Nov. 1, 1996
Just over four months after Allen Iverson was selected first overall in the NBA draft, he made a spectacular debut in front of 20,444 anxious Sixers fans in South Philadelphia.
I was one of those people in attendance that night, curious to see what Iverson could do at the next level. It was odd seeing Iverson receive such a warm reception after being heckled to death by Villanova fans earlier in the year in the same building when he played for rival Georgetown.
It didn’t take long for Iverson to win over Sixers fans, and no play showcased his NBA debut better than his one-handed, fastbreak dunk against the Milwaukee Bucks. We knew Iverson could handle the ball as good as anyone, but this little guy listed at 6-feet had incredible leaping ability and a flair for the dramatic.
It was all part of Iverson’s impressive NBA opener. He finished with a team-high 30 points on 12 for 19 shooting but, like many games in Iverson’s early years, the Sixers fell to the Bucks, one of 60 losses in Iverson’s rookie season.
Iverson played a total of 784 games in a Sixers uniform, and he dazzled us on many occasions. But seeing him rock the Big House on Broad Street for the first time will always be one of Iverson’s special moments as a 76er.