Former Philadelphia 76er, Allen Iverson, plans to officially announce his retirement from NBA basketball this upcoming week. Iverson last played professionally in 2011 in Turkey, but has made comments about hoping to return to the NBA prior to his plans to retire surfaced. He turned down an offer in China and declined a deal with the Texas Legends, a team in the NBA Developmental League.
After being drafted from Georgetown as the first overall pick by the 76ers in the 1996 NBA Draft, Iverson continued to thrive on the court for thirteen NBA seasons. He was named Rookie of the Year and averaged 23.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game during his first NBA season. In 2001, he led the 76ers to their first NBA Finals since 1983, was named MVP of the NBA All Star Game, and won the NBA Most Valuable Player award.
After ten seasons with Philadelphia, Iverson was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2006 and was the NBA's second highest scorer behind his new teammate, Carmelo Anthony. In 2008, Iverson was traded to the Detroit Pistons, but was quickly moved to the Denver Grizzlies once he was benched by the Pistons' head coach, Michael Curry half way through the season. He signed a one year contract with the Grizzlies, but only played three games for the team and claimed he left for "personal reasons".
In 2009, Iverson returned to the 76ers and remained with the team until March when he decided not to return due to his daughter's health issues.
Iverson's former coach from 1996 to 2003, Larry Brown, commented on Iverson's skills on the court saying, "He might be the greatest athlete I've ever seen. I don't think there'll be another one like him."
While his most recent NBA seasons were somewhat rocky, ESPN named him the fifth greatest NBA shooting guard of all time in 2008 as he was an eleven-time NBA All Star and represented the United States in the 2004 Olympics. Known for his passion and competitive style of play, Iverson will be remembered as a dedicated and hardworking player as he rarely missed games for injuries.
Although fans will be sad to see Iverson's time on the court is officially up, many basketball experts believe there is no doubt he will be elected into the NBA Hall of Fame as he is one of the most legendary basketball players of all time.
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