To hype the Saturday night debut of Iverson, Showtime released what will no doubt prove to be one of the juiciest tidbits from the forthcoming documentary. And it has nothing to do with his 1995 trial, “practice,” or even his rocky adjustment to a post-playing life. Instead, what Allen Iverson has to say about the game’s preeminent dribbling savants is what should make most headlines.
Whether that’s right or not is a discussion for another time. But Iverson thinking – let alone admitting – that his legendary handle has been surpassed by a pair of current stars? Cue the angry and nostalgic masses.
Reminder: He said it, folks. Not us. We also tend to agree with Iverson, though.
The Answer’s dribbling theatrics might very well be unparalleled. His crossover is widely considered the best in league history, and Iverson had a bevy of spins, fakes, and dekes at his disposal, too. When it comes to pure flash and pizazz, it’s certainly possible his handle reigns supreme.
But A.I. possessed other attributes that contributed to his prowess in that regard: speed and quickness which Curry and Irving simply lack.
That both superstars are known for their awe-inspiring ballhandling exploits despite overall athleticism on a level below Iverson’s is especially impressive. Whereas the Philadelphia 76ers legend could blow past defenders with a single cross or counter, it sometimes takes Curry and Irving multiple moves to create space – and they do it with ease anyway.
Our opinion: Curry is basketball’s most efficient handler, Irving its most talented, and James Harden its most effective. Where does that leave Iverson in the pantheon of history’s top dribblers?
We’re not quite sure, and it frankly doesn’t really matter. Iverson’s legacy as an ankle-breaking, mind-bending force of flare and creativity is forever cemented in basketball annals – whether Curry, Irving, or any other player really has the handle to eclipse his or otherwise.
And given The Answer is willing to admit that it’s already occurred, his legion of fans should at least consider that no doubt depressing possibility, too.