Aldridge: Ex-MVP Iverson To Officially Retire From NBA This Month

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The long, illustrious, controversial career of Allen Iverson appears finally to be coming to an end. The 11-time All-Star is expected to finally and formally announce his retirement in Philadelphia at the end of the month, according to league sources.

Rumors that Iverson was ready to retire were rampant in September, but the 38-year-old guard never made a formal announcement. But sources say that the official announcement is scheduled for Oct. 30, the day after the NBA’s regular season begins, when the 76ers play their home opener against Miami.

In addition, sources indicate that the organization may be discussing some kind of post-playing position for Iverson. Though he wouldn’t be expected to have input with the current coaching staff, Iverson could travel with the team on occasional road trips.

If Iverson is indeed through playing — he had brief dalliances with teams in Turkey and China the last couple of years while trying to get back into the NBA — it will end one of the greatest careers in league history, one in which Iverson’s image and lifestyle made as many headlines as his on-court play.

In 14 NBA seasons, Iverson scored 24,368 points, averaging 26.7 points a game. His point total is 24th on the all-time scoring list.

The first overall pick of the celebrated 1996 Draft, Iverson was an electric performer who sold tickets and jerseys, and was must-see TV for years while carrying the league into the post-Michael Jordan era. Iverson was one of the most dynamic “small men” in league history, standing roughly 5-foot-10, and maybe 170 pounds. But he played with the heart of someone much bigger, repeatedly driving into the paint to challenge anyone who got in his path. His ballhandling skills (some would say occasionally aided by a palm or two) and amazing speed made him almost impossible to guard with one player.

He was not a great 3-point shooter (31.3 percent for his career), and shot a lot more than his teammates. But his drive, will and passion (he always referred to “playing every game as if it’s my last”) always gave his teams a chance.

Demonstrative, often profane, but searingly honest about many of his faults, Iverson lived his life in the public eye, often clashing with the league’s ideals about demeanor and dress. He often wore do-rags over his head, wore his hair in braids and had tattoos all over his body, single-handedly changing the styles of NBA players almost overnight.

The dress code instituted by Commissioner David Stern in 2005, in which players were told to wear “business casual” attire when conducting league business and sport coats and dress shoes while not playing but on the team’s bench, was informally known as the “Iverson Rule.”

Iverson led the 76ers to the 2001 Finals, the same year he was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. His love-hate relationship with then-coach Larry Brown was the source of endless media scrutiny and attention, with each insisting the other was the cause of the problems. In the end, though, both came to have great affection and respect for how they influenced each other.

Iverson outlasted Brown, who departed for the Pistons in 2003. Philadelphia finally dealt Iverson to Denver in 2006, after then-owner Ed Snider granted Iverson’s request to be traded. In a little more than a season and a half for the Nuggets, Iverson had occasional moments of the old brilliance, but Denver lost in the first round of the playoffs in both seasons. Three games into the 2008-09 season, Denver sent Iverson to Detroit.

Iverson was second on the team in scoring in Detroit, but he clashed with first-year coach Michael Curry. The Pistons lost in the first round of the playoffs and didn’t re-sign Iverson in the summer. He signed with Memphis in the offseason, but his time there was a disaster; then-coach Lionel Hollins confronted him during the preseason and demanded he be more team-oriented. After three games, Iverson left the Grizzlies on a personal leave of absence. He played his final 25 NBA games for his old team, the 76ers, in an act of seeming closure both for him and the franchise.

His legacy as one of the league’s all-time greatest players is assured. Almost any young point guard playing today says he emulated Iverson growing up. Just days ago, LeBron James told ESPN the Magazine that Iverson and Jordan were his two favorite players as a kid.

43 Comments

  1. Tikolo says:

    A.I. WAS A GREAT NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT BUT HE CAUSE SOME OF HIS PROBLEMS WHICH I DON’T BLAME HIM CAUSE HE WAS ALWAYS BEING HIMSELF WHICH IS GOOD: BUT AT THE SAME TIME IF YOU DEPEND ON PEOPLE FOR YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER YOU NEED TO KEEP LOW: THIS IS WHAT I AM HOPING THAT YOUNG KIDS LEARN THAT NO ONE IS ABOVE ANYTHING AND IF YOU THINK NO ONE CAN TOUCH YOU AT SOME POINT THINKS WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU: I THINK A.I. DID WELL MADE A LOT OF MONEY AND HE CAN MOVED ON A LIVE A GOOD LIFE. GOD BLESS A.I. YOU WERE DIFFERENT AND WAS PRETTY GOOD ON THE BASKETBALL COURT.

  2. Kp says:

    Kobe AI Tmac. the three players I consider the best of my generation.

  3. mezstah says:

    AI best ever pound for pound

  4. Riow says:

    I still miss his crossover.

  5. Eric_Suede says:

    Actually the sixer are going to be AWFUL this year. They should sign him for this last year. It can’t get any worse for the Sixers franchise.

  6. toaklief says:

    I’m rocking my AI jersey today & see that the guy is retiring…coincidence??? i think not. definately in my top 5 as far as giving his all on the court. tough defender & relentless going to the rim vs the bigs. the game has missed his persona since it cleaned up its image. there will NEVER be another. EVER.

  7. Slickly says:

    Pound for pound the best scorer to eve play the nba. Miami sign AI!

  8. Mg says:

    Does anyone really care about this? Really?
    Dude never won a thing in college, the NBA or international competition…………that should tell u something.

  9. ח says:

    Thanks u Allen Iverson for all those great plays. Good luck after your basketball career.

  10. babyyyjuggah says:

    Jordan isnt as great anymore as he should be coz of what AI did to him… This guy put a little scar on jordans legacy just coz of that one play. LOL

  11. TJ says:

    The NBA hasn’t been the same since his departure and probably never will be.

  12. eric m says:

    he almost single handed-ly dragged the sixers to an nba championship , and i do mean dragged . Allen iverson ,the livest one

  13. alex says:

    someone sign this guy. he can still contribute. We need to get a petition going, Don’t retire Iverson.

  14. DottaBoi says:

    Yo check it A.I was the best player nba NBA from 1996-2005. Nobody touched is work ethic or dedication to this game. I grew up wanting to be jus lyke him. I bought every single shoe he came out wit lol. And now as we stand to c a great say im done its sad his love makes it hard and im heartbroken actully and i cant stand it. He is the ultimate competitor we ever had. Yes some ppl might say Jordan or might wanna downgrade him for whyt he did n mephis but if yu can do whyt yu do for 14 years and stay at the top of yur game and kill the league then yu r a mastermind. Alllen will b thyt person we look to wen we c players playin lyke pussies honestly. Becuz he came with aggresivness and he dindt stop. So to the best scorer of the 2000’s era i salute yu. I am a lebron fan all day but yu did something he has to accomplish first. And thyt is the will to win without doubt. A.I top 10 of all tyme period signing out

  15. glen hutchings says:

    Definitely one best point/shooting guards ever to play in the league,period i am A.I bias he is still better than 70% of the league.

  16. Chris says:

    I am so dissapointed that the league blackballed him.

  17. A.I. good luck to you and your family, You was one of the greatest guards in the NBA.In your era You showed a lots of guts and hart Playing this game of basketball .NBA needs more Guys like you Good luck all the way from Chicago (Arthur) . But im always a Bulls Fan.

  18. Franck says:

    AI thanks for all the memories. I was a HUGE fan of yours!
    good luck with the next project
    AI first ballot HOF or I am bombing Springfield to the stone age……NSA i dont really mean that, its a metaphor.

  19. pio2u says:

    Good luck Bubba Chuck!!!

  20. Brian says:

    Sad to hear AI finally retiring from the NBA. I wish he could’ve played more seasons in the NBA. He was my favorite player back in the 90’s and what a true athlete and performer he was. One of the best players I have seen on tv and on court. My one and only memorable event of him playing was when I went to Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals in LA. I had on an Iverson jersey and boy he lit up the crowd and dazzled everyone with his killer crossovers and scoring the ball at ease for a 5’10” guard. I was thrilled that they won that only game in the series but well worth it! Thanks AI for all the memories and I wish you farewell.

  21. Albert Thornton says:

    Allen Iverson to me you are one of the greatest players of the NBA. I would love to see you comeback and play one or two more season’s. Even if you don’t your still one of the greatest players in the NBA may God and Jesus bless you.

    Albert L. Thornton

  22. Sharon says:

    Allen Iverson was the ANSWER. He lit up the basketball court. He proved that you don’t have to be 7 feet tall to play the game well. I wish you well, my brother. Much love. Sharon

  23. B Radd says:

    Man… The Answer came after the post Jordan era and gave us something to entertain us. A.I. carried part of the torch helping the NBA carry the standard worldwide for all basketball fanatics. The NBA turn it’s back on this superstar after making millions off of his talents, name and endorsements. One more year, is all I ask. Steve Nash is 40, so there is still a chance.

  24. Emazing says:

    He should just come out of retirement after he retires and finish his basketball career in the NBA and not overseas. Just pick up Iverson for a year and let him perform.

  25. It’s ironic that fans who don’t know anything will always quote “Practice” when this guy was the ultimate 110% athlete. He always gave you your money’s worth. Playing hurt, diving into the stands head first, etc. Along with Jordan, Kobe, and Bird he was an alpha dog to the max. He always showed up.
    True that

  26. Siouxper Man says:

    Nothing but mad LOVE and RESPECT to AI. He was my favorite player growing up and i dont know where i’d be on a basketball level without watchin him.

  27. tkolo says:

    A.I. ONE OF THE BEST IN OUR TIME; WISH YOU WELL: HOPE YOUNG KIDS LEARN SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE TO PROLONG THINGS ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE WORKING ON YOUR FAVOUR. WITH A.I HE WAS WHAT HE WAS AND HE BACKS THINGS UP WITH HIS PLAY. GOD BLESS YOU A.I. FOR SHOWING WHAT YOU ARE MADE OFF AND I AM VERY PROUD. YOU SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME WITH OUT A QUESTION;

  28. Amro says:

    Please, no, Allen! You can matchup easily with these young guards.

  29. Sharon says:

    Good luck to you Allen, I too enjoyed watching you play. Was sincerely hoping to see a comeback, but I wish you well in the future. Please keep your head up!!

  30. GEOFF says:

    “Only the STRONG survives”. Long live THE ANSWER

  31. the m dog says:

    come on guys! hes really not that good!

    • Jordan L says:

      COME ON GUY you really need TO GO CHECK YA STATS….an then ask the guys that had to guard him

    • Rhedz says:

      Well, not to you..But to most of us who grew up watching A.I crossing over and breaking ankles…there wont be another him..He’s not the greatest nor the best of the best but he was good at what he did. He was not the perfect role model athelete but he sure gave hope and inspired millions and billions of souls around the planet. He played with heart and determination. I grew up in Jordan era mid 80s to 90’s so I cant say I don’t know who A.I is..In fact at one point in my life I wanted to be like him..If some kids wanted to be “Mike” some kids are sure wanted to be “A.I” when they grow up.

      Just to wrap things up..He might not be good to you…But he was one of the greatest to many…If u can’t see that then I pity you…For not seeing and recognizing what greatness is all about…

      Long Lived A.I

  32. Br says:

    It’s ironic that fans who don’t know anything will always quote “Practice” when this guy was the ultimate 110% athlete. He always gave you your money’s worth. Playing hurt, diving into the stands head first, etc. Along with Jordan, Kobe, and Bird he was an alpha dog to the max. He always showed up.

    • Sharon says:

      Agreed, thanks for dropping some knowledge!

    • Practice says:

      And if he went to practice, he’d be at 120%!

    • Jordan L says:

      T0P 15 ALL TIME POUND FOR POUND WE TALKING ABOUT (PRACTICE) LETS TALK ABOUT (HEART) SOMETHING A LOT OF THESE ATHLETES KNOW NOTHING ABOUT LETS TALK ABOUT (CARRYING A SQUAD OF BENCH PLAYERS TO THE NBA FINALS) THEN LETS TALK ABOUT THE CRY BABIES THAT FOLDED A LOT QUICKER WITH A LOT MORE TALENT AROUND THEM …THEN LETS TALK ABOUT (BLACKBALLED BY DAVID STERN AN HALF THE OFFICIALS INT HE LEAGUE) A.I =ALL IN =DIE FOR THE GAME…

      • BNT says:

        I got love for A.I. He did a ton with really no one else. But that was mostly his fault. When he got there they had Stackhouse and those 2 couldnt get along. Iverson wanted it to be his team when stack had been there a yr already and was leading them. Then they had larry hughes and tim thomas. Samething again iverson didnt want to share the light. So even though its a shame he didn’t have more help or he’d have a ring, a good amount of the blame for that is his own.

  33. Larry says:

    Goodbye Iverson. You were truly one of the greatest to play the game. The NBA owes you for being the face of the league after Jordan left. There will never be another like you. Hope you can get a job helping to develop the next generation of players. Peace and good luck.

  34. Portuguese fan says:

    Thanks for all the great plays AI

  35. BEVAN says:

    WISH YOU WELL A.I.

  36. Undefined says:

    Really? No mention of his infamous “Practice” rant?
    For Shame!