The Philadelphia 76ers honored an all-time great and one of the most iconic players of the past 20 years on Saturday night, retiring the No. 3 jersey of Allen Iverson during a special halftime ceremony. With the Sixers taking on the Washington Wizards, the team took the opportunity to celebrate one of its most special players.
The celebration didn't disappoint as Philadelphia fans chanted "MVP" and cheered for Iverson throughout the entire presentation. It all led up to the unveiling of Iverson's banner as it was lifted into the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.
Drafted No. 1 overall by Philadelphia in 1996 out of Georgetown, Iverson quickly became the Sixers' star player and one of the most electric scorers in the league. During his 11-plus seasons in Philly, Iverson won Rookie of the Year, two All-Star Game MVPs, 2001 NBA MVP and earned seven All-NBA honors.
Iverson also led the 76ers to their last NBA Finals appearance, back in 2001. During that incredible playoff run, he played over 46 minutes per game and averaged 32.9 points, 6.1 assists and 2.4 steals a night. There's no doubt that the little man could score -- he led the league in points per game four times.
All of it makes the celebration on Saturday night a no-brainer. While Iverson had some less-than-great times in the public eye, earning his fair share of controversy, he could also play basketball like few others. Iverson made the Sixers relevant for a long time, and he deserved the cheers he received from a welcoming crowd on Saturday.
Iverson is the eighth Sixers player to have his jersey retired. He joins Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Charles Barkley (No. 34), Julius Erving (No. 6),(No. 24), (No. 10), Billy Cunningham (No. 32) and Hal Greer (No. 15) in the rafters at Wells Fargo Center.