In a nostalgic tribute to the era of basketball when attacking the rim was a defining characteristic, NBA Hall of Famer Toni Kukoc has shared his admiration for the one-of-a-kind playing style of Allen Iverson.
During a conversation with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, the Croatian legend emphasized the stark difference between Iverson’s game and the prevailing trends in today’s NBA. He remarked, “I mean, you can talk about other guys being fast, but just his size and the way he moved through the people, he looked even faster.”
Kukoc highlighted Iverson’s unwavering commitment to driving to the basket, a trait that distinguishes him from many modern players who prioritize three-point shooting. He lauded Iverson’s preference for attacking the rim as his first choice, showcasing his fearlessness in the face of defenders.
“So just the ability – because now guys that are that big nowadays very rarely do they want to go in the paint and they want to shoot threes and they want to dribble the ball all over the place, but AI was different,” he said.
In an era known for its physicality, Kukoc recognized the challenges that Iverson faced when venturing into the paint. He noted that defenders weren’t shy about delivering hard fouls to deter players from driving, but Iverson remained resolute in his approach.
“If he could find a way to the rim, that was his first choice,” Kukoc remembered. “He would rarely just settle for the shot and the era that we played with people who would foul you very hard if you were in the paint – I’m pretty sure that there were guys that would try to leave a mark so he would second guess should I go in there or not or should I shoot the ball from outside?
“But AI was willing to go in and try to score layups and then get dunks and then get himself on the free throw line. To me, one of the BEST players that I’ve ever played with.”