Allen Ezail Iverson is a retired Virginia-born professional basketball athlete. He is dubbed as A.I., The Answer, and BubbaChuck. He played both as a point guard and shooting guard in the fourteen seasons that he was with the NBA.
On June 7, 1975, he was born to 15-year-old Ann Iverson from Hampton, Virginia. During high school, he excelled in both basketball and football, bringing Bethel High School to the championships. He was eventually awarded The Associated Press High School Player of the Year for both sports. He has over 30 tattoos, and prefers comfortable baggy clothes and cornrows for hairstyle.
Iverson is known for his troubles with the authority. The first documented one was an altercation he had in a bowling alley in 1993 when he was just a high school student. In 1995, his conviction was overturned because of insufficient evidence. He was forced to finish his senior year at Richard Milburn High School where he met coach John Thompson who offered him a full scholarship to play for the Georgetown Hoyas.
He bagged the Big East Rookie of the Year award in the 1994-1995 season and became part of the All Rookie Tournament First Team. The 1995-1996 season was his second and last with the Hoyas wherein he became the all-time leader in scoring average. He left the Georgetown Hoyas early to join the 1996 NBA draft.
He was the first overall pick of the Philadelphia 76ers and became the shortest first overall pick in the history of the NBA at six feet. In his first season with the league, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year. Iverson signed a contract extension of six years worth $70 million before the start of the next season. With A.I.’s leadership, the Sixers continued to improve significantly until they were eliminated by the Indiana Pacers for the second time.
That season, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal were the only players who received votes to become the Most Valuable Player. Because of multiple disagreements with coach Larry Brown, Iverson was almost traded to Matt Geiger of the Detroit Pistons. However, they set their differences aside and and continued to work toward the championships.
In the 2000-2001 season, the 76ers had a great start and Iverson was awarded the MVP of the 2001 NBA All-Star Game. He was the lightest and shortest NBA player to win the title at only six feet and 165 pounds. Because of his stunning on-court performance, he was named to the All NBA First team. Iverson was able to lead the team to the 2001 NBA Finals, but they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers that had Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in their roster.
In the first game of the championship, a paramount moment happened and became a huge part of history. Wearing his Reebok Answer IV, Allen Iverson stepped over a fallen Tyronn Lue after an essential shot. Many wondered why Iverson had to do such. In an interview, 76ers Radio Announcer for that game Tom McGinnis said, “Iverson was playing the best of everybody in the NBA. It was this little tiny domination where he's looking down [at Lue] "You can't stick me."
The trend of using basketball sleeves started with Allen Iverson. He wore them to recover from bursitis in his right elbow and had continued to wear it after the injury was healed. Fellow athletes and fans have worn the sleeves for a placebo effect of preventing future injuries and as a fashion statement.
In the 2002-2003, the Detroit Pistons eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from the Playoffs after six games. The loss resulted in Larry Brown’s departure from the team. Though he and Iverson had a string of arguments, they were said to still be in good terms with Iverson describing Brown as "the best coach in the world".
In the 2003-2004 season, Randy Ayers and then Chris Ford took over but failed as coaches. Jim O’Brien was able to help the team bounce back, bringing the Sixers up to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2004-2005 season. The Sixers, however, were eliminated again by the Detroit Pistons. O’Brien was let go after just one season because of his continuous misunderstandings with the team and management. He was replaced by Maurice Cheeks, a Sixers legend.
Because of Iverson’s attitude, there were rumors that he would be traded to Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, or Denver Nuggets. Eventually, A.I. was moved to the Detroit Pistons in 2008 and to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009. In late 2009, Iverson made a return to the Philadelphia 76ers and was named to the All-Star Game. However, on March 2, 2010, he left the team indefinitely because of personal reasons, which may have included his four-year-old daughter having Kawasaki disease.
In October 2010, Iverson inked a two-year $4-million contract with Besiktas of the city of Istanbul but left in 2011 for a calf surgery. In October 2013, Allen Iverson officially retired from basketball. In March 2014, the Philadelphia 76ers retired Iverson’s jersey number 3 in a ceremony.
Allen Iverson Shoes and the Techs that Make Them Exceptional
Since 1996, Reebok has released Allen Iverson basketball shoes yearly. The lifetime contract that he inked with the company in 2001 denotes that we will continue to see Reebok basketball shoes with the I3 mark.
Iverson sneakers are usually available for both men and women. In fact, some models have colorways that are borne out of collaborations with female celebrities.
- Reebok Question. In 1996, the first pair of Allen Iverson basketball shoes was called the Reebok Question. The shoe features an icy outsole rubber with a wavy traction pattern. Solid rubbers are usually praised for their grip on court floors. However, the outsole of these Allen Iverson basketball shoes has proven that translucent rubbers, too, can get the job done. As long as it is kept clean, its icy rubber provides maximum grip and control. For cushioning, the midsole has a foam carrier with Hexalite at the forefoot and heel. They absorb shock and provide stability. For a 90s shoe, the removable insole comes as a surprise. Many users love the awesome responsiveness that it provides. The upper is made of durable full grain leather with leather overlays. The Reebok Question is over a quarter of a century old but it is still as popular as ever. It has been re-released through the years, and it now has over 100 colorways.
- Reebok Answer 1. The first of the Answer series shows off a stylish and concealed lacing system. It features a visible DMX technology and a Series 2000 midsole. When it was re-released in 2013, it adopted the new name Reebok Answer DMX 10. The original release was in 1997 and in 2013, the shoe model was retroed four times.
- Reebok Answer 2. In 1998, Reebok released the Answer 2 with Iverson’s signature for artistic appeal. The cushioning of the shoe boasts 3D Ultralite and DMX Ultralite. The leather upper has a mesh tongue for comfort and ventilation.
- Reebok Answer 3. Originally released in 1999, the Reebok Answer 3 was retroed in August 2015. The simple design of the shoe features a standard lace-up system, a full-grain leather upper, and DMX Lite for lightweight cushioning.
- Reebok Answer 4. Among all the Answer shoes, the Reebok Answer 4 is the most popular for a reason. In the 2001 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue whilst wearing the Answer 4. As a reference to that moment, the 2017 retro of the signature shoe comes in a box with an image of Lue being stepped over by Iverson.
- Reebok Answer 5. The lightest of all the Allen Iverson basketball shoes, the Reebok Answer 5 weighs only 13.5 ounces. It features a hook-and-loop strap at the heel for foot containment. As for cushioning, the shoe comes with DMX I-pak and a 3D ultralite compound.
- Reebok Answer 6. The Reebok Answer 6, which was released in 2002, features a unique and exquisite design. The leather upper comes with an “IVERSON” detailing in plastic blocks. Instead of the usual DMX cushioning, the shoe is equipped with a TPU midsole. For added style and foot containment, the midfoot comes with a traditional lace-up system with a shrouded zipper.
- Reebok Answer 7. For a change, the upper of the Reebok Answer 7 is made of dimpled full-grain leather. The spandex foam collar lining gives the foot a secure and comfortable containment. For maximum floor control, the shoe boasts a duracourt rubber outsole. It is also durable and resists abrasion.
- Reebok Answer 8. These Iverson basketball sneakers are best remembered by the perforations in its upper; they are in the shape of the number eight. The outsole has a combination of the herringbone and number 8 patterns. A large number 8 is also found at the forefoot area of the outsole. For additional appeal, an “Iverson” script is neatly placed at the collar.
- Reebok Question 2. A follow-up to the first Question, these Allen Iverson basketball shoes keep the same Hexalite setup at the midsole. The Reebok Question 2 may not be as popular as its predecessor when it was released in 2004, but it is the shoe worn by Iverson during the Olympics in Athens, Greece.
- Reebok Answer 9. With the Pump 2.0 system, these Iverson basketball shoes can have a personalized fit through the automatic on-and-off valve. The signature model is considered bulky and heavy by most. The leather upper has two straps for a secure lockdown.
- Reebok Answer 10. The Reebok Answer 10 has the same cushioning system as its predecessor. The leather upper is printed with Xs and the outsole rubber has a traction pattern in the form of Xs. A secure lockdown is delivered by a shrouded zipper with an ankle strap.
- Reebok Answer 11. The Reebok Answer 11 is considered by most fans as the next best shoe after the Reebok Question. The shoe is inspired by the Gemini zodiac sign of Allen Iverson. Designed Drew Winfield wanted to show Allen Iverson’s characters on and off court through Castor and Pollux who have opposite characteristics. The upper is a combination of leather and mesh for durability and ventilation, respectively. The midfoot strap is added to provide extra foot containment and support. Its cushioning consists of an EVA foam midsole and a generously padded inner walls to guarantee comfort for the entire game. For support and stability, these Iverson basketball sneakers feature a TPU heel clip that effectively keeps the foot down. These Allen Iverson basketball shoes has a tough and squeaky outsole rubber for both indoor and outdoor action.
- Reebok Question 3. The year 2007 seems like a good year for Allen Iverson basketball shoes. Reebok released the Question 3 as a rework of the Answer 11. As if the lace-up system is not enough, the strap provides additional lockdown at the midfoot area. The signature shoe carries the same Hexalite technology at the midsole.
- Reebok Answer 12. Allen Iverson is known for his uniqueness when it comes to style. Translucent rubber runs down the middle of the outsole; the sides are made of solid rubber. The side panels of the Reebok Answer 12 has perforations in various shapes, not only for ventilation but also for aesthetics.
- Reebok Answer 13. In August 2009, the Reebok Answer 13 was released with a unique design. To provide breathability to the leather upper, both sides of the shoe have vented lines. The lightness and responsiveness of the Allen Iverson shoes come from the full-length Hexride technology.
- Reebok Q96. Taking inspiration from the original Reebok Question, the release of the Reebok Q96 in 2013 serves as a fresh start for Allen Iverson’s signature series. Its upper features a 3D fuse frame for continuous airflow. For lightweight cushioning, the shoe features the DMX technology. Just like its predecessor, the Q96 comes with a synthetic leather for durability.
- Reebok Answer 14. A design by Jeremy Sallee, the Reebok Answer 14 is currently the most recent in Allen Iverson’s signature series. It has a solid rubber outsole with a herringbone traction pattern. The side panels of the shoe have mesh cutouts that keep the foot dry.
Allen Iverson is already a retired NBA player, but as a player-coach in the BIG3 League, fans can still catch him wearing his current and upcoming signature models.
The Designers of the Allen Iverson Basketball Shoes
In between the contracts and the shoe debuts are the designers. These brilliant minds combine churn out ideas and look for practical ways to bring them to reality. The Allen Iverson shoes are not built like any typical footwear. They are awesome basketball shoes from the 90s with advanced technologies. Listed below are just some of the geniuses behind Allen Iverson’s signature basketball shoes.
- Scott Hewett. Known as the designer of the best selling and famous Iverson basketball shoes The Question, Scott Hewett graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a degree in Illustration and Fine Arts. He also designed The Answer shoe series from one to seven. During his fifteen years with Reebok, he served as the senior footwear designer for plenty of athletes despite being not a basketball guy. After his stint with Reebok, he became a footwear designer for New Balance for four years.
- Drew Winfield. Baltimore-born and 26-year-old Drew Winfield designed the Reebok Answer 11 for nine months. The shoe was to debut in 2007, Allen Iverson’s 12th season. The inspiration was from Iverson’s zodiac sign Gemini. A graduate of College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Winfield has the Reebok Answer 11 as his flagship design. He called the on-court performance of Iverson as the immortal or Pollux side, and the off-court status as the mortal or Castor side.
- Jeremy Sallee. Jeremy Sallee graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Business. He worked at Reebok’s Canton, Massachusetts office from May 2010 to September 2017 as a senior footwear designer and manager. He is known in Reebok as the man who helped Swizz Beatz revive the Kamikaze line. He is also the designer of John Wall’s ZigEscape.
The Logos on Allen Iverson Basketball Shoes
Though Allen Iverson has a bold hairstyle and plenty of tattoos, his signature shoes are kept simple as far as logos and symbolisms.
- I3. The I3 has become the legacy of Allen Iverson. It simply denotes his jersey number 3 with the Philadelphia 76ers and the initial of his last name.
- Question logo. The Question logo was designed not specifically for Allen Iverson but for Reebok. With its beautiful execution, the Vector logo is neatly integrated to the letter Q, which symbolizes the first Allen Iverson signature shoe the Reebok Question.
- THE REALIST. Considered as one of the most misunderstood and intelligent basketball athletes of all time, Allen Iverson was tagged as The Realist. In an interview, he advised people to be real and learn from experience. He was also called the term when he got his hair braided on the bench. This symbolism is found at the outsole of the Reebok Answer 7.
What are the 2018 plans of Reebok for Allen Iverson?
In December 2017, Allen Iverson posted some photos on his social media account, hinting that more shoes will be available in 2018. In one photo, he posed with four men and its caption indicates that he is with the new team that will design his shoes. In another photo, he sat alongside Tony Krinsky, marketing executive in Reebok, and captioned it “Can’t wait to see the young killas rocking my new joints on the hardwood dance floor.” The statement implies that new Allen Iverson shoes are in the works, and they are not only for basketball but also for casual use.
Though the Reebok Answer 14 was the last Allen Iverson basketball shoes for sale, the I3 Legacy will surely not stop there. Aside from the re-releases of previous models in new colorways, there will definitely be new signature shoe coming due to Allen Iverson’s lifetime deal with Reebok.
What are Allen Iverson’s tattoos and their meanings?
Allen Iverson is known for not only his amazing on-court performance but also his body art and sense of style. He reportedly has more than 30 tattoos and surely, his fans are intrigued as to what each means. For Iverson, having his tattoos makes him who he is. He reacted when Hoop Magazine of the NBA edited his photo to remove the ink. He said,”Hey, you can't do that. That's not right. Hey, I am who I am. You can't change that. Who gives them the authority to remake me? Everybody knows who Allen Iverson is. That's wild. That's kind of crazy. This is the first I've heard of it, but I personally am offended that somebody would do something like that. They don't have the right to try to present me in another way to the public than the way I truly am without my permission. It's an act of freedom and a form of self-expression. That's why I got mine."
- RA Boogie. Located on the left side of his neck, the “RA Boogie” is dedicated to his childhood friend Rashaan who was shot.
- Loyalty. Below “RA Boogie” is the Chinese character for Loyalty. BubbaChuck believes in the sense of loyalty toward his family, his hometown Virginia, and his first team the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Hold My Own. Holding on to his inner beliefs, “Hold My Own” on his right arm shows Iverson’s outlook in life.
- Soldier’s Head. Below “Hold My Own” is a soldier’s skull. According to Iverson, life is a war and he is a soldier.
- Cru Thik. Cru Thik is Allen’s record company. “Cru Thik” is inked in shadows on his right arm and on three other places.
- Only The Strong Survive and Cross of Daggers. Iverson grew up in a tough neighborhood which makes him learn how to live.
- Fear No One. This “Fear No One” tattoo on his left arm is paired with a screaming skull that is outlined in red because according to Iverson, “'...you'll never catch me looking scared."
- The Answer and Bulldog. The Answer is for his signature shoe line. As for the bulldog, there are reports that say that it has nothing to do with the Georgetown Hoyas. Still, some say that the bulldog represents the mascot of the college.
- Tiaura and Deuce. Iverson has a tattoo of his children’s names on his right chest.
- Tawanna. The name of his wife is inked on his stomach.
- Black Panther. Among all his tattoos, only the panther in his right forearm does not mean anything to Iverson. He used it to cover up a grim reaper holding a ball. He had it covered because his friend used to tell him that it looks like a monkey rather than a grim reaper.
- Praying Hands and Initials of his Mom and Grandma. His grandmother, who died when Allen was young, and his mom had a great impact in his life. He honors them by adding their initials close to the image of the praying hands.
- NBN. It stands for Newport Bad News, which is a nickname for his hometown Newport, Virginia because “a lot of bad sh*t happens there.”
- Money Bagz. The “Money Bagz” tattoo is found on his left hand.
- Virginia Slim. The tattoo on his left neck is a tribute to his hometown.
- CT. It stands for Cru Thik.
- Spider Web. Surrounding the CT tattoo on Iverson’s left neck is a spider web.
- FAME. The FAME tattoo stands for “F@#!? ALL MY ENEMIES” found on his back.
- Strength. Printed in sanskrit, this tattoo is located on his left arm.
- JEWELZ. Located at the back side of his right forearm, “JEWELZ” is Allen Iverson’s rap name.
- VA’s Finest. “VA’s Finest” is another tattoo that is dedicated to his beloved hometown. It is located on his forearm.
- East End. Tattooed vertically on his leg, the East End indicates the area where Iverson grew up.
- Dynasty Radaz. Located at the back of his left forearm, “Dynasty Radaz” is what Iverson and his friends used to call each other.
- I miss my homies. This tattoo is one of his latest, and it is dedicated to his friend Clark.
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