Iverson joined the other great Sixers players (including Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Hal Greer and Bobby Jones), becoming only the 8th player in team history to have his number retired.
Speaking to TNT’s David Aldridge, Iverson agreed that he considers himself to be “the bridge” between the Michael Jordan era and the Lebron James era.
Speaking of Michael Jordan – during his speech at the arena, Iverson thanked the former Chicago Bulls champion, since when growing up, Iverson wanted to be like Mike – just like millions of other kids.
Surrounded by former teammates, coaches, and family, Iverson thanks those who helped him along the way, and reminded the fans how much he loved them.
Iverson thanked a lot of people in his speech, including his mother, friends, and former teammates, namely Aaron Mckie, Dikembe Mutombo, Clarence Weatherspoon, Derrick Coleman, Larry Hughes and others.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Sixers owner Josh Harris and Iverson spoke during the ceremony, as Erving, Moses Malone and a number of basketball dignitaries showed up to pay tribute.
“I love you Philadelphia. I want to thank you for accepting me, and letting me be me and make this my home forever,” Iverson said, as his speech, which lasted under 10 minutes, was given a standing ovation when it was over.
The sold-out crowd roared as a banner featuring Iverson’s iconic No. 3 was raised, taking its place alongside those honoring the greatest players in Philadelphia 76ers history.
“It’s kind of like, it’s basically bittersweet,” Iverson said. “It feels good, you know, but some part of my heart hurts because I realize and understand that it’s over. … When I come into the arena, I’m stepping out onto the basketball court with street clothes on. And I know I’ll never be in a uniform again.”
Iverson was a seven-time All-NBA selection, a four-time NBA scoring champion, a three-time steals leader, a two-time All-Star Game MVP and the 1997 Rookie of the Year.
Iverson, 38, earned 11 consecutive All-Star selections and the 2001 NBA MVP award during his 14-year NBA career, which peaked when the 6-foot, 165-pound guard led Philadelphia to the 2001 NBA Finals, where it lost in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite never winning a championship, Iverson was rated the fifth greatest NBA shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008.
Iverson played in 914 NBA games (901 started), and holds career average of 26.7 points per game, and 6.2 assists per game, with 41.1 minutes per game.Follow @exnbadotcom
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