Allen Iverson is a man of many quotables. The first is the classic “we talking about practice” line that conveniently fits any pop culture meme.
However, “The Answer” also famously said, “I’m not a point guard, I’m a killer.” Iverson was one of the legends of the NBA, the man with the most vicious crossover in league history, so he has a point about his assassin ways.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Iverson listed his top five killers in the NBA today. Surprisingly, he left off the face of the league, LeBron James.
Allen Iverson leaves LeBron off his Top 5 Killers list:
"This was the ultimate diss. LeBron and Shannon should be offended. If this man is the GOAT and he's still the best player on the planet, then he's gotta belong on AI's list." — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/PlSd1F9Kgy
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 5, 2021
“Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Bradley Beal is a killer — oh, Dame is a killer; certified. Dame is a monster with it.”
Surprisingly, who many would consider the top killer in the NBA was left off the list. Although Iverson didn’t explain his definition of a killer, his glowing love for Damian Lillard’s game gave some insight.
“Steph [Curry] is just bad as hell, but Dame is just an old rude motherf%#ker. He is just rude, he just disrespectful; he’ll just do anything. I mean, pass half-court and just let it fly. Buzzer beaters at the hash, just like no fear, just nothing; he’s not just a killer, he’s a serial killer. Vicious with it.”
A.I. is a big fan of Dame 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 2, 2021
Making The Case For The King
LeBron James is entering his 19th NBA season in the 2021-22 campaign. The St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School star became a superstar forward and is in the GOAT discussion.
James started his NBA career as the first pick of the 2003 NBA draft after coming straight from high school. He brought brilliance to the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning two MVPs and carrying the team to the 2007 NBA Finals.
Allen Iverson ranked his “top five killers” in today’s NBA yesterday — look at his face and excitement when he starts talking about @Dame_Lillard.
Really cool to see the last generation give the new wave its flowers. My two all-time favorite guards. 👏🏽
— Marlow Ferguson Jr. (@meloferg) October 2, 2021
However, his first Larry O’Brien trophy came in 2012, after taking his talents to South Beach, switching to the Miami Heat. Many criticized the move to form the first engineered “Big Three” with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. However, the team brought home two titles, with James achieving two more regular-season MVPs and two Finals MVPs.
James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers and gave them a title in 2016 and three other appearances in the NBA Finals.
However, it is undeniable that LeBron James is a killer in the NBA. “The King” now has four NBA championships. He is a four-time Finals MVP winner and four-time MVP of the league. Michael Jordan holds the record of six Finals MVP trophies, but James’ potential to achieve that is evident.
In a rapidly evolving league that is branding itself daily, Iverson identified the primary killers of the NBA hardwood. However, like Iverson changed the NBA fashion and style-wise, James changed the culture business-wise.
Nike has unveiled the new LeBron James Innovation Center at its Oregon HQ 🏢
➖ 84,000 sq ft Nike Sport Research Lab
➖ 906 rooftop solar panels
➖ World's largest motion-capture system
➖ Full-size basketball court, turf pitch, 200m track, 500ft incline training ramp pic.twitter.com/hEpyUTI8oA
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 4, 2021
According to Forbes, James has earned more than $1 billion during his 18-year career. James redefined the basketball-businessman aesthetic to surpass a sponsorship-only relationship with nearly $400 million in salary and more than $600 million in off-the-court earnings.
With his numerous enterprises and global marketability, James has evolved the business of basketball to a players-first league. If the NBA were a shark tank, James would be a great white of the “Jaws” variety.
Perhaps Iverson’s definition of a killer should expand.