Neither Michael Jordan nor Allen Iverson will likely ever forget what happened on March 12, 1997. During a Chicago Bulls–Philadelphia 76ers game at the CoreStates Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Iverson put Jordan in the blender and had his first signature moment in the NBA.
It’s been 24 years since Iverson crossed over Jordan. However, according to the Answer, His Airness still hasn’t forgiven him.
Michael Jordan hasn’t forgiven Allen Iverson for crossing him over
During an interview with three-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, Iverson said Jordan still isn’t over getting his ankles broken by him. When the two basketball icons were hanging out in Charlotte once, AI told Black Jesus he loved him, which drew a funny response from the Bulls legend.
“I went to a Charlotte Hornets game, and he (Jordan) had me come in, and we in the back, and me and him just sitting back and drinking and reminiscing or whatever, and I was like, ‘Man, I love you, man.’ And he was like, ‘You don’t love me, you lil b****. You wouldn’t have crossed me up like that if you did.’ Man, and everybody in the room just bust out laughing, man. It was crazy,” Iverson said.
Jordan and Iverson faced each other 13 times. Although MJ went 7-6 against Bubba Chuck, the Sixers great never backed down against his idol.
Allen Iverson averaged 29.8 points against Michael Jordan
In 13 games against Jordan, Iverson averaged 29.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 44.3% from the field. Meanwhile, Jordan put up 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game versus Iverson.
In 2020, Iverson went on the All the Smoke podcast with former NBA forwards Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, and he talked about his famous Jordan crossover by giving a detailed answer that basketball fanatics presumably loved.
“This that young boy s***, you know what I mean. You ain’t seen nothing like this,” Iverson said. “And then I heard Phil Jackson call him out. He called him out on the switch. Come here, man. Now I’mma try my move on the best person that I’ve ever seen play the game. Now I’mma see if this move is real. And now I’m like, ‘Oh s***’, and the craziest part is I didn’t know what I did until ESPN and errbody else talking about it. I hit him with that thang.”
Jordan meant so much to Iverson that the one-time MVP gave the six-time champion a special shoutout during his Hall of Fame speech in 2016.
The Answer thanked Superman during his Hall of Fame speech
During his emotional Hall of Fame speech in 2016, Iverson thanked Jordan for inspiring him to play basketball. The 11-time All-Star said he wouldn’t have existed in the NBA if it weren’t for the 10-time scoring champion.
“I have to thank this man because without his vision, I promise you, there wouldn’t be no Hall of Fame Allen Iverson standing at this podium if it wasn’t for this guy,” Iverson said. “He gave me the vision, man, and you wanna be fast like Isiah (Thomas), and you wanna shoot like (Larry) Bird, you know, rebound like (Charles) Barkley, pass like Magic (Johnson), be dominant like Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal). But, man, I wanted to be like Mike. I remember the first time I played against him, and I walked out on the court, and I looked at him, and for the first time in my life, a human being didn’t look real to me. It looked like he was glowing. I can’t stop looking at him. I’m looking at his shoes. It was Mike. It was my idol. It was my hero.”
Iverson never won a championship during his stellar career, but he’s undoubtedly one of the best players in NBA history. He’s seventh all-time in points per game (26.7), a four-time scoring champion, and a three-time steals champion.
If Jordan didn’t exist, basketball fans might have never heard of Iverson, who may have decided to pursue a football career since he was a superstar football player in high school. Luckily for the NBA community, both Jordan and Iverson became household names in the NBA.