May 23, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia 76ers former guard Allen Iverson before the start of game six against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson to Officially Retire

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Allen Iverson is reported to announce his official retirement in the near future.  He was “The Answer” for the Sixers, and the name of the franchise throughout my childhood.  Although he hasn’t played in an NBA game in three years, his presence in Philadelphia will be greatly missed.

Iverson was drafted 1st out of Georgetown in the 1996 Draft and was an 11-time NBA All-Star.  In his 14 years in the NBA he averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game.  He helped the Sixers make it to the NBA finals once in 2001, and was named MVP  the same year.  His NBA career included stints with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, and of course, the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played for over 10 years.  He leads the Sixers’ franchise in 40-point games and 3-pointers as well.  His last professional game was in Turkey in 2011.

Although Iverson was considered small by NBA standards at 6 foot, 170 pounds, his competitive nature lead him to be considered by many as one of the greatest shooting guards in the league and a skilled ball handler.  The Sixers honored Iverson in March with a bobblehead night where he hinted that he still hoped to play professional basketball in the NBA.  However, he had shot down opportunities for a comeback  both in the NBA Development League and in China just months before.  Iverson held out hope to make it back to the NBA, but at 38, it seems that his basketball career is coming to an end.  Iverson is probably the best player I’ve ever had the chance to see play in Philadelphia, and I have no doubt he will go down as one of the greatest 76ers in history.

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