Arenas at 24, or AI at 24?

Editor's Note: This post was originally written on December 8th

Editor's Note: I've just pulled an all-nighter, so actual clear writing just simply isn't going to happen at this moment.  My apologies. -Pradamaster

With the Wizards traveling to Phily to face the 76ers, we get a chance to see a battle between two of basketball's most dynamic scoring point guards in Allen Iverson and Gilbert Arenas.  The players are so similar it's uncanny.  Both can be playmakers, but function best through explosive scoring ability with the ball in their hands.  Iverson was more explosive, but Arenas has a better jumper and uses angles extremely well.

One commenter said a while ago that he'd rather have Iverson than Agent Zero right now.  Considering AI is 31 and Arenas is 24, this makes no sense.  But who was the better player at age 24?  That's certainly still open to debate.

A quick look at the stats actually gives Arenas the overall advantage.

Iverson in 2000: 28.4 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 42% field goal percentage, 34% 3 point percentage, 20.0 PER
Arenas in 2006: 29.3 points, 6.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 45% field goal percentage, 37% 3 point percentage, 23.8 PER

In terms of pure numbers, Arenas has the overwhelming advantage.  The only categories Iverson has a leg up are in rebounds and steals, and the difference is negligable.  Arenas has a moderate advantage in points and three point percentage and a significant advantage in assists, field goal percentage, and player efficiency rating.  However, we also have to account changes in the rules that may account for Iverson's smaller scoring average.  Scoring is up around the league, so it only makes sense that Arenas' scoring is better.  In addition, Arenas' inconsistency is maddening, while Iverson's production was more level from game-to-game.

So now it's your turn.  Who's the better player at age 24?  Iverson, or Arenas?  Explain your reasoning.

[edit]: I just woke up to see the Wizards getting their butts kicked by an Iverson-less Sixers team before turning it around now emphatically.  Strange game.  I'll have a lot more on  the game itself and the news about Allen Iverson later on, but for now, I guess this can also be an open game thread.

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