Before Kanye West questioned if Sway had the answers, NBA fans had no doubt who The Answer was. On Saturday March1st The Philadelphia 76ers retired the number of 11-time All-Star Allen Iverson. His #3 was raised to the rafters to take its place among legends like Dr. Jay and Charles Barkely.
During half-time of the Sixers game against the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center, 20,000 fans, players and executives gathered to pay homage to Iverson and his achievements.
“Let me see if I’m dreaming,” he said before reaching out to touch the fans. “Dr. J, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones…are you serious? You know, my name can be mentioned with THOSE names. So y’all have to show me the fool that says dreams don’t come true. Because they do.”
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Iverson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft after playing at Georgetown University and spent his first ten seasons in Philadelphia. He was a perennial All-Star and lead them to the NBA finals in 2001 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
New NBA commissioner Adam Silver ran off Iverson’s career achievements, including two All-Rookie of The Year and two All-Star MVPs. Larry Brown, who coached Iverson in Philly, said “I just want to tell you, and I say this fondly: God put me there to coach you.”
Iverson was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2006 and later played for the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies before returning to Philadelphia for a 25-game stint in 2009-10.
“I love you Philadelphia. I love y’all for accepting me and let me be me. Let me make mistakes, let me be human, let me learn from ’em. Just embracing me and making this my home forever. You’re the best fans in the world. Hands down. Definitely for the sport of basketball. I love y’all and now it’s time to party!”
Watch video of his speech below:
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