Allen Ezail Iverson, born on June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Virginia, USA, is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the most controversial Basketball players of all time, whom he rejoined in December 2009 after the team traded him to the Denver Nuggets in December 2006.
The 76ers selected Iverson with the number one pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996–97 season. Allen Iverson is one of the most loved and hated figures in Basketball. Iverson is a eleven-time NBA All-Star which includes winning the All-Star MVP award in 2001 and 2005.
Winning the NBA scoring title during the 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2004–05 seasons, Iverson has become one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, despite his small (listed at 6 feet, 0 inches) stature, with a career scoring average of 26.7 points per game, being sixth all-time. Iverson was also the NBA Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 season and led his team to the 2001 NBA Finals the same season.
He grew up very poor to a struggling mother and a father who deserted him. Growing up, he was very athletic, playing football and basketball throughout most of his education prior to college. As a high school junior, Iverson played quarterback for the Bethel High School football team, leading the team to the state championship.
In spring 1994, Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson visited Iverson at Hampton’s Bethel High School. After two seasons at Georgetown, Iverson was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played with the Sixers for 10 years. During his tenure he was Rookie of the Year, League MVP, 2x All-Star MVP, and led the league in scoring for four years. After his rookie season, during which he led the 76ers in points, assists and minutes, Iverson was named the 1996 NBA Rookie of the Year and was a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
On November 25, 2009, commentator Stephen A. Smith published on his blog a statement attributed to Iverson announcing plans for retirement, which also said, “I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level.”
Less than a week later on November 30, Iverson and his representatives met with a Philadelphia 76ers delegation about returning to his former team, and accepted a contract offer two days later. General manager Ed Stefanski declined to go into the terms of the agreement, but an unnamed source told the Associated Press that Iverson agreed to a one-year non-guaranteed contract at the league minimum salary.