The first time I saw Allen Iverson play, the Philadelphia 76ers were a laughingstock. The fact that the game was on April 1 and we would get treated to a wonderful Orlando Magic, Paul Porter April Fool's Joke entertained my nine-year-old mind (I am still looking for the prize-winning dot underneath my chair, Paul!).
Philadelphia had gone 18-64 the previous season, was on its way to a 22-win season in 1997 and had not had a winning season since 1991, before my basketball consciousness really kicked in. At this point, the Magic were the dominant team in the East (having just lost Shaquille O'Neal) and the Sixers were one of the sorrier franchises in the league.
Allen Iverson changed that.
He scored only 15 points that evening and dished out 11 assists. It was not anywhere near Iverson's most impressive performance. But you could tell this kid was going to change the Sixers. Two years later, it was Iverson changing things for two franchises on the Orlando Arena ...