Allen Iverson will go down in history as one of the best basketball players of all time, and next year the Philadelphia 76ers will make sure he remains a permanent part of the team’s history as well.
The team announced on Wednesday that it would retire Iverson’s number in a ceremony on March 1.
Iverson is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history despite his small stature (6’0 and 165 lbs). He led the 76ers to their first Finals appearance since 1983 and played in front of thunderous cheers and sold out crowds. Known as “The Answer,” he is one of the greatest finishers in the game. He leaves a lasting legacy forever in the hearts of Philadelphia fans. With boundless talent, he was always exciting to watch and had a flashy style that endeared him to fans all over the world.
Iverson has earned some high accolades from Miami Heat star LeBron James, who called him “pound-for-pound, probably the greatest player who ever played.” Iverson stood just 6-feet even and weighed 165 pounds, but took the ball to the rim with a reckless abandon for his body.
For LeBron James, the top two players were always Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.
James said: “I watch Jordan more than anybody for sure… But I’ll watch tapes of A.I., too. I don’t take anything from A.I.. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but A.I. was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. A.I. was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”
Those within the organization also had high praise for Iverson.
“Allen Iverson is, without question, one of the most iconic players to ever wear the Sixers uniform,” said Philadelphia 76ers Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil. “Allen left everything out on the court and no one could ever question his heart – he was relentless, fearless and pound-for-pound, was one of the greatest to ever play the game.”
Allen Iverson will have is No. 3 jersey retired on March 1, when the Sixers host the Washington Wizards.