Allen Iverson will officially announce his retirement from the NBA. The four-time league scoring champion and 2001 league MVP will finally call it quits on October 30th prior to the Philadelphia 76ers home opener.
Iverson, who briefly played for the Detroit Pistons during a year that will go down in infamy among Pistons fans, was one of the greatest scorers in league history. Despite having played the majority of his career for other teams, Allen Iverson will forever be one of the most notorious Detroit Pistons players of all-time because of who he was traded for. Regardless, he leaves behind a Hall of Fame career with a highlight reel so expansive that it could warrant its own half time intermission to refill refreshments and hit the rest room.
What really strikes me as odd, though, is Iverson’s timing of this announcement. He hasn’t played in the NBA for over three seasons. After leaving Detroit, Iverson drove himself out of Memphis, injuries drove him out of his Philly encore, and then he drove himself right out of the league by refusing to take on any semblance of a supporting role. So Allen, you’re choosing now to announce your retirement?
Really? Are we talking about practice?! For a guy nicknamed, “The Answer,” Allen Iverson sure makes some questionable decisions.
Unfortunately for Iverson, he always seems to be the last guy to get the memo. Once his age caught up with him, he was the last person to realize he needed to adjust his game in order to make-up for his declining athleticism. Actually, scratch that. He still probably hasn’t gotten that memo. Allen Iverson may think that he is retiring from the NBA, but what he doesn’t realize is that the NBA retired from him three seasons ago.
This is just ridiculous. This would be like me, a guy who graduated from high school several years ago, calling up my alma mater and asking if I could announce my retirement from their basketball team before their next home game. Or maybe I could call up that job I was fired from as a teenager and tell them I am hereby retiring from retail. “Sorry guys, I know you asked me to leave several years ago, but I’m just calling to tell you I am officially off the market now. Please be sure to tell all of your current employees and associates.”
Don’t get me wrong. I think Iverson is unquestionably one of the greatest players in league history. His resume will back that up – one MVP award, 11-time all-star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, four-time league scoring champion, three-time league steals leader, three-time All-NBA First Team, three-time All-NBA Second Team, and the 1997 Rookie of the Year award. An eventual hall of fame induction ceremony makes sense. A jersey retirement celebration is more than necessary in Philadelphia in the future. An official announcement of your retirement before an NBA regular season game three years after the league collectively decided you weren’t good enough to play in it anymore, though? You’re kidding, right?
After the 2009-10 season when Iverson left the Sixers, the only teams to offer him a contract were a Turkish basketball team, for which he played only 10 games, and the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, which, of course, he turned down. I hate to break it to you, Allen, but your retirement party appears to be a few years too late.