Allen Iverson Jersey Retirement Ceremony: Philadelphia 76ers Honor Former Star

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2014

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The Philadelphia 76ers retired Allen Iverson's No. 3 jersey on Saturday night during halftime of their game against the Washington Wizards. It's the eighth jersey the organization has retired.

via B/R posted some video of ceremony:

With a player as beloved as Iverson, you knew the ceremony would be impressive. The fans in the Wells Fargo Center gave AI a standing ovation on multiple occasions.

He made sure to give the affection right back, per the 76ers:

One of the more touching moments came from Larry Brown, who said via a video package that God put him on this earth to coach Iverson:

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver also commented during his speech that Iverson was one of his favorite players, per NBA TV:

Before the game, Iverson was presented with an oil painting and a championship belt from the 76ers organization:

He also received a bass fishing boat, aptly dubbed "The Answer" to enjoy in retirement, per Michael Lee of The Washington Post:

During pregame warmups, all of Philadelphia's players wore No. 3 shooting shirts:

As you'd expect, the Iverson jerseys were also out in full force among the fans.

Following the ceremony, Iverson discussed his career in a press conference (via video

Iverson had some rough patches with the team towards the end of his tenure in Philadelphia, but that didn't diminish the love bestowed upon him by the Philadelphia fans on Saturday, per Yahoo Sports' Kelly Dwyer:

Those Philly fans decided to make light of what has become one of Iverson's most famous moments—his "practice" speech—per the Point Forward's Ben Golliver:

Nobody will argue that this isn't a deserved honor. AI's fingerprint is all over the team's record book. He's second all time in points scored, third in assists and second in steals. Iverson also almost single-handedly carried the 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001. Him stepping over Tyronn Lue in Game 1 is one of the most iconic images in franchise history.

AI thanked many members of that team, including Aaron McKie, Eric Snow and Dikembe Mutombo, during his speech.

Iverson won an MVP Award for his performance during that transcendent 2000-01 season, and he would go on to be an 11-time All-Star and get named to three All-NBA First Teams.

Along with his on-court accomplishments, there's also the culture shift that he helped spark, as former NBA star Baron Davis pointed out:

The Philadelphia 76ers are unlikely to find another Allen Iverson ever again. His game and personality were both one of a kind. It was appropriate he received such a lavish send-off.