In case no one realized it, former NBA superstar Allen Iverson had never officially retired from the league. That emotional moment came Wednesday when the basketball great finally hung it up after 15 years in the NBA. What was so special about Iverson’s retirement speech was the great lesson that he provided for everyone who had the privilege to listen.
Iverson discussed the power of belief in one’s self. So many people told him throughout his life that he was crazy to think a stint in the NBA was possible. Of course, the two people that believed in him were the only two people that mattered. Iverson credited his mother for telling him “he could be anything that he wanted to be.” He took the advice to heart and knew his dreams could one day become a reality if he just worked hard enough.
It is an incredible lesson that everyone in the world must learn. It does not matter what other people think. All that matters is if a person is strong enough to believe that success is accomplishable. Once the belief is in place and an opportunity is handed down, the rest is hard work that will eventually pay off.
Iverson knows that he would not be where he is today if it were not for several very important people in his life. John Thompson, who was Iverson’s college basketball coach, is one person in particular that never gave up on the point guard.
“Coach Thompson gave me an opportunity when nobody in the world would and believed in me. Basically saved my life and helped my dream come true,” Iverson said in his press conference, according to ESPN.com.
Iverson was crowned the NBA MVP in 2001, the same year he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals. He also ranks 19th in the history of the league with 24,368 points.
The 38-year-old will retire as a Sixer.