With time on our hands because of the coronavirus pandemic, looking back on the Allen Iverson era has been a source of positivity.
With that in mind, we went back and ranked all of the prominent Iverson sidekicks over his 10-plus seasons with the Sixers.
11. Glenn Robinson
After dueling with Iverson in the playoffs a couple years prior, “Big Dog” joined the Sixers for a one-year stint in 2003-04. Robinson simply wasn’t the same player that was the No. 1 overall pick in 1994 and a two-time All-Star with the Bucks.
He played in just 42 games as the Sixers went 33-49 and failed to reach the playoffs in the first season after parting ways with Larry Brown. Robinson played just nine games with San Antonio the following season and then retired.
10. Larry Hughes
The eighth overall pick in 1998, Hughes was supposed to team up with Iverson to make a formidable duo for years to come. But “The Flight Brothers” barely got off the ground before Hughes was shipped off in the Toni Kukoc deal. Hughes played exactly 100 games for the Sixers and went on to have a solid NBA career.
Hughes will always be remembered more for the players the Sixers could’ve drafted instead. Just as a painful reminder, the Sixers passed on a couple guys named Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki to select Hughes.
9. Matt Harpring
This was less about Harpring’s play — he was OK in his one season (81 games) with the Sixers — but more about the timing and the success of the team. The Sixers were coming off their loss to the Lakers in the Finals and that banged-up team thought they were going to get another crack at a title.
Instead, a few of the key cogs were traded — including Tyrone Hill and Jumaine Jones, who were part of the deal for Harpring. The team went 43-39 and was eliminated in the first round by the Celtics. Harpring was much more productive for the Jazz over the next few seasons.
8. Andre Iguodala
This is more of a “what could’ve been” situation, though they played parts of three seasons together. Iguodala was branded as “The Other AI” after being drafted ninth overall in 2004 as Iverson’s time here was winding down. He came into the league with lofty comparisons to Scottie Pippen.
Peak Iguodala, who won a Finals MVP and was a three-time NBA champ with the Warriors, next to peak Iverson would’ve been something. Alas, the duo’s time wasn’t very successful as Iverson’s relationship with the team had soured. He was traded in the middle of Iguodala’s third season.
7. Chris Webber
This one is conflicting for me. On one hand, Webber had an outstanding NBA career and actually played pretty well in his one full season as a Sixer. He wasn’t the same player he was with the Kings, but he averaged over 20 points a game — which is no small feat playing next to Iverson.
With that said, the duo’s star power wasn’t enough to even get that team into the playoffs. Then the infamous Fan Appreciation Night fiasco sealed the fate of Webber and Iverson as both were traded the following season.
6. Keith Van Horn
It may be surprising to see Van Horn this high, but hear me out. First of all, Van Horn should’ve started his career as a Sixer. They drafted him No. 2 overall and then traded him for what became Tim Thomas, Anthony Parker (not to be confused with Tony), Jim Jackson and Eric Montross. But since Larry Brown simply loved to re-acquire players, Van Horn came back to the Sixers in 2002-03.
During that season, Van Horn provided a nice complement to Iverson, averaging 15.9 points a game. In Brown’s final season here, the team went 48-34 and was eliminated in the second round by an ascending Pistons team. Van Horn was traded yet again that offseason in the deal that got the Sixers Robinson.
5. Derrick Coleman
Speaking of conflicting, Brown’s favorite player seems to be a nice fit here at five. Coleman was a skilled big with a high basketball IQ, but never seemed to quite live up to lofty expectations as a No. 1 overall pick. That’s part of the reason the Nets traded him to the Sixers in the deal for Shawn Bradley.
While Coleman did get to play with a very young Iverson, he also had a second stint with the Sixers. He gets this high on this list because of his strong playoff run as the team’s center in 2002-03. The Sixers took the Pistons to six games that year and Coleman had a big series (16.5 points, 11 rebounds per game). Though he wasn’t there for the peak of the team’s success during Iverson’s run here, he played decently alongside the Hall of Famer.
4. Toni Kukoc
The “Croatian Sensation” was coming off a career year with the Bulls. A key cog in Chicago’s championship runs, Kukoc appeared to be ready for a bigger NBA role. With his success playing alongside Michael Jordan, it seemed feasible that Kukoc could co-exist with a star like Iverson.
Plagued by back issues and not quite fitting in, Kukoc lasted 80 games with the Sixers and was part of the Dikeme Mutombo trade in 2001. Kukoc had his moments and the team did find success with him, but ultimately the addition of Mutombo was much more valuable.
3. Eric Snow
Say what you want about Snow, he was the perfect type of point guard to play next to Iverson. It was Snow’s defense and unselfishness that allowed Iverson to play as a small two guard.
While it was Iverson who hit the step over shot, it was Snow’s runner — on a bum ankle — with under a minute left in OT that sealed the Sixers’ Game 1 win in L.A. in 2001. Snow spent seven seasons with the Sixers and Iverson. Not bad for a guy that was acquired for a second-round pick.
2. Dikembe Mutombo
Speaking of defense, Mutombo was an enormous part of that magical run in 2001. The Defensive Player of the Year in 2000-01 filled a large void left by the injury to Theo Ratliff, who was traded along with Kukoc to Atlanta.
Where Mutombo shined the most was the Eastern Conference Finals. He provided a surprise scoring punch against Milwaukee, averaging 16.6 points a game in that series. While nobody could stop Shaquille O’Neal during that time, Mutombo did an admirable job and kept the Sixers in almost every game of that series. He was solid again the following season, but was traded after the Sixers were bounced in the first round.
1. Aaron McKie
The nod goes to McKie as much for emotional support as it does his play on the court.
“He helped me so much in my career,” Iverson said when he officially retired in 2013. “I talk about the mistakes that I made in my career. I made a million of them, but if it weren’t for Aaron McKie, I would have made two million of them. He is just somebody I always listened to and could talk to about anything.”
McKie was acquired along with Ratliff in the deal that sent Jerry Stackhouse to Detroit. The Temple product wasn’t a star and the Sixers were already his third NBA team in just four seasons. In fact, it took a couple seasons for McKie to find his stride as a Sixer.
Yet another important piece in 2001, McKie emerged during that run, averaging 14.6 points a game and shooting 42.2 percent from three in the playoffs. He also took home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award that season.
McKie spent parts of eight seasons with Iverson and the Sixers. There are Hall of Famers and multiple-time All-Stars on this list, but none made the impact McKie did on Iverson.
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