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Allen Iverson: “I’m formally announcing my retirement from basketball”

Oct 30, 2013, 3:33 PM EDT

Few players have had the impact on the players of today that Allen Iverson did — everyone wanted his look, everyone wanted to emulate his fearless, attacking style.

His career ended in a bit of an awkward way, with fits and starts, but on Wednesday he made the end official.

“I’m formally announcing my retirement from basketball,” Iverson said in a press conference broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet Philly (and streamed live on CSNPhilly.com). “You know, I thought one this day came it would be basically a tragic day. I never imagined the day coming, but I knew it would come. I feel proud and happy to say that I’m happy with my decision and I feel great….

“It’s just a hard life to live. It’s a great one, I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. I have no regrets on anything. People ask me all the time, ‘Do I have any regrets?’ I don’t have any. If I could back and do it all over, would I change anything? No. Obviously if I could go back and change anything I would be a perfect man. And I know there’s no perfect man and there’s no perfect basketball player. So no, I wouldn’t change anything. My career was up and down at times. I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of things I’m not proud of. But it’s only from other people to learn from.”

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Iverson was reflective and grateful in the 10-minute talk, thanking Michael Jordan and Larry Brown for being key parts of his professional career. He also talked about Georgetown.

“I always believed in myself, my mom always told me I could be anything that I wanted to be,” Iverson said. “I truly actually believed it. I fought. I went through a whole lot, trying to get to this point right here. [Former Georgetown] Coach [John] Thompson gave me an opportunity when nobody in the world would and believed in me. Basically saved my life and helped my dream come true.”

He showed off his sense of humor.

“You used to think the suspect was the guy with the corn rows, now you see the police officers with the corn row,” he said.

We’ve known this was coming for a while — frankly a lot of his fans seemed to know the end was there before Iverson himself did.

However that shouldn’t alter our opinion of a future first-ballot Hall of Famer — an 11-time All-Star who averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals a game in his 13-year career. His game had a lot of substance but you can’t think of Iverson without the style — the tattoos (before everybody had them), the cornrows, his fearless attacking style and ability to finish over guys a foot taller than him. That style made him one of the most entertaining players of his generation. He led the charge to bring a hip-hop culture to the game and young African-Americans in particular related to him in a way they did not with other stars.

He changed the game. He should be celebrated and will be tonight in Philadelphia as the Sixers tip off their season.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Does this mean no more practice???

    • arrondior - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      How’s that dead horse? Still dead?

  2. cbking05 - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Is this just part of the 12 step program

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Considering he utterly dominated the game at a mere 5’11″…I consider Iverson to be one of the best pound-for-pound ballers in the history of the sport.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Everyone does.

      • spursareold - Oct 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Nope. When your usage rate is 35%, you’re going to have some highlights. You’re also going to force up ridiculous misses that lead to easy runouts for the other team.

        He was one of the worst chuckers in the history of the NBA. I don’t care about the tats or the ‘rows. When you think that forcing up a shot among 2-3 guys in the paint is a better option for your team than passing out to an teammate for an open 15 footer, you’re just selfish, and your team suffers for it.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        No no no no. You’re talking about Kobe Bryant types.

        Allen Iverson averaged 7+ assists in four different seasons. His career 6.2 average puts him in 2nd all time for highest assist average by a scoring champion since the merger – trailing only LeBron James (6.9). So Iverson has passed out to teammates for open shots more often than any other 4-time scoring champ you know.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      I’d like to remove the “one of the best pound-for-pound ballers” part though.

      • 2nd All-Time in playoff scoring average.
      • 6th All-Time in regular season scoring average.
      • Playoff record for most steals in a game (10!).
      • Record for most consecutive 40 point games scored by a rookie (5).
      • Iverson and Jordan are the only two players in history to lead the league in scoring and steals in the same season.
      • One of only three players to average at least 26 points and 6 assists for their career (Jerry West, LeBron James, Allen Iverson).
      • Only 29 players have ever won an MVP and Iverson is one of them.

      He’s one of the best ballers in history, period!

  4. sgtr0c - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I still get chills when I see the videos of AI cupping his hand to his ear after a great play and the crowd going crazy. Thank You for your awesome playing.

  5. antistratfordian - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    We’ll never forget A.I. One of the greatest to do it. One of my personal all-time greatest players – I’d rank him higher than a lot of greats, just on a subjective level.

  6. beach305 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Would his palming of the basketball be allowed in today’s NBA?

    • rmfields - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Today’s NBA? As in the same NBA that allows LeBron to palm the ball and not get called for it?

      • longtallsam - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Palming has been around for a while now, along with the traveling…most refs just don’t have the balls to call it.

  7. onbucky96 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    A.I. was a killer. I hated and respected his game. Saw him in Milwaukee, the louder we booed, the better he played. He finished over 40 that night. Respect.

    • spursareold - Oct 30, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      Probably took him 42-43 shots to get that, too.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Yeah, but unlike some other chuckers (Kobe or Melo) Iverson was also averaging 8 assists a game.

  8. yousuxxors - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    AI was one of the greatest, I loved watching him play.

  9. bledalotofgreen - Oct 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Who the hell else was gonna shoot the ball george lynch and Tyrone hill spursareold?

  10. mannyicey - Oct 31, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    All I know is that Iverson changed the game, period. What he can do for money is to teach guards how to attack the rim. No one could do that better than AI.

    I mean, people talk about his crossover, but it really wasn’t flashy. It was one tool to use to attack the basket. I mean, if players are paying over $100k to Akeem, they may want to pay Iverson some cash to get those attack moves.

  11. longtallsam - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Yeah, he was a great player, but if he changed the game, it wasn’t for the better.

    • mydoghasfleez - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      He taught the rookies where to hide a gun in the locker room where no one would find it.

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