A, oh never mind!

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 06:15 AM on January 13, 2006

^^^good point!

posted by Drallig9399 at 07:24 AM on January 13, 2006

Iverson lead the team in ppg average 13.8, was second in assts 2.4 pg. Here are his stats for every game and a link to the page that shows each players stats. G Tm Min R A Pts 1 PUR 31 4 3 15 2 GRE 29 3 1 17 3 AUS 23 0 2 16 4 LTU 26 0 2 11 5 ANG 13 1 2 10 6 ESP 32 2 4 16 7 ARG 31 2 3 10 8 LTU 31 1 3 15 AVG 27.0 1.6 2.5 13.8 Statistics: U.S. Senior National Team He was also the smallest guy on the team listed at 6'0.

posted by BlogZilla at 06:58 PM on January 13, 2006

Paging Shaq..Shaq hello..Kobe...Kevin,.. Tracy, Vince anybody?... where are you guys?.. come on this ain't funny anymore!..Hellooo, U..S..A...U..S...A, oh never mind Good point. More olympic info about that year. Iverson and Duncan were the only 2 original members of the team. List of players that withdrew. J.Kidd-knee surgery R.Allen-got married T.Mcgrady-"security concerns" K.Malone-Mother passed away J.O'neal-"banged up from playoffs" M.Bibby-no reason listed List of players who declined invites. V.Carter, K.Martin, E.Brand, S.O'neil, K.Garnett, R.Hamilton, B.Wallace. I think its needless to say, but things would have been different had the original team showed up. Iversons stat line the day this thread was posted; Utah 110 Sixers 102 Iverson: 44mins 16-25 for 46 Points 9 assts 4stls 3rebs 2 To's. He lead either team in points and assts. Had fewer turnovers than any player who played atleast 35 minutes and of course, was the smallest player on either team.

posted by BlogZilla at 07:52 PM on January 13, 2006

List of players that withdrew R.Allen-got married You must prioritize your life. If she really loves you she can wait. Does she know your rich? T.Mcgrady-"security concerns" Terrorist- 1 Mcgrady- 0

posted by gronir_ hitrops at 09:40 AM on January 14, 2006

R.Allen-got married He should have taken his wife to Greece with him, I'm sure she would have enjoyed the Olympics, and going to a nice foreign country.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:57 AM on January 14, 2006

AI is not at all my favorite player, especially not of all-time. It's hard to really decide who was the best, since the top few came from all different time periods. I do know one thing. If every player was the same height... AI would be the best player on the court, by far, every night. And the number of titles would be more than 0. And Shaq wouldn't be very good.

posted by Snikastyle at 11:52 AM on January 14, 2006

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