Sneaker History: Allen Iverson leads 76ers to surprise win in game 1 of 2001 NBA Finals

Allen Iverson over Tyronne Lue

Known for his deadly crossover, Allen Iverson also had a knack for scoring in a variety of ways. In the 2000-01 season A.I. was rocking his signature Answer IV and helped lead his Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals against the Shaq and Kobe lead Los Angeles Lakers. Although they finished the season with the same 56-26 record as the Lakeres and locked down the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference the 76ers’ were still a surprise and welcome new sight in the 2001 Finals.

Reebok Answer IV Black/White uploaded by TuOneReebok Answer IV Black/White uploaded by TuOne

Even more surprising was the start of the series in Los Angeles on June 6th. The Staples Center crowd and fans were very confident as the Lakers were looking to become the first team to sweep in every round of the NBA Playoffs already taking care of the Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs. It was predicted by many especially since the 76ers’ just came from two 7-game series the previous rounds.

But A.I. was not going to let that happen. Along with teammates Dikembe Mutumbo and Eric Snow the game was a lot closer than expected. Pushing the game into overtime the Sixers had a small lead with less than a minute left. One of the most memorable moments of the game, and in Playoff history, was when Iverson was being guarded by Tyronne Lue. Pulling his fantastic crossover A.I. made a step back jumper over Lue giving his  team a 4 point lead. While watching the ball go in Lue steps back tripping over A.I.’s feet. While on the ground A.I. walked right over him making Lue in his special colorblocked Answer IV black/whites, a sight memorable in NBA history.

The 76ers’ would go on to win the game in overtime 107 to 101, lead by Iverson’s 48 points, stunning the Lakers at home and breaking their Playoff win streak. The Lakers’ regrouped and took the next 4 games, winning their second Championship in a row. But Philadelphia and the 76ers’ are still praised for the first game in the 2001 Finals, lead by their superstar Allen Iversion.

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