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1996-97 NBA Season – Rookie Season
Iverson quickly established himself as a premier NBA backcourtman, winning Rookie of the Month honors in November and going on from there to a brilliant season in which he was named Rookie of the Month again in April and Schick Rookie of the Year and a member of the All-Rookie First Team following the season.
Iverson led the Sixers with 23.5 points (sixth in the NBA), 7.5 assists (11th) and 2.07 steals (seventh) in 40.1 minutes (eighth) per game, leading all NBA rookies in each category. Though he shot just .416 from the field, his 155 three-pointers easily led the team and he connected on .341 from behind the arc. Iverson finished strongly, averaging 39.0 ppg in his final eight games, including five in a row in which he scored 40 or more–the only rookie in NBA history to do so. Included in that burst was a career-high 50-point outing in a 125-118 loss at Cleveland on April 12, when he became the second-youngest player (21 years, 310 days) in NBA history to reach the 50-point plateau. Rick Barry was 21 years, 261 days old when he scored 57 for San Francisco on Dec. 14, 1965.
Iverson scored in double figures in 73 of the 76 games in which he played, getting 30 or more points 20 times. He also reached double figures in assists 18 times, including a career-high 15 (with 32 points) in a 119-113 loss to Boston on April 18. He averaged 4.1 rebounds, a high number for a point guard, grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds (with 32 points and seven assists) in a 115-113 loss at Charlotte on April 5.
Iverson was the Most Valuable Player of the Schick Rookie Game at All-Star Weekend, scoring 19 points and handing out nine assists in 26 minutes. He also was invited to compete in the Nestle Crunch Slam Dunk but withdrew due to injury.
- Won the 1996-97 Schick NBA Rookie of the Year Award, becoming the first 76er to ever win the award, and to the 1996-97 NBA All-Rookie First team
- Named NBA Rookie of the Month for April, 1997, leading the league with 33.6 ppg and leading all rookies with 8.7 apg
- Led the 76ers in 1996-97 in scoring (23.5 ppg, 6th in the NBA), assists (7.5 apg, 11th) and steals (2.07 spg, 7th) and set the Sixers’ all-time rookie record with 1,787 points
- Scored 40 points in five straight games in April to set an NBA rookie record, including a career-high 50 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on 4/12/97
- Named MVP of the Schick Rookie Game during the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend, posting 19 points and a game-high 9 assists
- Named NBA Rookie of the Month for November, 1997, leading all rookies in scoring (21.8 ppg), assists (6.4 apg) and steals (2.67 spg)
- Scored 30 points in his NBA debut, against the Milwaukee Bucks on 11/1/96
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