The All Alphabet league wanders into I territory. Perhaps we should make it sound a little more modern: the iTeam, anyone?
The I's present a balanced unit, if not one that is as star studded as their contemporaries.
The back court can outscore anyone, but it might just give those points back at the other end. They've got another all time great scorer in the front court, too. Balancing that out is a behemoth at the pivot, and a defensive ace on the wing. Would the iTeam win a 7 game series against, to name an opponent, the D team? Probably not. But with this sort of firepower, they've got a punchers chance in a single elimination match up.
Point Guard – Kyrie Irving
When discussing Kyrie Irving, you can’t help but talking about issues beyond the court. The man is a paradox.
The 2 time All NBA nomination may or may not be a flat-earther and openly espouses other conspiracy theories. Irving – who is quarter Sioux – has brought light to many Native American issues. Closer to the court, he seems like a charismatic and lovable teammate who can claim Kevin Durant as one of his closest allies. LeBron James might not feel the same way, however. Nor a few players in Celtic Green.
On the court, you can’t deny Irving’s impact. The former #1 pick is one of the best score first point guards the league has ever seen, who breaks down his opponent with an endless array of dribble moves that open up a devastating jump shot (39% from three for his career) or a lane to the bucket where he is an incredibly creative finisher.
Irving hasn’t always – ever? – focused on the defensive end of the floor, but still put’s up 1.4 steals per game for his career.
The six time All Star is an offensive force: 22.4 points and 5.7 assists for his career. He’s not afraid of the big shot, including a rather famous one.
Shooting Guard – Allen Iverson
Is there a player that was more suited to the late 90's and early 00's than Allen Iverson?
An electric scorer with some of the best handles in the league, The Answer lit up the NBA. Iverson's style was stereotypical of the era: flashy, brash, and exciting. His game was all about kamikaze drives to the hoop, skilful handles, blinding speed, surprising hops (despite being listed a 6'0”, Iverson could rise) and an obscene amount of swagger.
Four scoring titles in a seven year span (and his career high of 33 points per game in 2006 were only good for 2nd behind Kobe Bryant) highlight a career scoring average of 26.7 per game.
The 2001 MVP burst onto the scene in the 1997 season, picking up the Rookie of the Year award, posting 23.5 points, 7.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. His scoring aside, Iverson was able to consistently put up solid supporting stats. His assists fluctuated as he oscillated between the two guard spots, but as a point guard he generally averaged around 7 per game. He also led the league in steals on 3 occasions, using his blistering pace to jump passing lanes. Iverson averaged over 2 steals in each of his first 9 seasons, and didn't drop below 1.5 per game until his age 32 season; his 13th in the league.
Steal and scoring numbers aside, Iverson's game would have clashed with today's efficiency focus. He never shot close to 50% from the floor, even winning the scoring title in 2002 while shooting under 40%. His deep game never developed as evidenced by a career success rate of 31.3%. His steals came about due being a relentless gambler on defense. If he didn't pick the pass, his teammates faced a 5-on-4 situation. Iverson did get to the line a tonne of times, however. He averaged 9.8 attempts for his career, shooting at a solid 78%.
As well as his MVP, Iverson was a 7 time All NBA selection and played in 11 All Star games. He completes a back court that can light up anyone – and get lit up at the other end. This iTeam will provide endless highlights, if nothing else!