If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much of an Allen Iverson fan I am. The reasons are much deeper than sneakers or basketball (and to be told in a much more permanent fashion in the near future), but what makes it so fun for me now is wearing that passion and sharing it with people that may not understand it.
15 years ago tonight, Iverson scored a career high (at the time) of 58 points against the Houston Rockets in one of the most under appreciated matchups of the early ’00s. Steve Francis was playing for the Rockets then, and despite the pics you see of him now, The Franchise was one of the best players in the NBA from 2002-2004. On this day in Sneaker History, Iverson got the best of Francis with a pair of Reebok Answer 5s. Haters will be quick to point out that it took AI 42 attempts, but he shot 50% from the field and went 14 for 14 from the line and dished out 6 assists. You can’t really be mad at that.
Francis laced up a pair of the Reebok DMX Techniques. What makes Steve Francis great, and I would stand behind that statement despite falling off hard towards the end of his career, was his ability to recognize when his game is off and adjust. Although there was no stopping AI on this night, and Steve Francis shot the way he looks in 2015, the 5 for 20 shooting effort was accompanied by 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
Obviously my love for AI takes precedence but the forgotten stories of the stars that played against the great athletes over the years is equally worthy of reminiscing because if you’re like me in any way, you circled both the Reebok DMX Technique and the Answer 5 in that Eastbay catalog back in the day.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with nearly 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector and Sneaker News. Helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, and StockX better connect with their consumers. He’s an avid San Francisco Giants fan, Allen Iverson fan, and owns way too many sneakers for his own good.