Hearing about Allen Iverson’s retirement really hit me hard. As a diehard Sixers fan, this man was everything. He was our little warrior, our David, he represented what Philly stood for so well. The answer always had an answer, the man that single handed carried this team to the 2001 NBA Finals. Even though he’s been out of the game for a while, his official retirement is saddening. More saddening because one of the most historic players to ever touch an NBA floor, didn’t go out on his own terms. Even more saddening, because we have to accept the fact that he will never wear an NBA uniform, let a Sixers uniform again. I always had hope he would have one last return to the game. Regardless, he will always be the 6”0 guard from Georgetown.
I don’t need to fill this article up with a bunch of stat sheets or anything like that, we know Allen Iverson. We know what he did and how much his meant to this team, this city.
His comeback with the Sixers in 2010 was electrifying, it almost felt surreal to me. More than surreal, it just felt right. Allen Iverson was meant to be a 76er and nothing else. I remember being at one of his return games in 2010 vs the Rockets and it was amazing to see him play. Just the feeling he put in the Wells Fargo Center was indescribable. I’ve been to more games than I can count, including the playoff victory vs the Heat two seasons ago and the game four victory vs the Celtics last season. Neither of these games came close to the time that I watched Allen Iverson play during his return.
How doesn’t that video send chills down your spine?
No other player had the impact that AI3 did for the Sixers. I don’t think any player will. I was at the season opener this past year when Iguodala returned, I assure you it was NOTHING like this:
The mark that Allen Iverson left on this franchise is inevitable and it will never be forgotten. Kids decades from now growing up will know his name and the team he played for. AI did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong also, there’s no denying that. But he was ours, no matter if he went to Denver, Detroit, Memphis, everyone knew he was apart of the Sixers. I’d go out and say that he is the greatest athlete to ever play in Philadelphia.
It’s a shame that Allen didn’t get to go out on his own terms. He fought for years to get another shot and unfortunately, that call never came. You can help but respect a man that never gave up on the game, even when it gave up on him. I will always believe that he deserved another shot, but that’s a story for another day.
With AI’s official retirement being announced, his chapter will finally end. What will his legacy be? That will be decided in the future. I pray he is remembered for all the joy he brought to this city. Let’s remember The Answer for his great times and lets thank him for everything he did for the Sixers organization and the city of Philadelphia. Thank you Allen Iverson, the city of Philadelphia will never forget you.