Revealed to SlamOnline, Iverson – who has not played in the NBA since 2010 – has decided to officially step away from the game. At 38 years of age the controversial superstar has brought to an end what will be considered a memorable career both on and off the court.
On the court, “AI” was known for being the little man on the court with the biggest heart. He was listed at 6'0 and 165 pounds but many believed he was even smaller than that. In 14 years of service he played for the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons and most notably the Philadelphia 76ers. His 26.7 points per game have him currently sitting 6th on the all time list of scorers that have stepped foot on the NBA floor. Iverson completed four seasons that saw him score more than 30 points per outing.
In 2001 he won his only MVP award when he led the 76ers to the NBA Finals where they would surprise the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1, but proceed to lose the next four straight games. During that year he would end with 31.1 points per game and 2.5 steals which led the league in both categories.
Iverson would remain one of the best shooting guards in the league for a good number of years after that. When he was traded to Denver in 2007 he would be paired with Carmelo Anthony on a team that featured a lot of talent but would never materialize into a sustained playoff run. After that he became a journeyman of sorts as he moved around to the Pistons and Memphis before spending a year playing in Turkey.
Off the court, Iverson was a cautionary tale for professional athletes. Many will remember him for the “Practice” rant in which he refused to practice with the 76ers and multiple other episodes where he seemed unrelenting to develop his natural talents for the game. His spending habits led to a financial disaster that has the player who made nearly more than $150 million dollars from just salary to be nearly broke today.
Allen Iverson gave the “little guy” hope that they could survive in the land of giants which is the NBA. While his career never developed into what it should have been, he should still be considered Hall of Fame talent when that time comes. Fans and experts alike will be left to wonder “what if” whenever talking or thinking about the career of “AI.”