The Instigator
thesportsguy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Allen Iverson revolutionized the NBA more than any other player

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2012 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,945 times Debate No: 25080
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

thesportsguy

Pro

I believe Allen Iverson has changed the game, dynamics, and the way people view basketball more than any other player in the history of the Game. He brought a personality (not skill) to the game that reached out to more people than anybody before him.
imabench

Con

I accept this debate and will argue that Allen Iverson, the man who has never even won the NBA finals, has not revolutionized the NBA more than ANY other player.

I now will let the Pro state his arguments of why Allen Iverson (currently broke) "revolutionized" the NBA more than anybody

32958-1301-33p9d-a.jpg

Debate Round No. 1
thesportsguy

Pro

Thank you con for accepting this debate.

I understand Iverson is currently broke and has never won a chip, but this is irrelevant to my argument.

Iverson changed the game because he was the first small player in the modern NBA game to dominate the way he did. He was barely 6 feet and lead the league in scoring four times, was an 11-time NBA all star, and three time steal leader. These are just a few of his accomplishments. There have been other great small players such as Tiny Nate Archibald, but none have dominated the way he has.
Iverson inspired many young ballers who were undersized to strive for the best like Iverson had successfully done. No other player has influenced and given confidence to short kids on the court the way he did. In this aspect he was a role model.Even well after his prime, Iverson's jersey sales were the third most sold in 2005/2006, fourth in 2006/2007, and again third in 2007, 2008.
Additionally, Iverson was so revolutionary because he also had a "dark side" to him. He was the first "hip-hop, rapping gangster" to play in the league, introducing styles such as cornrows, dirty clothing etc. He was also one of the first players of his high stature to cover his body in tattoos, which was revolutionary because people began viewing NBA players as a bunch of gangsters all because of him. He was arguably the loudest player to play the game.
Iverson also had a horrible attitude, as he clashed with coaches, teammates, and fans. What comes to mind is his public protest of the dress code when David Stern tried enforcing one.
Iverson was different than your average baller and changed our perception of the game more than any other player in the history of the game.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
imabench

Con

Reasons Pro has given about how Allen Iverson "revolutionized" the NBA

1) First "small" player in the NBA
2) He has a "dark side" to him / introduced cornrows, tattoo's etc to the NBA
3) Very loud / had a bad attidute
4) Didnt like the dress code

Thats literally it.

Argument 1) Small players,

First off, Allen Iverson doesnt even place in the history of shortest players in NBA history
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Secondly, the pioneer of short people playing in the NBA was Spudd Webb, Spudd Webb was 5ft 7, his career ended 1 year before Iverson's even started, and Spudd Webb won the slam dunk contest in 1986, making him the shortest player to ever win the event. Therefore my argument is that Allen Iverson did not pioneer short people coming into the NAB because even before Iverson started playing on the court, short people were already making a legacy for themselves without Iverson's help

Argument 2) Cornrows and Tattoo's

Iverson wasnt the first to bring funky hairdo's into the NBA... The great Julius Erving was one of the first players to introduce th Afro to the NBA so Iverson did not introduce creativity in hair-do's into the NBA, he only became famous for introducing ONE of them....
http://nbahoopsonline.com...

Argument 3) Bad attitude

If I pulled up a slideshow about 25 NBA players with the worst attitudes, Allen Iverson would only come in 25th, and im not making that up because when I looked up "NBA players with bad attitude" Allen Iverson only ranked 25th overall. http://bleacherreport.com...

Players with worse attitudes then Allen Iverson include Gilbert Arenas, Stephon Marbury, and Eddie Griffin. However the slideshow doesnt even include Rasheed Wallace, Charles Barkley, or Ben Wallace, so we can conclude that Allen Iverson was neither the first to have a bad attitude in the NBA, nor did he have the worst attitude among NBA players.

Argument 4) Didnt like the dress code

How is being a sh*tty dresser count as being revolutionary?

Here are a list of players who revolutionized basketball more than Allen Iverson
Dr James Naismith (He invented the game so I think he gets more credit for revolutionizing the game than anyone else)
Shaq (Hes the reason why the NBA has reinforced its basketball hoops, because he broke so many)
Michael Jordan (For obvious reasons)
Wilt Chamberlin (One of the first big centers in the NBA, he was the reason the NBA implemented the 3 second rule and widened free point shooting lanes)
Chris Ford (Shot the first 3 pointer in NBA history)
Bob Kurland (First player to Dunk)
Julius Erving (Stylized the modern Slam Dunk)
Drazen Petrovic (First eastern European to enter the NBA which opened the doors for half a continent to chase their NBA aspirations)
Magic Johnson (the first large point guard in the game, if you include him and Larry Bird then you have the first great rivalry in basketball)

http://rayonsports.com...
http://www.csncalifornia.com...

So Allen Iverson deserves credit for trying to be a thug (not the first thug or the best thug, just a thug) but there are numerous other players who revolutionized the NBA WAY more than Allen Iverson did
Debate Round No. 2
thesportsguy

Pro

Con, you make good points, thanks for responding.

To counter the points you made countering mine:

1) I never said Iverson was the shortest player, in fact, i specifically mentioned how there have been many good short ballers before him. As you said, Spud Webb was the pioneer of the short players, as he (in my opinion unjustly) won the slam dunk contest in 1986. However, none of these players 6 feet and under have dominated like AI did. Spud Webb's career PPG average is under 10. For a ten year period when AI played for the Sixers, he was arguably the best scorer in the league. No other short player scored as prolifically, or lead a team single-handedly the way Iverson did.

In 2000-2001, Iverson lead a team with absolutely no help to the finals. No other player Iverson's size has ever done that. He was idolized for his overall skills, not just his jumping ability like Spud was, and for this reason he was so popular among fans. This was the reason that during Iverson's Sixer days he had one of the most sold jerseys out of any player.

2) I never said Iverson introduced VARIOUS hair styles to the NBA. He brought cornrows, tattoos, excessive bling etc. to the league in a way no player before him has done.
However now that you bring up the afro, Iverson was the one who brought back that old school look when he first entered the league even though afros were a rarity since the 70s. He did however popularize the cornrow look, as many fans and other ballers began to sport this look, and still do even today.

3) Iverson may not have had the worst attitude the game has ever seen, but to rank him at 25th (even though I feel he should be higher, and to be so good at the same time is why he was revolutionary. I understand there have been great players who have had bad attitudes, but but a combination of his horrible attitude and the reasons stated above, is why I feel he was the most revolutionary player. Further, you'll see look on the Bleacher Report following the one you brought up, ranks AI at number 5 for being the worst teammate in today's game. All these factors contributed to why he changed the game more than anyone else.

http://bleacherreport.com...

4) Sports analyst Kevin Burke calls Iverson the "biggest trendster ever," and points out how he excessively he fought with Stern over the dress code. Like you said, this alone is no reason to call him revolutionary, but with all the factors stated above, it presents a good argument to say he was the most revolutionary player ever.

http://thehoopdoctors.com...

Not sure if you're old enough to remember this but AI also had a huge influence on the entire Hapton, VA community when he was a rising star in high school, and accused of being involved in a brawl at a bowling alley. Iverson and his peers exposed the racism still present in the VA courts, as he was initially sentenced to 5 YEARS IN PRISON.
Steve James, who made his name with the film Hoop Dreams, directed a documentary of this event called No Crossover in which he interviews many people among the community who felt that Iverson represented the entire community's current racism towards the blacks.

"People said this case caused more division within the community of blacks and whites than at any time since the assassination of Martin Luther King," James says. "And this is just a bowling alley brawl, in which three or four people suffered basically minor injuries."

Basically, this became a huge issue not only effecting the basketball world, but our entire country as well. People began to realize that racism was still pertinent in this country. Very few players in our modern times, if any, have brought the attention to the public this racism issue.

http://www.npr.org...

Incidentally, the case was dropped and AI went on to have the finest career out of any 6 footer in the history of the game.

So Iverson was never the best at one thing; the biggest gangster, worst attitude etc. but with the combination of the things he wore, did, and said to his peers, coaches, and fans is the reason he was so influential on not only fans of the game, but frankly every African American kid who grew up in the late 1990's. For this reason he was the most influential basketball player the game has ever seen.

Eagerly awaiting to hear your rebuttal, con.
imabench

Con

1) Height

" I never said Iverson was the shortest player, in fact, i specifically mentioned how there have been many good short ballers before him."

Got it, pro admits that Iverson wasnt the shortest player to play basketball and wasnt the first to do so either.

"For a ten year period when AI played for the Sixers, he was arguably the best scorer in the league. No other short player scored as prolifically, or lead a team single-handedly the way Iverson did."

His best years were from 1996 to 2006 (All with the 76ers) But after their finals appearance in 2001 (where they lost 4-1 to the lakers), the 76ers performed horrifically and numerous times were eliminated in the early playoffs where Iverson was fined many times for different reasons and was struggling with injuries. So really Iversons Golden years were from 1996 to 2001, his first five seasons. In those 5 seasons Iverson only led the league in PPG twice and steals per game once, which does not justify him being the best scorer in the league. The fact that he was a ball hog also boosts his stats higher than they should be too.

"In 2000-2001, Iverson lead a team with absolutely no help to the finals. No other player Iverson's size has ever done that."

Iverson most certainly did not lead his team to the finals with no help. At the time the Sixers head coach was none other then the legendary Larry Brown who was instrumental in the Sixers becoming good at all. On the court you had the supreme Dikembe Mutombo who was the defensive player of the year that year, Aaron McKie who won the Sixth man of the year, and multiple other players too. As for the actual playoffs the 76ers almost blew it to the Nets in the Eastern Conference Semi finals winning in 7 games, and then doing the same thing for the bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, winning again after 7 games.

So you had Iverson, a legendary coach, a legendary center, and other help almost blow it twice leading up to the finals, and then had their a**es handed to them by the lakers in the finals 4 games to 1. How in any way does that count as "Leading a team with absolutely no help"???

2) Fashion sense

" He brought cornrows, tattoos, excessive bling etc. to the league in a way no player before him has done."

He brought cornrows to the league, but he did not bring tattoos, bling, etc to the league, other players had already done that. Iverson could only be recognized for taking everyone elses trends, mashing them together, and calling it his own. Thats not revolutionizing, thats widespread copying.

3) Attitude

"Iverson may not have had the worst attitude the game has ever seen"

Admission by the pro ^

"But to rank him at 25th (even though I feel he should be higher, and to be so good at the same time) is why he was revolutionary."

He was revolutionary for being good and look like a thug at the same time? Thats not called revolutionary, thats called a coincidence. Chris "Birdman" Anderson of the Denver Nuggets is a great player, has more tattoos then any other player in history, and is the only player to have previously been kicked out for drug use, is he considered revolutionary? No. Hes a player who looks like a gang member who happens to be good, and Iverson is in the same boat.

As for the worst teammate argument, even your source ranks him at number 5 overall meaning that once again, Iverson didnt pioneer anything or create anything on his own, he just took a bunch of what existed, mashed it together, and called it his own. Revolutionary is something that is fundamentally new that changes how the whole game is played, so far the only thing Iverson really did was popularize one hair style and that was it.

4) "Trendster"?

"Sports analyst Kevin Burke calls Iverson the "biggest trendster ever," and points out how he excessively he fought with Stern over the dress code"

Then crown Allen Iverson the biggest hipster the NBA has ever seen, not the biggest revolution.

5) Exposing Racism

"People began to realize that racism was still pertinent in this country. Very few players in our modern times, if any, have brought the attention to the public this racism issue."

Allen Iverson didnt discover racism...... Racism in sports stretches back WAAAAAY before Iverson ever took to the court. Hank Aaron in football had death threats, in the NBA the first black man to appear in the NBA was Earl Loyd back in 1950, and if anything the racism that Iverson went through in his youth is merely a footnote. There are HUNDREDS of athletes both in the NBA and in every American Sport who probably has had some encounter with racism in the past. Hundreds more athletes dealt with it before anyone even knew who Iverson was. All of them had some encounter with it but Iverson somehow is revolutionary for going through the same thing that hundreds of other athletes before him went through? I call bullsh*t.

5) Final remarks

"So Iverson was never the best at one thing; the biggest gangster, worst attitude etc. but with the combination of the things he wore, did, and said to his peers, coaches, and fans is the reason he was so influential on not only fans of the game, but frankly every African American kid who grew up in the late 1990's. For this reason he was the most influential basketball player the game has ever seen."

This is basically what the Pro's case has come down to. Iverson did not invent anything on his own, he just did one thing, and another thing, and another thing, and another thing, and another thing, yatta yatta yatta that combined together is something the pro is trying to claim is something that was never seen before. But revolutionary isnt taking half a dozen other existing trends and claiming them all of them as one new trend you came up with....

That being said there are still many other basketball players who (actually) changed the nature of the game. Theres the man who actually invented the game (Naismith), the man who through sheer size alone is the reason why the NBA has to reinforce their hoops (shaq), the man whose talent actually caused rule changes and physically altered the court design (Chamberlin), the first player to ever dunk (Kurland), the first man to popularize the modern dunk (Erving), the first players to start famous rivalries (Johnson and Bird), and then you have players who brought the NBA to entire new regions of the globe (Petrovic).

So let me end on this. How is it that a man (Iverson) who only pioneered the introduction of a new hairstyle and combined multiple other already existing trends into his own trend, is somehow more revolutionary then men who actually changed the rules of the game, the layout of the court, changed who played on the court, and how they played on the court????

Debate Round No. 3
thesportsguy

Pro

I think you hear what I'm saying, but are afraid to admit defeat.
It seems you think I am arguing with you even though we agree on different points ie how dominant Iverson was for his size, how big of a "trendster" he was etc. We agree that no player Iverson's height has ever scored even close to how many points he has, how bad his attitude was, how he introduced cornrows, shooting sleeves (which I dont think I mentioned before but another fashion statement which should be mentioned).

Regarding his magical 2000-2001 season, trust me, if you were old enough to be following in 2000-2001, you would clearly know how good AI was. You make their coach, Larry Brown, sound like he was the one dropping 30 a game. Further, you point out how he had Dikembe, who was a great defensive player, and Aaron Mckie. Dikembe completely got owned by Shaq in the finals, like it wasnt even close, so how is AI to blame for his center? He's not! Because if not for Shaq in his prime killing everybody AI would have won the finals. So even though he may not have gotten that ring, taking his team to the league's second best record, and to the finals is enough in my books. Behind Mckie, (who for some reason won the sixth man award that year) they literally had no one else who could play ball, and I think you'd agree with that (just look at their roster).

I think in conclusion we argue over the meaning of revolutionary. You dismiss a player who brought in shooting sleeves, cornrows, and a 6 foot frame with a killer swagger as revolutionary, which I guess is understandable. You define revolutionary as coming up with something completely "new", so in your opinion Bob Kurland, or the first player to dunk is more revolutionary than AI was.

I think though you would agree with the entire statement I wrote in round one:
"I believe Allen Iverson has changed the game, dynamics, and THE WAY PEOPLE VIEW BASKETBALL more than any other player in the history of the Game. He brought A PERSONALITY (not skill) to the game THAT REACHED OUT TO MORE PEOPLE THAN ANYBODY BEFORE HIM.

The first player to dunk may have changed the rules of the game, but Iverson's combination of everything he did, including outreach to every single kid following ball in the late 90's and early 00's is why he is revolutionary- he was the FIRST player to have all those traits in one figure, and either you weren't following ball at that point or you were sleeping, but if you lived during that time you would have known exactly what I meant.
You definitely make great point though, and I look forward to your final comment in this debate.
imabench

Con

"I think you hear what I'm saying, but are afraid to admit defeat."

Watch yourself Pro, being condescending at the end of a debate could lose you conduct points.

"We agree that no player Iverson's height has ever scored even close to how many points he has"

Yes, but thats not revolutionary....

"how bad his attitude was"

Also not revolutionary

"how he introduced cornrows"

The one thing he actually did do

" and shooting sleeves"

He busted his elbow and had to wear a shooting sleeve he didnt wear it because he was trying to look like a baller or whatever.

"Regarding his magical 2000-2001 season, trust me, if you were old enough to be following in 2000-2001, you would clearly know how good AI was"

Oh trust me I wish I were old enough to watch Iverson win only one game in the NBA finals against the lakers....

"You make their coach, Larry Brown, sound like he was the one dropping 30 a game. Further, you point out how he had Dikembe, who was a great defensive player, and Aaron Mckie. Dikembe completely got owned by Shaq in the finals, like it wasnt even close, so how is AI to blame for his center?"

First off Larry Brown is arguably the best coach the NBA has ever known and was well known for turning losers into winners,

"Though he has received criticism for never staying in any one place for very long, Brown is hailed as one of basketball's greatest teachers, and is well known for turning losers into winners."
http://en.wikipedia.org...(basketball)

Secondly, you claimed that Iverson got to the finals on his own without the help of anyone else, I pointed out how Iverson had the greatest coach of his era leading the team, one of the most powerful centers at defense, and a host of other players who have their qualities. In the finals you yourself said that Mutombo was outmatched and that nobody was of any help, so how can you claim that Iverson led his team to the finals all by himself when in the games that Iverson WAS the only good player on his team he CONSISTENTLY LOST EVERY GAME?

Iverson needed his team to get to the finals, when in the finals and the team failed him, All the talent Iverson had couldnt help him win more than 1 game..... And that shows how Iverson was no revolutionary player. Just like most players, Iverson couldnt carry the team on his own (as evident by the a** whipping he received in the finals) so your claim that he led his team to the finals on his own is completely unfounded because when Iverson truly was carrying his team, they lost badly.

"So even though he may not have gotten that ring, taking his team to the league's second best record, and to the finals is enough in my books"

Then raise the standards of your books because almost winning the finals doesnt make somebody revolutionary, let alone the most revolutionary of anybody else.

"You define revolutionary as coming up with something completely "new", so in your opinion Bob Kurland, or the first player to dunk is more revolutionary than AI was."

Well since thats literally the definition of revolutionary, then yeah Kurland was more revolutionary than Iverson because Kurland actually changed the NBA....

Revolutionary = Constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

"I think though you would agree with the entire statement I wrote in round one: "I believe Allen Iverson has changed the game, dynamics, and THE WAY PEOPLE VIEW BASKETBALL more than any other player in the history of the Game. He brought A PERSONALITY (not skill) to the game THAT REACHED OUT TO MORE PEOPLE THAN ANYBODY BEFORE HIM."

1) Iverson didnt change anything
2) He didnt invent any moves or styles of play
3) He didnt change how people viewed basketball
4) You just said he didnt bring skill to the game
5) This is all just your opinion not based on any sources or facts. You claimed that Iverson reached out to more people then anybody before him, but you seem to forget that Michael Jordan did that way more than Iverson did and well before Iverson even rose to fame

"he was the FIRST player to have all those traits in one figure"

Thats what Im arguing!!!! He didnt change anything he was just a combination of things that already existed! Thats not revolutionary in any sense of the word, revolutionary is when something is changed on the fundamental level, Iverson was simply new, and new =/= revolutionary.

========================================================================================================================================================

Let me summarize my points here. I am arguing why Iverson wasnt revolutionary, but if you (the voters) do think he was revolutionary then consider the resolution

"Allen Iverson revolutionized the NBA more than any other player"

So even a fan of Allen Iverson would have to admit that other players revolutionized (aka actually changed how the game was played) more than Allen Iverson. Ill repost a list of players who (actually) changed the game

Dr James Naismith (He invented the game so I think he gets more credit for revolutionizing the game than anyone else)
Shaq (Hes the reason why the NBA has reinforced its basketball hoops, because he broke so many)
Michael Jordan (For obvious reasons)
Wilt Chamberlin (One of the first big centers in the NBA, he was the reason the NBA implemented the 3 second rule and widened free point shooting lanes)
Chris Ford (Shot the first 3 pointer in NBA history)
Bob Kurland (First player to Dunk)
Julius Erving (Stylized the modern Dunk)
Drazen Petrovic (First eastern European to enter the NBA which opened the doors for half a continent to chase their NBA aspirations)
Magic Johnson (the first large point guard in the game, if you include him and Larry Bird then you have the first great rivalry in basketball)

Iverson was a character and mostly a combination of a few traits that made him notable, ill give him that. But he did not change the game more than anybody else like you claim because he didnt really even change the game.

Final Points:
1) Iverson wasnt the shortest player
2) Iverson wasnt the best player
3) Iverson didnt have the worst attitude
4) Iverson wasnt the only player to encounter racism
5) Iverson didnt discover racism or expose it to the public
6) Iverson didnt actually change any of the rules of the game
7) Iverson didnt actually change how other players played the game
8) Iverson is a glorified hipster if anything
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by orielsydiaz 4 years ago
orielsydiaz
I can't believe the "CON" guy in this debate. I'm not here to say that PRO was right because I don't know basketball that well to join this argument. However I'm here to point out how badly CON debated in this debate.

In one ofthe last rounds he "warns" the "PRO" of being condescending. Yet in his VERY acceptance of the debate he starts off by saying "Iverson is broke" as if that has ANYTHING to do with the argument at hand (right of the bat CON is not helping the debate by starting things off this way; mentioning variables that have no sway in the debate only help to confuse things).

Furthermore the "CON" constantly uses "sneaky"/dishonest strategies during the argument:
In round ONE when "recapping" "PRO's" reasons for feeling the way he does "CON" lists the reason's using different words (he in fact tries to change PRO's argument).

Here's what he said:
1) First "small" player in the NBA
2) He has a "dark side" to him / introduced cornrows, tattoo's etc to the NBA
3) Very loud / had a bad attidute
4) Didnt like the dress code

This not PRO's argument. CON has picked and worded these points in this manner because they suit him. (I'll give 2 examples: PRO never said Iverson as the first small player, PRO never said Iverson had the worst attitude).

CON repeated this strategy all over the debate. There really is no point in debating with a individual that is dishonest. From the beginning CON's strategy was to change the argument to one that best suited him.

To CON next time please respond to the points made by PRO. Not to imaginary points you came up with.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
thesportsguyimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The things that Iverson introduced into the NBA had a trivial impact in the sport league. Con cites players who have changed the NBA much more than Iverson like Jordan, O'Neal, Kurland, and Petrovic, which proved invaluable for his case. Pro assumed full BOP, and was not strong enough to achieve it based on 1) Having such an extreme resolution and 2) Not adequately establishing or defending his position. Con used more sources and better quality sources overall. ~WSA