It was announced yesterday that Allen Iverson would be retiring from the game of basketball after 17 seasons in the NBA . It’s a sad day for even the most casual of basketball fans as Iverson was simply the game’s biggest little man.
He may have been 5-foot-11, but he played like he was 7-feet tall. He was simply a warrior on the court that took a beating to his frail frame every night but somehow kept on ticking. Philadelphia 76ers fans will look very fondly on the Iverson era of Sixers basketball. With Iverson and coach Larry Brown on the bench, the Sixers enjoyed some of their greatest success, regularly getting to the playoffs and enjoying one great Finals run.
What was so miraculous about that Finals run was the cast of characters Iverson was surrounded with. He got frankly a bunch of nobodies to play at their highest level and almost single-handedly led his team to a Finals appearance.
Despite some of his off the court issues he was certainly my favorite basketball player. He gave it absolutely everything he had on the basketball court and left it all out there for everyone to see. You have to respect a player like that. He would play through injury and all sorts of ailments for the love of the game, something that seems inherently missing in some of today’s athletes.
The Sixers organization has been in a bit of a tailspin ever since Iverson’s departure. Sure, they have had some ups, but it’s been mostly downs. They are starting a new era with a new GM in Sam Hinkie and a new coach in Brett Brown. They hope to find that next Iverson possibly in next year’s stacked 2014 draft class.
What better way for a new era of basketball to start than to honor the old era in the Sixers’ home opener? It was a great run for AI and it ends where it all began in a fitting ending for the game’s all-time great little man.