Allen Iverson, an 11-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection pick, announced his retirement from basketball Wednesday at a press conference in Philadelphia.
“I’m formally announcing my retirement from basketball,” Iverson said, sitting with his children and manager, Gary Moore. “You know, I thought once this day came it would be basically a tragic day… I promise you it is a happy day for me.”
In his speech, the 2001 MVP thanked his family, coaches, and teammates, and reflected on his impact on the game and culture.
“I took an asskicking being me in my career, for me looking the way I looked and dressing the way I dressed,” Iverson said, covering his daughter’s ears when he cussed. “My whole thing was just being me and staying that way. Now, you look around the NBA and all of them have tattoos, guys wearing corn rows. You used to think the suspect was the guy with the corn rows, now you see the police officers with the corn rows.” Wearing a black and white jacket, a black baseball cap turned backwards, a gold chain said “I didn’t like wearing suits then and I still don’t.”
Adding that Michael Jordan gave him a vision to want to play basketball. Expressing gratitude to former Georgetown coach John Thompson who was in attendance saying he “saved my life.” To his former Sixers coach Larry Brown he thanked him for helping him better learn the game and maximize his physical talents. Also acknowledging former Philadelphia Daily News reporter Phil Jasner, for covering him in the media for years.
Its been more than three years since he has ‘dished the rock’ to a teammate in a NBA game, Iverson, 38, concluded by admitting that the fire that burned for the game is finally extinguished.
“It’s just a hard life to live but a great one, I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. I have no regrets on anything. People ask me all the time, ‘Do I have any regrets?’ I don’t have any… I gave everything I had to basketball and the passion is still there, the desire to play is just not,” he said. “I just feel good that I’m happy with the decision I’m making. It was a great ride. I’m going to always be a Sixer I’m going to always be a Hoya and I’m always going to be a Bruin.”
What are your thoughts on AI’s retirement? –Joi Pearson
Photo credit – Joi Pearson Photography