While I’m sure he will have an extremely difficult time topping Donovan McNabb’s number five retirement ceremony (extreme sarcasm), tomorrow evening’s Allen Iverson number three retirement ceremony will offer numerous things to Sixers fans.
The first of the things it will offer, is a game worth attending—even though the Wizards will likely wipe the floor with what remains of the Sixers. Beyond that, it gives Sixers fans a break from all of the tanking talk, while at the same time reminding fans of how far getting the number one pick and landing a franchise-changing player can take you.
Prior to the game, the team will have a whole host of Iverson-related activities, including a barber at the game who will apparently carve Allen Iverson into your hair (sounds cool and creepy at the same time), and they will also begin sales on this ‘Allen Iverson Sixers Forever’ patch that will be worn on the jerseys of all the Sixers players tomorrow.
Per the team’s website, the halftime ceremony will be when the number three is raised for good, with a few special friends from around the NBA in attendance.
During an extended halftime ceremony, Allen Iverson’s number 3 will rise to the rafters, joining Sixers legends Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving and others in becoming just the eighth player in team history to have his number retired. Dignitaries expected to speak during the ceremony include NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris and Iverson himself.
Special guests for the ceremony and game include Sixers greats Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Moses Malone, Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff, along with Gary Payton and Pat Croce. Members of The Roots are also expected to be in attendance, as well as other surprise guests.
For anyone wondering why Payton will be there, he was a mentor to Iverson throughout the course of his legendary career, and claims to have influenced Iverson’s mentality on practice.
There is no word whether Iverson will make an appearance before the game, or won’t be brought out until halftime, but either way the ceremony will be special. (On second though, given his history of being late to things, the Sixers might not want to tell A.I. not to show up until halftime.)
In many senses, tomorrow night will be a refreshing reminder of how great Iverson was and how much he did with so little. Those things, and the fact that the Sixers have been a completely mediocre team since Iverson put the team on his back (the rare case where that phrase is actually true), to take the Sixers to the Finals 13 years ago. 13. And the Sixers shouldn’t be tanking to get another number one pick, why?
Full details of the plan for tomorrow night’s festivities can be read here.