He just continues to astound. As a Sixers fan, I remember 3 years ago hearing that Allen Iverson, coming off an injury, had taken too much of a beating, was too small, and left it all on the court too often to continue to play at such a high level anymore. Once you hit 30, guards of his size hit a wall. There were piles of stats to prove it. And those guards were bigger than him, stronger than him, didn’t throw their bodies into the paint like they were made of stainless steel. He was done, it was over. That is, until he won his 4th scoring title.
A year later, the off-season brings the same concerns. Surely THIS is the year he breaks down. It has to be… until…33.0 points per game. The highest of his career, and the highest by anyone in NBA history over the age of 30.
Two years later, Iverson is in a new city, is 32 years old, and is playing some of the best basketball of his career. He is an irregularity, an anomaly. A 5 foot, 11 inch, 165-pounder who can score at will, take a beating while playing more minutes than anyone else, and do so into his 30’s. Below are 10 interesting stats that paint a picture of Iverson, a player like none we will see again.
- This season, he is averaging more points than Kobe Bryant, more assists than Tony Parker and more steals than everyone except Chris Paul and Baron Davis.
- Iverson is shooting the highest FG% of his career (46.5%), a higher percentage than Kobe, Chris Bosh and Paul Pierce.
- If he keeps this pace, he will be the oldest player to average 25 points, 7 assists and 2 steals per game in a season – by 3 years (Larry Bird, 29).
- Iverson is 3rd all-time in PPG (27.8) and 5th in Steals (2.29 per game).
- If he plays 5 more seasons, at below career averages of 22 ppg, 6 apg, 1.5 spg and 70 games per season. He would finish 5th all time in points (29,413), 13th in assists (6,971) and 4th in steals (2,315). He would also join Oscar Robertson as the only players in the top 15 all-time in points and assists.
- Owns the top 8 seasons for PPG by a player under 6 feet tall.
- Has 3,764 more points than anyone under 6 feet (Calvin Murphy). He has 10,056 more than the 3rd ranked player (Damon Stoudamire). Also, he just passed Stoudemire for most rebounds in a career by a player under 6-feet (2,993).
- At 165 pounds, ranks 4th all-time in minutes per game (41.8) – behind Chamberlain, Russell and Robertson – and 5th all-time in Free-Throws per game (9.2).
- Since his rookie season (1996-97), has 1,562 more points than anyone in the league, 202 more steals, is 7th in assists and 2nd in minutes.
- One of 2 players to average 30 ppg in the playoffs – the other being Michael Jordan.
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