HAPPY NBA FINALS DAY – wait, let me rephrase that with the appropriate case sensitivity. Happy NBA Finals Day, okay that seems better – and less aggressive perhaps. Now while I remain remiss that this event is not a national holiday, we still must enjoy the excitement that is evident as these two colossal teams meet in what should be a remarkable matchup.
With LeBron James and Stephen Curry going head-to-head tonight, it seems all but fitting that the latest edition of Nice Kicks Throwback Thursday coincides with the NBA Finals. So, with that in mind, we take things back to 2001 as Allen Iverson led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals against the Los Angels Lakers.
Rocking the Reebok Answer IV, this vibrant and stellar silhouette is the muse for our latest edition of Nice Kicks #TBT. To see more, after the video scroll through the sections below to enjoy.
Early Stardom & Early Controversy
Growing up in the Virginia area, Allen Iverson was well noted as being a dual-sport athlete within the peninsula area. With his prowess under center and at the point, Allen Iverson would lead the Bethel High program to a State Championship. With an abundance of college coaches clamoring for Bubba Chuck’s services, an unfortunate circumstance at a Virginia Bowling Alley led to Iverson’s detainment within the correctional system. After a lengthly battle within the VA court system, Iverson would be acquitted and suddenly a hot commodity within the college basketball circles.
Georgetown Hoyas & NBA Stardom
After his controversy within Virginia, Allen found himself under the tutelage of coach John Thompson as he suited up for the Georgetown Hoyas. After a short, but prolific career with the Hoyas, Allen Iverson would declare for the 1996 NBA Draft. Ultimately becoming the first overall pick, Allen would join the Philadelphia 76ers and help lead the new era of NBA talent that included the likes of Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal and Steve Nash.
In a rookie year full of exciting plays such as his killer crossover on Michael Jordan, AI would capture Rookie of the Year honors as well as debut his signature line with the Reebok Question.
Reebok’s Leading Man
Before his arrival into the NBA, Reebok’s V.P. Todd Krinsky understood that Allen Iverson would be his leading man. During a time in which people felt as though he’d be a tough player to market, Iverson would ink a lucrative 10-year $50 million contract in which he’d debut his own signature line with Reebok.
After a brilliant start to his career, the Iverson signature line would grown immensely despite the Sixers’ mediocracy within the Eastern Conference. However, by the early 2000s and with the acquisition of Larry Brown, the Philadelphia 76ers would earn the top seed within the Eastern Conference and an appearance in the 2001 NBA Finals. In addition, Iverson’s signature model would draw the praise of many.
M-V-P: Reebok Answer IV
By the 2000-2001 season, Allen Iverson would assert his dominance on the Association, despite his diminutive stature. Averaging over 30 points per game and nearly 3 steal per contest, Iverson would lead the Sixers to over 50 wins and the number one seed within the East. Rocking the Reebok Answer IV on a variety of occasions, this stellar model is arguably one of the best Iverson signatures to date.
Utilizing Reebok’s DMX cushioning throughout the outsole, this model fused a mid-foot zipper along with a shrouded upper that employed a certain dichotomy within its color scheme.
Game 1: 2001 NBA Finals
After defeating some formidable foes within the Eastern Conference, Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers would take on the historic 2000-2001 Los Angels Lakers who up until that point had not loss during the 2001 postseason. As Game 1 approached, few people would anticipate the Sixers shocking the basketball world by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.
Led by Iverson’s 48 points, his step back jumper and “step-over” on Tyronn Lue will forever live in NBA lore and remain the perfect depiction of “sonning” someone on the hardwood. Although the 76ers would fall at the hands of a “Gentleman’s Sweep,” Allen Iverson would further cement his status as an NBA superstar.
Legacy of Reebok Answer IV
The legacy of the Reebok Answer IV is rather strong despite the lack of exposure from athletes and entertainers rocking this model on occasion. However, this silhouette has had its fair share of exposure as the aforementioned MVP year boosted its notoriety along with its appearance in the theatrical release of the 2002 film, Like Mike.
By 2013, a variety of Reebok Answer IV iterations would arrive at retailers in retro form, such as the “Hoya” colorway. As time progresses, I’m certain that plenty of Iverson enthusiasts will clamor at the opportunity to build upon the nostalgia of the Reebok Answer IV as this early 2000s model will remain a part of various sneakerheads’ proverbial My 5 rotations.