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Chris Paul and the Clippers react on Allen Iverson’s impact on and off the court

New Hall of Fame inductee Allen Iverson has been the role model for many NBA guards of today.

His tenacity, fearlessness and reckless abandon were some of his most admired traits.

L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul reflected on the 76ers star’s influence in the game.

“I’ve always said Allen Iverson had the biggest effect on the culture of the NBA out of any player,” said Paul in an interview with Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com. “He started a culture. He started the arm sleeve, the tattoos, all that stuff. He’s the biggest influence in the NBA out of anybody… I wanted braids, because A.I. had them. I just loved the grit that he played with. He always played with a chip on his shoulder. I feel like I sort of do the same.”

Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford picked up where Paul left off.

“His impact was one that’ll be felt for generations,” said Crawford. “If you see him in person, a guy that little, that small, that was that good and could take a team like that to the Finals, it’s unbelievable.”

Coach Doc Rivers was observant of the difference in gameplay in an era that Iverson dominated.

“They’ve taken the touch out, but Allen played during the touch era, when you could body and check, and he still was effective,” said Rivers. “Part of it is toughness. I don’t think people appreciate how tough he was, because he was small.”

The unequivocal admiration for the 2001 MVP is unparalleled, often considered as an icon of the game of basketball. Players, coaches, and fans have a respect for him and his career that is seldom seen in professional sports.

Whether it was his exciting play on the court or the knack for staying true to himself off the court, Allen Iverson has won a spot in the heart of anyone who’s come to know him.

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