The Philadelphia 76ers finally have something to celebrate this season. On Saturday, the Sixers will retire Allen Iverson’s number “3” in a special halftime ceremony during the game against the Washington Wizards. Iverson is one of the best and most popular players to have worn a Sixers jersey for the majority of his career. Thanks to that popularity, Philadelphia 76ers tickets have shot up in price for this game.
On the secondary market, the average ticket price for Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center is $199, a price that has gone up 42% since the start of January. The $199 average price represents the second highest average price for a home Sixers game this season, just $10 below a visit from the Miami Heat on January 17. For a team digging itself deeper into a rebuilding process this season, the average price is also 152% above the average secondary market price for all Sixers home games.
Iverson will be the eighth player to have his number retired by the 76ers, joining Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones, Billy Cunningham and Charles Barkley. Iverson’s career highlights include being the 1997 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2001 NBA MVP, an 11-time NBA all-star, three-time All-NBA first team and four-time NBA scoring champion. In 2001, Iverson led the 76ers to the NBA Finals in their first appearance since 1983 and the franchise has not returned to the finals since.
The Sixers currently have the second worst record in the NBA at 15-43, better than only the Milwaukee Bucks. They also just traded Evan Turner to Indiana in return for more draft picks, furthering their rebuilding plan. The trade of Turner may be a positive thing for Philadelphia and rookie Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams could be the best rookie in A Sixers uniform since Iverson in 1997, as he’s averaging 17.1 points and 6.2 assists per game. The rookie could start to see an increase role with Turner no longer on the roster.
Washington comes into the game as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but just above .500. These two teams have already played three times with the Wizards winning two of the meetings by an average score of 108.3-103.3. Even though this could be a high scoring game, it’s likely whatever happens during the actual game will be secondary to the celebration of Allen Iverson at halftime.