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How Great Was Allen Iverson’s Retirement Press Conference?

Submitted by on October 31, 2013 – 11:32 amNo Comment

Allen Iverson is finished playing professional basketball. Okay, okay, so technically, Iverson has been finished playing professional basketball for quite some time now. He last played in the NBA back in 2010 when he was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. But AI made his NBA retirement official in Philadelphia yesterday when he held a press conference to talk about his desire to retire as a 76er as well as to reflect back on his playing days. And it was, in a word, amazing. AI touched on his time in the league, his teammates, what he plans to do now that he’s retired, and the legacy that he feels he left.

“I gave everything I had to basketball,” he said. “The passion is still there but the desire to play is not. It was a great ride…I took an ass kicking for me being me in my career. For me looking the way I look and me dressing the way I dress. It was just me being me. Now, look around, now all of the guys in the NBA have tattoos. You used to think the suspect was the guy with the cornrows. Now you see the police officers with cornrows. I took a beating for those type of things and I’m proud to say I changed a lot with this culture and this game.”

AI is right, too. He did have a major impact on the NBA, both with what he did on the court as well as what he did off it. On it, he was a scrappy, hard-nosed player who had more heart than just about anyone who has ever played in the NBA. Off it, he ushered in a new era in the NBA simply by being himself. He didn’t dress the way the NBA wanted him to dress or talk the way the NBA wanted him to talk. But a whole generation of guys grew up idolizing AI and, over time, the league and the country as a whole came to accept AI and respect the influence that he had. So to see him celebrating that at his retirement ceremony was something special.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like AI wants to have a whole lot to do with the NBA or basketball moving forward. During his final press conference, he said that he does want to stay involved with the game somehow. But he’s done playing, he doesn’t want to coach, and he doesn’t want to be actively involved in basketball 24/7 anymore. So where does that leave him? We’ll just have to wait and see. But for now, AI is finished with the NBA. And as much as it hurts for us to see him go, we’re glad that he was given the opportunity to leave on his own terms. We wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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