The Philadelphia 76ers retired Iverson's No. 3 jersey Saturday night against the Washington Wizards, drawing responses from plenty of current players who are still enraptured by the 6'0" sensation (h/t Beyond the Buzzer).
Among them was LeBron James, who used Instagram to show how much of an inspiration Iverson was to him:
In the caption of that photo, James revealed that Iverson is the reason he has tattoos and wears a sleeve and headband. So, you know, wow.
Infrequent Instagram-er and former teammate Carmelo Anthony waxed nostalgia and brotherly ties about the diminutive guard as well:
Kobe Bryant couldn't pass up the opportunity to provide us with a snapshot of the Black Mamba-The Answer embrace, either:
Fellow No. 3 representative Dwyane Wade joined in on the tribute-dropping, too:
George Hill of the Indiana Pacers, another player who dons No. 3, called AI one of his "all-time favorite players:"
Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler helped give Iverson's jersey a proper sendoff, calling him one of the "realest" to ever play the game:
Newly acquired Pacer Evan Turner joined the festivities as well, reinforcing the notion that Iverson is "Pound for pound one of the greatest of all time" in the below picture:
Leandro Barbosa paid his respects to Bubba Chuck with a throwback picture of him contesting one of Iverson's many shot attempts:
Andre Iguodala took us way, way (way) back, with a photo of Iverson clothed in a Georgetown Hoyas uniform:
Being the innovator that he is, Jamal Crawford managed to get in on the fun using Twitter instead of Instagram:
Just watched @alleniverson's retirement ceremony. Brought back many memories watching his highlights. I had 35 pix of him on my wall in hs..— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) March 2, 2014
Baron Davis put forth more tales of real in honor of AI's honesty:
While technically not an NBA star, new commissioner Adam Silver dropped a bomb of his own, via NBA TV:
Former coach Larry Brown also put his two cents in, talking about his purpose in life, as opposed to talking about practice (see what I did there?):
Larry Brown (via video): "God put me here to coach you." #AI3Forever— Philadelphia 76ers (@Sixers) March 2, 2014
All in all, it was a successful Saturday night in the NBA, if only because we were reminded how special a player Iverson was and how significant an influence he continues to be.
Happy trails, AI.