“I wasn’t a point guard. I was a killer.”
Allen Iverson spoke those words on the day he was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame over five years ago. Now, we don’t usually acknowledge those who self-assign a certain title to their name. After all, as said by Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones: "Any man who must say, 'I am the king' is no true king."
But this is "The Answer" we're talking about. AI wasn’t just a point guard. He was, in fact, the ultimate killer.
Come to think of it... is he the last of his kind? Because other than the late, great Kobe Bryant, between Iverson’s contemporaries, as well as his successors, there isn’t an obvious standout worthy of carrying that title.
According to the Hall-of-Famer himself, however, there’s nothing to worry about. On the contrary, with everyone complaining about the lack of true killers in today’s NBA, Iverson believes there are many to choose from. And during his interview with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, he listed his top five.
"Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Bradley Beal," Iverson told B/R.
After naming the first four, Iverson seemingly had trouble coming up with one last name to put on the list. Then, he smiled and remembered the guy most people would agree should top that list. And it seems AI feels the same way.
"Dame! Certified! He’s a monster with it," Iverson said. "Steph is bad as hell, but Dame is just a rude motherf****r. He’s just rude, he’s just disrespectful. He does anything. He passes half-court and let it fly, buzzer-beaters. No fear."
That’s what it means to be a killer — having a fearless mentality on the basketball court and always being locked in on doing whatever it takes to come out victorious. And there’s no doubt Lillard is one guy from today’s NBA who best epitomizes all of that. But the rest of the guys from Iverson’s list have had their fair share of "killer" moments as well.
There’s a reason one of Curry’s nicknames is Baby-Faced Assassin. KD and Harden are some of the greatest offensive weapons in the history of the game. And Beal, as great and clutch as he is individually, still hasn’t requested a trade from the Wizards. (It doesn’t get more fearless than that, right?)
But more importantly, they are all recognized by the ultimate killer. That’s all the validation every basketball player striving to become a killer on the court needs.
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