“He had a magnificent career, and he enjoyed every minute of it,” says the source. “He enjoyed the places basketball took him, he enjoyed the camaraderie with his teammates and he especially enjoyed that his job was playing the game that he loved.”
“He loves his fans more than anyone,” says the source. “He loves how they ask for his return constantly, on the streets and on the internet. But now that they know it’s not happening, he can just focus on his future endeavors.”
Iverson, who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010, was one of the most iconic players in NBA history. His relentless competitiveness for a player his size — Iverson was listed at just 6’0″, 160 lbs — and hip-hop culture-inspired flair off the court identified to many of the NBA’s young fans in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Iverson’s laid back style of dressing even influenced the NBA to change their dress code, which was a testament to the type of impact Iverson had on the league.
Here’s video of Iverson crossing over and sinking a jump shot over Michael Jordan in 1997, which is one of the greatest moments in the NBA in the 90’s:
SLAM also spoke with Iverson’s former head coach Larry Brown:
“He might be the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen,” Larry Brown, Iverson’s coach from 1997-2003 and the current coach at SMU, told SLAM today. “I don’t think there’ll be another one like him.
“I’m sure we faced a lot of obstacles, maybe even on a daily basis, but when it came time to play, to try to win a game, he tried to play as hard as he could for his coach.”
Iverson has made attempts to ressurrect his career in recent years but was unable to secure much interest from NBA teams. He had a brief but unsuccessful stint overseas. He also has ran into legal and financial issues involving his divorce and other incidents.
Iverson, a 11-time All_Star, averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game over his 14-year career with the Sixers, Nuggets, Pistons and Grizzlies. He ranks 19th overall in points scored (24,368), led the league in scoring four times and has the sixth highest points per game average in NBA history. He also won the NBA MVP award in 2001 and led the Sixers to the NBA finals that season. He was selected first overall in the 1996 NBA draft, the same draft that featured NBA greats Ray Allen, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.
Powered by Sidelines