Given that he was the face of the league in the 2000s, Stephen A Smith believes that Allen Iverson was underpaid by the Philadelphia 76ers.
One of the best players that ever played in the NBA, Allen Iverson changed basketball and the NBA forever. He was the league’s face even if the NBA liked it or not.
Allen Iverson was the number one draft pick of the 1996 draft class over the likes of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Ray Allen. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Despite getting an MVP in 2001, AI was never paid what he should have been.
AI’s time in Philly was packed with magic and high-class performances but he didn’t get paid enough
Just 5 years in, AI took Sixers closest to the NBA Championship they’ve ever been in 18 years. Philadelphia finished that 2000–2001 season with a record of 56–26, the best record in the East and “The Answer” won the MVP.
He was leading the league in points averaging 31.1 points to go along with 5.5 assists and nearly 3 steals. AI even had a 54-point season-high game against the Cavaliers. That was all insane for a 6-foot guard then.
That season gave the NBA one of the best highlight reels ever,
On this day in 2001, Shaq and AI scored 44 and 48 points, only the 2nd time in Finals history two opposing players got 40+.
Iverson also did his famous step-over on Ty Lue 🔥#BovadaSportsHistory
— Bovada (@BovadaOfficial) June 6, 2021
In the playoffs, the Sixers made it to the finals but lost to the Lakers 4–1. In the game that Philadelphia won, Iverson showed up big time with 38 points.
Stephen A Smith believes Sixers did not pay Iverson the money he deserved
Iverson was only getting paid $10.1 million at the time he was troubling the Lakers starring prime Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O’Neal coached by Phil Jackson. And NBA analyst Stephen A Smith seems to be bothered about that,
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 7, 2021
Iverson and Smith share a great relationship, Stephen A covered AI’s career for 10 years closely. Smith is famous around the league and media for his wild views and rants. Though this might be one of his good analogies.
In the 10 years in Philly, the 11-time All-star, one of the faces of the NBA at the time, only once he was the top-5 best-paid player. Philly saved a lot of money on AI and obviously made tons because of him.
“The Answer” notoriously though never managed his hard-earned money wisely. He struggled with finances after his time in the NBA and was reportedly broke as soon as 2012, just 2-years after his last NBA season.