Three years after he played his last game, Allen Iverson has finally retired from the NBA. After failed stints overseas, rumors of depression and financial troubles, the legendary guard has finally hung up his sneakers. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad Iverson has finally come to terms with his current state. Although the ending to his career was sad, fans must remember how great of a basketball player he once was.
Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Iverson was as good as anybody in the game. Pound for pound, you could make a case that Iverson was the best player in the league for much of the 2000’s. To call him a scoring machine would be putting it lightly. Dude averaged at least 26 PPG from 98-99 through 07-08. That stretch also included an MVP award in 00-01 and four scoring titles.
But the fact that his career never culminated in gold coped with his inability to walk away from the game, ultimately damaged his legacy forever. By the end you could easily argue that he was just in it for the money, but I always viewed him as a guy who loved basketball. I’m sure he would have liked to finish things in more of a storybook fashion, but athletes very rarely have that opportunity.
Even though the last several years have been less than ideal for Iverson, he still was a productive NBA player to the end. Even in limited action in his final season in 09-10, he was still able to average 13.8 PPG. He was able to play his final game for the 76ers and given everything else that’s happened to him, it was the best way possible to end his NBA career. Now that it’s officially over, we can begin the countdown to when he becomes enshrined in the Hall of Fame.