It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly a decade and a half – 14 years, to be exact – since the Allen Iverson-led Philadelphia 76ers were competing in what would become a miraculous playoff run in 2001. It would go down as one of the greatest seasons in Sixers history as Philly would win 56 of its regular season games and Iverson would be crowned as the MVP of the NBA.
But this particular day in history didn’t go down as one of the most worthwhile to speak of. The Sixers were facing off in the Semifinals of the Eastern Conference Playoffs against Vince Carter and his Toronto Raptors. It was a rare occasion for Iverson to be out-shined on the hardwood, regardless of the talent across from him, but this became one of those exceptions as Carter’s heroic 50-point effort on 19-29 shooting catapulted Toronto past Philly with ease 102-78 for a 2-1 lead in the series.
Iverson, on the other hand, would struggle tremendously by his standards, scoring only 23 points on 7-22 from the field in the loss. Of course, Iverson would once again provide The Answer and triumph Carter’s 50 in Game 3 with 52 points of his own in Game 5, which became his most impressive outing of the series after leading the Sixers to three wins in the final four games for a 4-3 series victory.
As we all know, from there, Iverson would lead the Sixers past the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games before falling to Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in the NBA Finals. But nevertheless, it was a Sixers season to remember. Here’s to hoping the Sam Hinkie regimen can make all this tanking worthwhile and build a roster that could one day return to the ranks Iverson took the Sixers to back in 2001.