A tough year for the struggling Sixers.
1997-98 NBA Season
Philly had a terrible 96-97 season despite Iverson's scoring and passing. The team needed more great players. They already had Iverson, Coleman and Stackhouse, but needed more. In a deal that sent Stack to Detroit and Theo Ratliff to Philadelphia, Sixers GM Pat Groce hoped that the team would grow on Ratliff's strong defense and valuable experience. But the Sixers still struggled.
Iverson continued playing great, but they didn't win enough games. Iverson for the second straight year has put up great numbers. Even though his scoring dropped from 23.5 in 96/97 to 22 this year, Allen became more of a team player .He was willing to pass more, and he wanted to win. Iverson kept getting bad publicity and it's quite amazing that Iverson could play at the same high level despite all the bad publicity. How? He simply didn't care about what people meant.
You gotta be a strong person to do that. And Iverson is, but he admitted that the publicity sometimes got tiring. "I don't know why people dislike me. I play basketball, I take care of things off the court. Why criticize me when I'm trying my hardest? ". Later on, the Sixers acquired Joe Smith from Golden State Warriors. Smith, one of Iverson's best friends, and their relationship goes all the way back to High School. Well, now they had strong offensive tandem with Iverson and Smith. But it didn't help. Philly ended up last.
- Led the 76ers in 1997-98 in scoring (22.0 ppg, 8th in the NBA), assists (6.2 apg, 16th) and steals (2.20 spg, 5th)
- Scored a 1997-98 season-high 43 points and grabbed 4 rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves on 4/10/98
- Named NBA Player of the Week for the week ending 1/18/98, averaging 25.3 ppg, 7.6 apg and 4.3 rpg for the 3-0 76ers
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