Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson turned 39-years-old on Saturday (I know, it feels like yesterday he was just a 26-year- old stunning the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.)
Iverson who spent at least a portion of 12, of his 14 NBA seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers also was a key component to, two Denver Nugget playoff rosters.
After a tumultuous break up with the Sixers and a demanded trade, Iverson landed in the Mile High City on Dec. 19, 2006, in a trade that sent Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks to the Sixers for Iverson and Ivan McFarlin.
Iverson made his debut on a depleted Nuggets squad, with shortened depth after J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony were suspended 10 and 15 games respectively.
Denver loss 101-96 to the Sacramento Kings, A.I. came off the bench, but played 39 minutes dropped 22 points and dished out 10 helpers.
In just his third game as a Nugget, “The Answer” racked up 44 points on 58 percent shooting, while doling out 10 assists, in a 112-98 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics (Oklahoma City Thunder for you younger fans).
At the time of the trade, Iverson and Anthony were number one and two in the NBA in scoring, Denver finally got to play its scoring threats together on Jan. 22, 2007, Iverson scored 23, while Anthony returned to action without missing a beat and added 28 points of his own.
Although it lost 116-111 against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 26, 2007 the Nuggets get-buckets-duo of “Melo” and “The Answer” got busy to the tune of 33 points from Iverson and 37 from Anthony.
In a memorable performance over a Phoenix Suns team that would win 61 games that season, the Nuggets used its high altitude advantage, and ran the Suns off the floor to the tune of 131-107, Anthony tallied 29, while Iverson poured in 44, for the second time as a Denver Nugget.
In 50 games as a Nugget Iverson, averaged 24.8 points and 7.2 assists per game. Denver won 45 games during the regular season, enough to earn a sixth seed in the playoffs, and set up a match up with the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.
In game, one of the series the Nuggets went into San Antonio and stole a victory,95-89 powered by the dynamic scoring duo of Anthony and Iverson, who put up 30 and 31 points respectively. The Spurs were able to keep Iverson concealed for the rest of the series, winning in five games.
Although its season ended once again in the first round, there was much optimism surrounding the Nuggets abilities with two top-notch scoring threats leading the way.
The following year, in a match up against the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 22,2007, Iverson out dueled 22-year-old phenom LeBron James, scoring 37 points and dishing eight assists in a 122-100 victory.
Against the Lakers on Dec. 5, 2007, in a game against the Kobe Bryant led Lakers, Iverson would put up a remarkable 51-point performance, although it resulted in a loss.
In four consecutive games from Dec. 12 through Dec. 21. Iverson dropped 30,38,36 and 34 points. In the final two games during that stretch, against the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers Iverson and Anthony combined to score 141 points.
A week after they each scored 34 in a loss against the Trailblazers, Anthony and Iverson scored 30 and 39 points in a victory at the Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors.
In a Jan. 6, 2008 match up against Iverson’s former team – the Sixers he was blistering hot from the field, knocking down 56 percent of his shots, scoring 38 points, the Nuggs won 109-96.
To the surprise of many, the SuperSonics played their 6 foot 10 swingman Kevin Durant at shooting guard his rookie season. “The Answer” attacked the fresh meat scoring 31 points, shooting 72 percent- practically burning the nets, and the Nuggs won 138-96.
In the next game the Nuggs took on the Los Angeles Clippers; Iverson put up 38 points and Anthony added a cool 30 points of his own. Denver won 110-104.
Two games later, the get-buckets-crew combined for 61 and notched another victory against the Suns- 126-113.
On a business trip north to Toronto, “Melo” and “Bubba Chuck” got busy again, scoring 33 and 36 points in a 109-100 victory.
The Nuggs hosted the Dallas Mavericks on March 27, 2008, behind 32 from Anthony and 31 from Iverson, Denver raced to a 118-105 victory.
In what was his only full season as a Nugget, Iverson scored 26.4 points per game and dished out 7.1 assists per game.
The Nuggets beat out the Golden State Warriors for the eighth seed, boasting a 50-32 record and setting up a first round series with the Lakers. Denver was unable to handle the pressure, being swept, while Iverson scored 24.5 points over the four games.
After three games with the Nuggs the following season Iverson was shipped to the Motor City, which ended his reign as an elite level NBA scorer. Adversely, the trading of Iverson resulted in the Nuggs best season ever.
Check out this Iverson highlight mix.