If you ask anyone who they think is the greatest player in Philadelphia 76ers history. Some will say Wilt Chamberlain, others may say Julius Erving, but most will tell you it is Allen Iverson. Iverson’s name and signature number will be hung next to the other two greats at Wells Fargo Center tonight.
Even after being out of the league for a few seasons, Iverson has left a lasting impression for Sixers and NBA fans alike. Since his departure, the Sixers haven’t found a franchise player who could fill Iverson’s void.
Iverson’s accomplishments include an MVP award, Rookie of the Year, four scoring titles and three steals titles. The Sixers will honor him by retiring his No. 3 to the top of the rafters during halftime against the Washington Wizards. Though this is marketing strategy to fill seats, it’s also a way to celebrate the player who was once the face of an entire league. Iverson’s return serves as reminder of what the good times felt like for a franchise currently dealing with adversity.
Iverson’s had many memorable, yet interesting moments from his then rookie record-breaking 50-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers to his second Sixers stint. Perhaps his two most unforgettable moments are the infamous news conference addressing missed practices and breaking Michael Jordan‘s ankles in a home game against the Chicago Bulls.
Whether fans and critics thought of him in a negative or positive manner, most agree he was a great player who helped turn a struggling franchise around. The former No. 1 pick holds franchise records in steals per game, 3-pointers made and is tied for points per game.
Iverson averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game in his 17–year career. He spent 12 seasons with the Sixers and had stops with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies and Besiktas of the Turkish Basketball League.