Allen Iverson had one of the best crossovers in the game. There were some defenders who did not stand a chance against that crossover move.
One player that fell victim to it was one of the greats ever to play the game, Michael Jordan. It was during Iverson’s rookie season when he let Jordan know that he means business.
Allen Iverson’s rookie season
Iverson had an exceptional rookie season for the Philadelphia 76ers. Taken as the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NBA draft, Iverson had high expectations. He won the Rookie of the Year award and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Iverson finished his rookie season averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 assists per game.
The Virginia native was the leading scorer on the Philadelphia team. Though they struggled that season finishing with a 22-60 record, Iverson was a bright spot on what the future would look like for the team. In his debut, Iverson dropped 30 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. Word around the league was starting to spread about this young guy playing for the 76ers.
Iverson going up against Jordan
On March 12, 1997, the Chicago Bulls traveled to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. The Bulls were the hottest team in the league, and the 76ers were at the bottom of the totem pole. The Bulls went on to defeat the 76ers 108-104, but there was one moment during the game that had everyone in amazement.
Iverson was still the young Rookie getting adjusted to the league, and he was having his success. During a possession, Jordan matched up and was playing defense on Iverson. Iverson hits Jordan with a crossover move, Jordan doesn’t budge, Iverson hits Jordan with another crossover and Jordan goes one way while Iverson goes the other way. The guard pulls up and hits the mid-range shot right over the best player in the game at the time. Iverson also dropped 37 points that night.
Here you have a rookie who just crossed up the league’s best player and hit the shot on him. That sent the crowd in Philly into a frenzy. The fans knew that Iverson was going to lead them to success one day, and that crossover move on Jordan will never be forgotten.
Iverson going on to dominate in the NBA
After his rookie season, Iverson’s success would continue. He would make multiple all-star teams and lead the 76ers to an NBA Finals’ appearance. Iverson would go on to win the MVP award in 2001. Standing six feet, Iverson played with a lot of confidence, and his size did not hold him back from anything.
He was always up for a challenge even as a rookie. Just ask Jordan, he certainly knew who Iverson was after that game. Iverson is one of the best scorers to ever play in the NBA, and he changed the culture of the league with his style and his look. But when he stepped on that court, you knew he was going to perform at a high-level and leave it all on the court. Even to this day, Iverson’s crossover on Jordan is still must-see TV.