Former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Billy King reveals a hilarious story about Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
The 1st pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Allen Iverson was selected, by the Philadelphia 76ers. The 1996 Draft class was one of the greatest groups of talent assembled by the NBA. That included Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash.
Listed at 6’0”, 165 pounds, Iverson is the shortest player ever to be the first pick in an NBA Draft. Nevertheless, size was never a concern for the former rookie of the year. Iverson was one of the few dominant players in an otherwise league of big players at the time.
The 11x All-Star impressed everyone with his razzle and dazzle on the hardwood. One of the highlights of his career being when he crossed over Bulls legend Michael Jordan in his rookie year.
Allen Iverson crosses over Michael Jordan. 🏀
32 days later, MJ sees Iverson and says “What’s up, you little b*tch?”
— Complex (@Complex) November 9, 2018
Iverson’s passion and drive to perform on the court were one of a kind. It had gone to a point where even injuries couldn’t stop him from performing. Former 76ers general manager Billy King spoke about Iverson’s unhealthy zeal to play, citing a hilarious story.
Former 76ers GM Billy King narrates a rib-tickling story about hiding Allen Iverson’s playing gear before a tip-off
King spoke about some of the innovative ideas that the 76ers management had to apply to prevent Iverson from playing through injury.
“When he was injured and we knew he couldn’t play we used to hide his jersey,” King said. “Because he would come to the locker room looking for his jersey, we’d lock it somewhere so he couldn’t get it.”
While speaking of a hysterical incident that took place in New York, King said,
“One time, in New York, he found his jersey but didn’t have any shoes. He was trying to send the ball boy to the Foot Locker around the corner. He said, ‘Just give me a pair of their Reeboks. I can play in those.’ Then he pointed to an attendant, ‘What size are you? Just give me those shoes,’ because he wanted to play so bad.”
Iverson was one of the toughest players in the league during his time. His ability to endure pain night after night, especially since his small size allowed the big men to bully him in the paint, but nothing would stop him from coming back.
The Answer had one of his best seasons during 2000-01, during which he won the regular-season MVP and was crowned scoring champion simultaneously. The same year would also mark his first-ever NBA Finals appearance.