Celtics vs. 76ers: Philadelphia Honors Allen 'the Answer' Iverson Before Game 6

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 26:  Basketball player Allen Iverson smiles during a news conference at the Thomas & Mack Center to announce the Las Vegas Superstar Challenge October 26, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three-game tournament will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 12 and 13, 2011, and will feature four teams made up of NBA players, former NBA players and rookies. Iverson will serve as a captain for one of the teams.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers did something really cool before their pivotal Game 6 matchup against the Boston Celtics tipped off.

Down 3-2 in their best-of-seven series, the home team decided to call upon the greatest player in franchise history for some good luck.

Team co-owner and CEO Adam Aron asked Allen Iverson to hand the game ball to the referees right before tipoff. The crowd was roaring in approval and Iverson looked to be soaking up every moment of the warm gesture. Here is a snapshot tweeted out by the official Bleacher Report Twitter feed of A.I. sitting by the 76ers bench.

Iverson came out wearing a No. 23 Lou Williams jersey, a moment that had to be absolutely thrilling for the 25-year-old guard.

A.I. played in Philadelphia for 12 seasons, including a 2001 trip to the NBA Finals. In his career, he won an MVP, Rookie of the Year, played in 11 All-Star games and won the scoring title in four different seasons. He was one of the greatest players of the 2000s and deserves to be recognized for his efforts.

 

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 20: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers moves against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 122-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees tha
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He will forever be associated with this franchise, and it's a very classy move by the organization to show its support, even at a time when the headlines about him aren't so positive.

The gesture set the fans off into a frenzy, and the crowd noise stayed at a piercing pitch for seemingly the first six minutes of the quarter after Iverson stepped aside.

I think Not Bill Walton speaks for a lot of fans with this tweet after watching the touching pregame festivities:  

David Stern would get infinite cool points if he allowed Allen Iverson to actually play in this game.

— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 24, 2012

 

Great move by the 76ers, and hopefully the franchise ensures A.I. remains in the organization's good graces for the foreseeable future.