Iverson Rookie of the Year

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PHILADELPHIA: Quick, talented, and controversial, Allen Iverson was drafted No. 1 so that he could lead the Philadelphia 76ers out of the NBA's swamp. The 6-foot point guard didn't do that -- the Sixers were, if anything, worse this year. But he did win rookie of the year. Despite racking up impressive statistics, Iverson took nearly as many shots from NBA veterans as he did at the basket--and that's a lot. Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan lambasted Iverson for not having enough respect for the game and too much for himself. Accepting the award, Iverson tried, however feebly, to make amends. "I think I got a bad shake this year. I got the short end of the stick," he said. "I would have always felt I was rookie of the year even if I didn't get the award," Iverson said, "but I wanted it bad. As a rookie, I think I made the most impact." Many felt that Iverson's claim on the trophy was secure after an end-of-the season stretch in which he scored 40 or more points in five straight games, a record for NBA rookies. The 22-60 Sixers lost all five games.