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NBA - Become The Problem - Allen Iverson Canvas Art by IKONICK
Allen Iverson was "The Answer" to many questions of the Philadelphia 76ers. When will Philly have a winning team again? When will an MVP grace their court?
Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers' first overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft, Iverson exploded onto the scene with a record-setting rookie season. His technical skills and creative play style earned him Rookie of the Year, while his true-to-himself personality quickly attracted the eyes of fans and critics alike.
Iverson wasn't just The Answer—he posed a whole new set of problems: How do you defend against a player so quick and physical? How can this small six-foot point guard outplay players who dominate his size? And how do you recover after his lethal crossover breaks your ankles, leaving you in an embarrassed heap on the court?
Iverson's brand of basketball changed the game forever. He might not have been as physically dominating as Shaq. He might not have had the speed of Isiah or the rebounds of Barkley or Magic's passes, but he played harder than anyone in the game. When Iverson stepped onto the court he put on a show.
The 76ers went from not being in the finals since their 1983 championship to having the secret weapon that the entire league had to figure out a way to deal with. Even Kobe obsessed over Iverson's game footage, studying his every last move and technique to find a weakness in him.
The point guard also posed a problem to sports critics. During a time when athletes crafted their public images carefully, all of a sudden there was a player with cornrows, tattoos, and a confidence that couldn't be ignored. The media tried to villainize him for his brash personality, but that was their problem—not his.
Iverson played, dressed, talked, and acted authentically like himself, and showed athletes everywhere that it was okay—even admirable—to do the same. He went against the grain and paved the way for future players to be true to themselves, without conforming to what is expected.
To fans, A.I. was "The Answer". But his ferocity and authenticity made him a problem for many others. "Become the Problem" from the officially licensed NBA Legends canvas art collection is a salute to the man who changed basketball forever. Embrace his mindset. Even when people have a problem with what you're doing or with who you are, be true to yourself. Everyone else can deal with it or get out of your way.