Max Kellerman, ESPN’s popular sports commentator and columnist, recently made a bold claim that Allen Iverson would’ve been better than Michael Jordan if not for one big reason. Kellerman claims that the Philadelphia 76ers’ point guard was so much more talented than Jordan but he never got to showcase his skills because of the NBA’s strict rules on headgear.
If you want to know when Allen Iverson retired, then this is the blog for you.
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the full-fledged G.O.A.T., whereas Allen Iverson is often regarded as the best “pound for pound” athlete in NBA history (greatest of all time).
Although there is still dispute over Jordan vs. LeBron James, Iverson and Jordan secured their places in basketball history for the most part. Both are first-ballot inductees into the Hall of Fame.
When it comes to Iverson and how his legacy should be defined, though, ESPN’s Max Kellerman takes a far more nuanced view.
If Allen Iverson had been taller, Max Kellerman thinks he would have been a greater player than Michael Jordan.
Allen Iverson would have been a better football player than a basketball player, according to @maxkellerman.
“AI is one of the all-time great athletes. His name isn’t mentioned nearly enough in discussions about great athletes.” pic.twitter.com/WJLn8BxpOM
— August 24, 2021, First Take (@FirstTake)
Kellerman highlighted Iverson’s raw athletic potential and how he was once a highly sought-after football recruit while also being the #1 basketball prospect in the country during a recent “First Take” segment.
The highlights of Iverson’s high school football career are absolutely stunning (his agility and speed were unmatched). Kellerman, on the other hand, went a step farther when addressing Iverson’s basketball limitations as a result of his shorter height.
He said that if Iverson had been 6-foot-6, he would have beaten out Jordan as the best player of all time:
Kellerman said, “Michael Jordan is the goat because AI wasn’t 6-6.” “AI… he would have been the best player of all time if he had been 6-foot-6.”
To make such a big assertion in the midst of a discussion is pretty brazen.
Allen Iverson set records with his performance.
For what it’s worth, during his heyday with the Philadelphia 76ers, Iverson put up some mind-bogglingly amazing statistics.
During his 12 seasons with the Sixers, he averaged 27.6 points per game. He also topped the NBA in a number of statistical categories on a regular basis. Iverson has won the NBA scoring title four times, led the league in steals three times, and led the league in minutes per game seven times.
In addition to his outstanding statistics, Iverson has a lengthy number of honors to his credit. He has 11 All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA selections, and two All-Star Game MVP awards. In 1997, Iverson was named Rookie of the Year, and in 2001, he was named MVP. Iverson’s MVP season was one of the best in NBA history, as he guided a below-average Sixers team to the Finals.
Having said that, Jordan is no slouch when it comes to winning awards. It’s difficult to compare the two credentials, even though I’m six inches taller than Iverson.
Michael Jordan was just on another level.
Allen Iverson is guarded by Michael Jordan | TOM MIHALEK/AFP via Getty Images
No offense to Iverson; he’s a superstar in his own right, but comparing an NBA player to Jordan is almost impossible.
Jordan is a 14-time All-Star, 10-time scoring champion, five-time MVP, three-time steals leader, 11-time All-NBA, nine-time All-Defense, and six-time NBA champion and Finals MVP.
The legendary Bulls guard was also named MVP of the All-Star Game, Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year three times. An impressive collection of honors, awards, and accomplishments.
Kellerman is implying that if Iverson had been taller, he could have challenged Jordan for the title of best player ever. While it’s true that Iverson would have been better if he had been taller, it’s unlikely that he would have surpassed Jordan.
Jordan’s résumé is so extensive that it’s difficult to envision any NBA player, even one as brilliant as Iverson, coming close to duplicating it.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
RELATED: Allen Iverson’s High School Coach Threw Him on Top of a Car After He Was Caught Skipping Class: ‘I wasn’t going to let him down.’
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