Feature: The 12th Man

The Crossover Effect

Author: Jimmy Winskowski
Published: May 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

A decade ago Allen Iverson was a force in the NBA.

Known for his lethal crossover dribble, Iverson received acclamation as the 2001 scoring champion and League MVP, leading his team to face the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals. His star shone brighter than perhaps any other player's in basketball.

Ten years later, though his NBA star power has disappeared, Iverson's influence has never been felt more strongly.

If you've been watching the NBA over the past season, you know what I mean. You've no doubt witnessed dazzling scoring performances by players like Derrick Rose, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans and others.

In the upcoming NBA Draft, many will be introduced to players like Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Jimmer Fredette, themselves no strangers to astonishing on-court feats.

What do all of these players have in common?

Each of these players has established himself as a prolific scorer. And each of them plays the same position: Point Guard.

For those who are unfamiliar with basketball, the Point Guard is the facilitator. He is like a Quarterback; all plays go through him. He is responsible for protecting the ball and leading his team. He is not, traditionally, the team's first scoring option. The prototypical Point Guard creates opportunities for his team's "big men" and shooters, not himself.

Why, then, are so many of today's collegiate and professional point guards looking to score first instead of passing?

Enter Allen Iverson.

Today's NBA young guns were mere preteens when the Mighty Mouse-like "A.I." lit up the L.A. Lakers for 48 points in the opening game of the 2001 Finals. They were entering Middle or High School in 2005 when he led the League in scoring for the fourth time in seven seasons, winning the NBA All-Star MVP trophy and averaging over 31 points per game in the Playoffs. And they were just starting their NCAA or NBA careers when he was voted to his 11th consecutive All-Star Game in 2010.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Jimmy Winskowski

I'm just your typical, everyday, Christian (Mormon,) West Coast, generation Y blogger with plenty to say. Sports. Politics. Social Media.

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