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Allen Iverson returns to Philly, talks about return to court

May 24, 2012, 2:04 AM EDT

Philadelphia fans are not fair-weathered about Allen Iverson — they love him. At times during his years with the team it was tough love. But in the end Iverson did all you can ask of a player as a fan — he gave it his all every night. Iverson left it on the floor. He played with passion.

Hence the rousing welcome when he walked the game ball out Wednesday night before Game 6 of the Sixers/Celtics series. A series that is now tied and headed back to Boston for Game 7.

Iverson talked about those Philly fans during an in-game interview with Lisa Salters on ESPN:

“I love these fans, and obviously they showed me a lot of love here,” Iverson said. “I was basically trying to hurry up and get off the court. My legs started wobbling, I was getting ready to tear up, my eyes got teary and my lips started shaking. I knew it was time to go, so I hurried up and tried to get off the court.”

Iverson also talked about a return to the game, not retirement.

“I’m not using that word (retirement)…” he said. “The way it is right now, I’ve accepted the fact that (returning to play in the NBA) might not happen. But I still want to play basketball. If I can get an opportunity to where it’s going to make me happy at the end of my career, I’ll take that opportunity. But I just love to play and I want to have another opportunity to play on the professional level.”

I don’t see him ever getting another shot in the NBA. But he could be a big draw and made some money overseas if he can find the right fit.

Whatever he does, he knows the fans in Philly are behind him.

  1. diamondmo33 - May 24, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    On the court, he was always my favorite
    Player. That crossover on Jordan still makes me smile.

    • thefaytalist - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      I was there when it happened. My father took me to that game for my 12th birthday.

      Epic.

  2. stoudemelo - May 24, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Rather see Iverson put on a Knick jersey then Lamar Kardashian

    • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      If Iverson ever puts on a Knicks jersey I will throw up all over myself. That would be a low point in my NBA fan career.

      • dennisund - May 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        It appears as though you already have.

      • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Sorry, the sight of him in Knicks Blue and Orange would be too much to handle. It would be like Bird in a Lakers jersey for a Celtics fan.

  3. jeffw - May 24, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    The guy was always a bit if a mess in his personal life, but it would be hard for you to find anyone who played and competed harder, night after night, than Iverson.

  4. drunkenjunk - May 24, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    Always loved A.I, favorite player growing up and the only guy that could ever make me root for a Philly team.

    • dexterismyhero - May 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      You don’t remember Doctor J?

      • drunkenjunk - May 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        i’ve seen his highlights, he retired a little after I was born. The first basketball I remember watching was Jordans first title.

  5. flyerscup2010 - May 24, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Allen IS Philadelphia. Seeing him last night was great.

  6. trbowman - May 24, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Long live AI!

    How can teams not want him? He’s still good and he WANTS it

  7. nokoolaidcowboy - May 24, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    If he really wants back in, he will be willing to play ANYWHERE. And hopefully he has matured. A struggling team/market can always use an experienced veteran. But it would be better if that vet has leadership skills and understands the importance of practice among other team activities.

    • duane888 - May 24, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Practice?? Did you just say practice?? ha ha…..

  8. lemfaxx - May 24, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    I wish him a championship ring

  9. st7007 - May 24, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    If Gilbert arenas, the tall bum that sit the end of Miami bench, can get picked up than A.I can.

    • phaden27 - May 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      Memphis :P

    • kappneffect - May 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Wait , what?! Are you saying that Gilbert Arenas plays in Miami? For the Heat? When the hell did that happen? Last I checked he got bounced in 7 by LA…..

      • rbrow018 - May 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        the sad part is that ur both wrong

      • kappneffect - May 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        Oh??? Prove it. The not so sad part is I KNOW I am right. He indeed was a Grizzly this year during the playoffs. These are facts.

      • kylos13 - May 26, 2012 at 4:19 AM

        no, kappeneffect is right, he did get bounced in 7 by the Clips sitting on the Memphis bench

  10. ovi8lebron6 - May 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Thought he was talking about practice…

  11. rbrow018 - May 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    you mean this gilbert arenas………………………..http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/974/gilbert-arenas

    • kappneffect - May 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Wait… you say I am wrong and then present facts that back up the validity of my statements. Thank you, sir.

  12. somekat - May 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I just like the fact that he came sporting a Lou Williams jersey

  13. mannyicey - May 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Allen Iverson isn’t going to play in the NBA again. He may get his shot in Europe to get down. But he’s going to eventually retire. I hope he gets to put on a Sixers jersey for one day, have a press conference and then walk away to a booth with a microphone somewhere.

    He’s a Sixer. My 3rd best (Dr. J, Maurice Cheeks go 1 and 2, for me. Then AI then Barkley.) A.I. just played like he was 6’8″ sometimes, that’s all.

    • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      He’s number 1 for me, but I was very young for the Dr. J/Cheeks/Moses era. What a competitor.

    • sasquash20 - May 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Top 5 Sixers of all time.

      1-Wilt-(main guy on one of the best championship teams of all time)
      2-Dr.J-(Smooth as silk and big part of greatest team ever put together)
      3-Moses-(Rebounding machine, without him Dr.J doesn’t win NBA title)
      4-Hal Greer-(HOFer and world champion, team player)
      5-A.I or C.Barkley-(I would take Barkley but only because A.I never got the whole team concept, A.I would have been number 2 on this list if he wasn’t so selfish and tried to be a team player)

      Cheeks was a very good PG(and I loved him) but 2nd all time on the Sixers is the dumbest thing I ever read in my entire life.

      • bbil2012 - May 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        Probably doesn’t realize the NBA existed in the 50′s and 60′s. Or even basketball at all.
        Wilt was born in Philly. C’mon man!

  14. CaJonMcChicken - May 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    The Answer, 1st ballot HOFer!

  15. spavs412 - May 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    He only wants to return so he can practice not a game just practice

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