June 06, 2017
The "Practice" rant gets the lion's share of the headlines, but the most memorable moment of Allen Iverson's career should've been something that happened just over 11 months earlier.
In fact, the date was June 6, 2001 and the Sixers were in Los Angeles taking on the Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Sixers weren't given much of a chance, especially on the road against a team that was still undefeated in the postseason featuring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal (both in the prime of their careers).
Perhaps it lost some of its luster because the Sixers would go on to lose the next four games, but Iverson's game one performance – capped off by his emphatic step over Tyronn Lue – was truly one for the ages.
The Answer scored 48 points that night, including seven in overtime, and turned the ball over just three times in 52 minutes. Sure, he took 41 shots, but he also had six assists, five rebounds and five steals.
It was a hell of a performance.
As for that final basket – the one we're here to discuss in the first place – it was the circumstances leading up to the shot that made it all the more impressive.
In OT, the Lakers jumped out to a quick five-point lead, but after a bucket by Raja Bell made it 99-96, Iverson took over, scoring the game's next seven points.
First, he hit a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game. Then, with just over a minute left in OT, he hit a three to give the Sixers a 101-99 lead, their first of the extra period and one they would not surrender the rest of the night. Finally, there was his iconic jumper over Lue, which came with 48 seconds left in OT and put the Sixers up 103-99, capping off a 9-0 run.
Here's another look the baseline jumper and subsequent savage step over the now-world champion coach. It includes a Spanish version that may be even better than the English version.
. June 6, 2001: The Step Over— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 6, 2017
English x Spanish pic.twitter.com/WuTmaQKDq0
And in case you're wondering, that announcer is yelling "Jugón! Jugón! Jugón!"
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