Allen Iverson's crossover on Michael Jordan ushered in a new fearless era


Taking a look back at the history of the NBA, certain draft classes came in and put the league on notice that things were going to change, that a new wave of special talent, style and charisma was on the scene. In 1960, you saw a new era that featured the logo Jerry West, Mr triple double himself Oscar "Big O" Robertson, one of the most underrated floor generals of all time Lenny Wilkins. 1984 brought Hakeem "Dream" Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. You had the 96 class with Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Stephon Marbury and of course the 03 draft with Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. All classes that came in and made immediate impacts and became forgone conclusions about leaving a historic mark in the league when it was all said and done. Although, for most of the classes, they quietly set the league on fire, being very careful not to upset established veterans and the status quo of the NBA. That went out the window with the 96 class and one move came to define exactly what that class and the future of the league was all about. On March 12, 1997, Philadelphia Sixers rookie Allen Iverson found himself being guarded by the greatest of all time Michael Jordan at the top of the key, and unleashed two versions of his crossover (one at half speed, the final, full speed) that sent Jordan, also one of the greatest defenders the game has seen, out the frame before hitting a jumper over the living legend. The move has gone down as the leagues most famous crossover and undoubtedly sent notice to the NBA that a new wave of talented players were set to take over the league once his airness left the stage. As Kobe Bryant said in an interview with fellow 96 class draftee Stephon Marbury " The veterans didn't like us too much, because we came in and we knew we were nice." Nothing represented his statement in regards to that special class more than Iverson's iconic move on Jordan. The Sixers lost to the Bulls that night 108-104 with Iverson scoring a game high 37 points on 15-23 shooting, however, in a sense he won, he proved he belonged with the games elite, he earned the respect of the goat and he taught an entire generation (including yours truly) that if you're ready, your time is now. Why wait?

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