Kicks on Cards #8 | Celebrating Allen Iverson’s Birthday

AI Gets the Bday Kicks on Cards Treatment

Date: Jun 7, 2024
Author: Zack Schlemmer
Topics: AI, Allen Iverson, Card Culture, Kicks on Cards, NBA, Zack Schlemmer
Length: 793 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

Celebrating AI’s 49th birthday with some of his best on-card sneaker sightings.

Last month, we celebrated Dennis Rodman’s birthday with a special all-Worm edition of Kicks on Cards, and now we’re doing the same thing with another iconic, culturally important NBA player of the past: Allen Iverson. 

To say Iverson had a huge impact on basketball and sneaker culture would be an understatement. He almost single-handedly kept Reebok basketball shoes relevant in the late ‘90s and early 2000s with his Answer signature line. He changed on-andoff-court fashion with his baggy clothes and uniforms, headbands, braids, tattoos, fitted hats, du-rags, and jewelry. And, oh yeah, he’s also one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game.

He’s also had a lot of awesome, highly desirable basketball cards throughout the years, and today, we’re here to check out a few with sightings of his signature sneakers. Let’s get to the cardboard.

1997-98 Topps Chrome #26 Hotshots Refractor Allen Iverson // Reebok The Question

On this super cool Topps Chrome Hot Shots insert, we spot Iverson in his most popular signature shoe of all time. The Question was his first signature model, which he wore during his rookie season. The design features distinct color blocking with the contrast color toe, visible Hexalite cushioning, and an icy clear blue rubber sole. Today, it stands as one of the most iconic basketball shoes ever, retroed countless times and worn again later by Iverson throughout his career.

2001-02 Topps TCC #10 Allen Iverson // Reebok Answer 4

Next up is AI’s second most celebrated signature model, the Answer 4. Known for its sleek, shrouded design and, again, high-contrast color blocking, the Answer 4 is actually his fifth signature model since the line began with “The Question” before “The Answer” released in ‘97 (we’ll get to that one in a bit). As you can see by this Topps TCC card with a photo of Iverson with an NBA Finals patch on his jersey, he wore these for his most successful season, leading the 76ers to the Finals while also earning the NBA MVP award. 

2002-03 Topps Chrome #3 White Refractor Allen Iverson // Reebok Answer 5

Here, we have the rare white refractor version of Iverson’s 2002-03 Topps Chrome card with a clear shot of him wearing the Reebok Answer 5. Similar in design to the Answer 4, the Answer 5 also featured a leather upper, unique lace cover, and Reebok’s DMX cushioning while adding a strap to the back of the heel for lock-in support. This black and grey colorway is especially tough looking.

2004-05 Topps Chrome #1 X-Fractor Allen Iverson // Reebok Answer 7

We jump ahead two models to spot the Answer 7 on this dazzling Topps Chrome X-Fractor from 2004. Worn by Iverson during the 2003-04 NBA season, the Answer 7 features a sleek design that, in my opinion, seems to take some design language from Air Jordans of that era, namely the Jordan 17. Design highlights of the Answer 7 include a dimpled leather upper, metallic lace eyelets, and DMX cushioning.

2005-06 Bowman Chrome #100 Gold Refractor Allen Iverson // Reebok ATR The Pump

I actually had to hit up sneaker media veteran and Reebok aficionado Nick Engvall to identify this shoe. Unbeknownst to me, Iverson laced up this 2005 modernization of Reebok’s Pump technology for select games that season, including for the 2005 NBA All-Star Game, where he was named the MVP. I’m sure Reebok got him to wear pairs because they wanted to promote the new Pump, but Iverson likely preferred them over the bulky Answer 9, anyway.

1997-98 Skybox Premium Reebok The Answer Promo Card

Here we have a very meta Kicks on Cards: a 1997-98 Skybox Premium card promoting the release of The Answer. A Reebok commercial in card form, the back of the card (check out the front here) features a full look at the shoe, along with its release date, November 26, 1997. I’m going to go ahead and rank The Answer as Iverson’s third most popular signature model after The Question and Answer 4. The shoe helped introduce Reebok’s then-new DMX cushioning to the world. DMX is a series of pods in the forefoot and heel of the sole with chambers in between that allow air to flow through the shoe as you step, providing dynamic cushioning. The other thing I love about this card is that it advertises, which was some pretty high-tech stuff back then. If you remember firing up your dial-up modem in ‘97 to check out Reebok’s website, please let me know what they had to say about The Answer. 

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