He earned the Associated Press High School Player of the Year award in both football and basketball, and won the Division AAA Virginia state championship in both sports.After high school, Iverson attended Georgetown University for two years, where he set the school record for career scoring average (22.9 points per game) and won Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards both years.Accepting his own, potentially diminished role within the league’s altering landscape was something that Iverson was unwilling or unable to do.
As gaudy as Iverson’s numbers are (remember, he put up all these points while playing in under 1,000 NBA games), the fact of the matter remains...
A situation that should have served as a sign to A. Unable to relinquish his alpha-dog status, Iverson continued to bounce around the league’s landscape, stopping briefly in Memphis and finally back in Philadelphia, searching for a flame to re-light his career torch. But, a plethora of problems, decisions and off-court issues, many of Iverson’s own doing, have the future Hall-of-Famer facing his retirement from the outside looking in.
Needless to say, the flame was never quite found, which is why we find Iverson, following three years of NBA inactivity, unceremoniously announcing his retirement at the start of another season that he won’t be a part of. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Tim Duncan are all directly behind Iverson on the all-time scoring list - at 20th, 21st, and 22nd respectively - with Vince Carter falling a few spots further back at 27th.
Such players aren’t supposed to spend the twilight of their career searching for a home. At the very least, had he done things differently, he would likely have the opportunity to retire because it’s time, not because he couldn’t find a franchise to secure his services.
Statistically speaking, if Iverson was able to adapt and accept, let’s say, a reserve role, rather than allowing his stats to stagnate while being out of the league for the past three seasons, his overall statistical standing and league legacy would be that much better.