Cleveland Cavaliers head coach and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyronn Lue has previously said that he would hire Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson as a coach but he owes the star a lot more, he says in Lee Jenkins' "Where Are They Now" profile in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
Lue guarded Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. Iverson famously crossed and then stepped over the Lakers reserve guard for one of the most memorable moments of the championship.
Iverson scored 48 points, adding six assists, five rebounds and five assists in the Sixers' 107-101 victory. It was Philadelphia's only win in the series as Los Angeles took the next four games to win the second of their three straight championships.
“I’d want him on my staff because he’d have the respect of everybody in this league right away,” Lue said. “You know, if I hadn’t defended him in that series, I’d have been out of the league. He made me.”
During his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech last year, Iverson told a brief story about how the two players exchanged trash talk in the series. Iverson thanked Lue in the speech.