“He Got MJ With It”: Kevin Durant Expresses His Admiration for Allen Iverson

Published 10/31/2020, 5:30 PM EDT
BEIJING, CHINA – OCTOBER 25: Former NBA star Allen Iverson attends a news conference on October 25, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)


There was no single game in which Allen Iverson did not dazzle the fans. His playing style was an inspiration for the Philadelphia 76ers‘ fans and became revolutionary in the league. His impact was such that the ‘SLAM Magazine’ preferred to keep him on their covers annually. Without a doubt, his appearance in the magazine benefited them majorly.

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All ‘SLAM’ fans are aware that he has been on their covers ever since he entered the league. Sales numbers clearly depicted that he was one of the most popular cover subjects in SLAM’s history, at par with Michael Jordan. The fact of the matter is, if someone sells, you have to keep putting them on the cover.

Another reason for Iverson’s popularity was his crossover against Michael Jordan. He was a rookie at the time, and for him to do that against a legend was unreal. Ever since, athletes have tried to perfect the crossover, but nobody can do it the way Allen Iverson did.

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Allen Iverson and his impact on SLAM

SHANGHAI, CHINA – NOVEMBER 10: American former basketball player Allen Iverson receives interview during rehearsal for 2018 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival on November 10, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)

On ‘ETC’s with Kevin DurantPodcast, Durant recalled the cross over he performed on Jordan and talked about how SLAM and Iverson both benefited the other. When Iverson was accused of a carry, Durant said, “That’s not a carry. It will never be a carry. That’s the Iverson cross. He didn’t carry when he did, and he got MJ with it. So they let it rock.

“But Iverson was such a huge, like, just then I can just go off for 10 or 15 minutes on by about what I took from Iverson. I tried to use what he brought to the game and put it in mine. And I felt like every kid across the world did that.

“But Slam understood exactly what Iverson was about. And they help tell that for authentic story around our person. Even though he was young into the league, the number one pick, I think he really trusted them to tell his full authentic story from his side. And, you know, and that touch from, you know, hoopers down to artists down to anybody they can understand Iverson.”

Nobody expected him to be a Hall of Famer

Durant also listed out the reasons why Iverson’s success was so surprising to the league. “That’s absurd for somebody to be 5’10 and be the number one pick in the Draft. And for him to actually pan out to be a Hall of Famer, like that is just unheard of. His athleticism and his natural talent could last in any era, I think.

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“His personality and style would touch in any era. We hit any era. So, you know, that was a huge moment back in those days.”

Durant couldn’t have said it better. The way Allen cemented his reputation in the league is unbelievable, despite so many odds against him. To date, many players look up to his method of playing and try to bring it on. But nobody has done it like Iverson.

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Yashima Bhatia

1329 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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