Allen Iverson: Voted Starter for Eastern Conference All Stars

Phil AndrewsCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2010

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  Allen Iverson #1 of the Eastern Conference smiles during the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It wasn’t that long ago that Allen Iverson had contemplated retirement, until Philadelphia asked him to rethink his decision and return to the city where his NBA career started.

On Dec. 3, 2009, A-I signed a free agent contract with the Sixers and to date has started 16 games, averaging 14.8 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game.  He is also shooting a career-high tying 46.1 percent from the floor this season.

Tonight, the 34-year-old Iverson was named a starter for the Eastern Conference All Star Game.  It is Iverson's 11th straight All-Star appearance and his first as a Sixer since 2006, which is also the last time Philadelphia has had a player in the All-Star Game.

"I just want to thank everybody for their support this season and it's an honor that the fans have voted me into the All-Star Game as a starter," Iverson said. "The fans are who make us and make the NBA so popular.  This year is even more special because that I'll be representing a city and fans that I love and a team that has been such a big part of my life throughout my career."

Iverson finished second among Eastern Conference guards with 1,269,568 votes, trailing only Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade at the position, despite appearing on the All-Star ballot among Western Conference guards.

An All-Star Game MVP in 2001 and 2005, Iverson becomes just the 26th player in league history to earn at least 11 All-Star appearances.  He made his first All-Star team at the age of 24 back in 2000.

I was actually at last night's Sixers-Trail Blazers game here in Philly, and while it’s clear Allen has lost a step or two, there were still flashes of the Iverson that NBA fans had come to appreciate over the years, like that vintage fall away jumper.

Iverson recently played the 900th game of his career against Toronto on Jan 8.  He is 24 steals away from becoming the 12th player in league history to accumulate 2,000 over a career.

The Sixers selected Iverson with the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.  In 2001, he helped guide the Sixers to the NBA Finals, earning the league's Most Valuable Player award that season for his efforts.

Iverson has been named to a total of seven All-NBA teams (First Team in 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2004-05; Second Team in 1999-00, 2001-02 and 2002-03; Third Team in 2005-06).  He led the NBA in scoring four times as a Sixer, becoming one of only four players in league history to capture four-plus scoring titles.  Iverson is also the second leading scorer in franchise history, trailing only Hal Greer.


Note : Iverson quote courtesy Philadelphia Seventy Sixers.