Allen Iverson’s homecoming in the 2001 All-Star Game couldn’t have been scripted any better.
A plethora of highlights and an exceptional fourth quarter to spearhead the greatest comeback in NBA All-Star Game history.
The Georgetown product Iverson scored 15 of his 25 points in a wild final frame and the Eastern Conference stormed back from a 21-point deficit to defeat the Western Conference 111-110 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
Iverson’s iconic highlight from the game was his shot along the left baseline where he hung in the air to retrieve a Vince Carter lob, switched the ball from the left to his right hand while being suspended and swishing the shot. You can check out all of his highlights below.
Flashback Friday: Allen Iverson scored 15 of his 25 points in 4th quarter as East storms back from 21-point hole to defeat West in 2001 ASG pic.twitter.com/8DedyYbq4l
— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) February 17, 2017
The East ended the game on a 37-15 run to complete the stunning charge.
Tracy McGrady’s putback off an Iverson drive to the bucket tied the game at 100-100. Stephon Marbury knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the final 53 seconds, including a go-ahead, step-back triple from the right wing with 28.4 ticks on the clock. He outdueled Kobe Bryant, connected on a trio of baskets in the waning moments and sunk a tough left wing jumper over the outstretched arms of Dikembe Mutombo to stake the West to a 110-108 margin prior to Marbury’s go-ahead shot from beyond the arc.
Bryant elected to pass the ball to Tim Duncan on the West’s final possession and he didn’t get a shot off.
The East celebrated joyously following the final buzzer. Iverson famously couldn’t find his Philadelphia 76ers head coach Larry Brown on the podium during his MVP trophy presentation. It wound up being the first of two MVP awards, also winning the honor in 2005.
Prior to those epic final few minutes, Vince Carter threw down several emphatic dunks, Bryant and Kevin Garnett enjoyed throwing alley-oops to each other and Jason Kidd nailed one from halfcourt. There were plenty of memorable moments.
They also played solid defense in this game. YES, defense. Remember when they used to play it in these things. The NBA All-Star Game over the past few seasons have resembled glorified layup lines more so than competitive 5-on-5 basketball being exemplified.
Not so much in 2001.
The 2001 NBA All-Star Game was definitely one of the best to ever be played. The best, though? That’s tough because the 2003 double-overtime classic immediately comes to mind. The overtime thriller in 1987 can’t be overlooked either.
It’s a coin flip between 2001 and 2003 for me.