This Week in NBA History: Allen Iverson wins MVP
NBA.com Global on May 16, 2018 07:36 AM
PHILADELPHIA - 2001: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a layup against Rick Fox #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2001 NBA Finals at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Jeff Case, NBA.com
When it was all said and done for Allen Iverson's NBA career, he amassed quite the list of accomplishments. From scoring (24,368 points, 25th all-time) to his place in Philadelphia 76ers lore (where he is among the all-time leader in several categories) to playoff runs (guiding the Sixers to a 2001 Finals berth) and more, Iverson left a legacy in crafting his Hall of Fame career.
As he traveled his NBA path, though, perhaps no season was more emblematic of Iverson's ways than the 2000-01 campaign. On May 15, 2001, Allen Iverson became the first 76ers player to win MVP honors since Moses Malone in 1983. Iverson totaled 1,121 points and received 93 of a possible 124 first-place votes. Tim Duncan of the Spurs (706 points, 18 first-place votes) and Shaquille O’Neal of the Lakers (578 votes, five first-place votes) trailed him in the final voting.
Listed at six feet and 165 pounds, Iverson is one of the smallest players to ever win MVP honors. During that 2000-01 season, Iverson led the NBA in scoring (31.1 ppg) while helping Philadelphia to an Eastern Conference-best 56 victories, the most for the franchise since 1985, and their first Atlantic Division title since 1990.
He lead the NBA in steals (2.51 a game) and minutes played (42.0 a game), becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1992-93 to lead the league in points and steals per game.
“I had no space for error. But I never stopped and worked on all the things people said I couldn't do and now I'm the MVP of the league. It's something I always wanted," Iverson said after receiving the award.