“Steve [Nash] and Stephon Marbury gave me the most problems,” Iverson told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on a recent episode of the All of the Smoke Podcast.
“I love Stephon Marbury. Steve was just just a headache because he could do it all… just knows how to get it done. Steve was excellent man.”
A two-time NBA All Star, Stephon Marbury averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists in 12 NBA seasons in stops with the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
Marbury is thankful for Iverson’s high praise. “AI was my top five hardest to guard,” he told me via text message.
“It was a war when we played againt each other.”
Marbury also detailed his toughest matchups while playing in the NBA. “Rod Strickland, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Terrell Brandon,” he said.
A Portland, Oregon native, Terrell Brandon was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ eleventh overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft out of Oregon. A two-time NBA All-Star, Brandon averaged 13.8 points, and 6.1 assists per game in stops with the Cavs, Milwukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“He was hard as hell to guard,” said Marbury.
“Came off of screens like a two guard, but was the point. Dude was an All-Star during the Jordan era.”
When you think about the 90s and 2000s, Terrell Brandon stands out as supremely underrated, so does Andre Miller. The eighth pick in the 1999 NBA Draft out of Utah, Miller averaged 12.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists in stops with the Cavs, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs.
In today’s NBA, Jrue Holiday could be put in that underrated spot also. Currently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Holiday was the 76ers’ 17th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of UCLA. A one-time NBA All Star, Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 6.7 assists this season for the Pels.
Holiday is believed to be on the NBA trading block with teams like the Brooklyn Nets, 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks wanting his services.
Marbury appreciates the talent that Holiday, Miller and Brandon bring to NBA teams then and now. “Those guys don’t have the superstar appeal,” he said. “But they’re monsters. Mainstream media doesn’t always appreciate that.”