During the intense battles between Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal, particularly in the 2001 NBA Finals, there were some wild moments on the court. One of those moments was when Iverson attempted to foul Shaq hard during a regular season game. In response, Kobe looked at Iverson and said, "What the hell is wrong with you? You trying to die?"
Iverson recalled that Shaq had to endure a lot of physicality and fouls in every game. Despite being a dominant force, he often didn't get favorable calls from the referees. The only recourse against Shaq's prowess was the infamous "Hack-A-Shaq" strategy, where teams would intentionally foul him due to his poor free-throw shooting. Even then, Shaq would sometimes power through defenders attempting to foul him.
In the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson displayed his unstoppable nature against Shaq and Kobe. Although Iverson was chosen as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, he didn't achieve the same team success as Bryant did. However, he became a legend in his own right. In their matchups against the Lakers, Iverson consistently outscored Kobe until their sixth meeting.
During the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson's performance was exceptional. He averaged an impressive 35.6 points per game, surpassing both Shaq and Kobe. Additionally, Iverson contributed 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. It is worth noting that team success often hinges on finding the right teammates and organizations. If Iverson had played alongside prime Shaquille O'Neal, he might have won a championship or two himself.
These stories highlight the fierce competition and personalities involved in the battles between Iverson, Kobe, and Shaq. It showcases Iverson's determination and ability to perform at a high level, even against superior opponents. While he may not have achieved the same level of team success as Bryant, Iverson's impact and legacy in the game of basketball are undeniable.