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October 19, 2013

Iverson is officially hanging them up

October 19, 2013 - After previous speculation, it's certain; future National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and Georgetown University star Allen Iverson will indeed retire, ending a 14 year National Basketball Association career. The ceremony, as reported by David Aldridge on NBA.com will occur October 30th in Philadelphia, when that city's 76'ers host Miami in its first home game of the 2013-2014 season.

A mercurial, basketball wunderkind, Iverson thrilled college basketball between 1994 and 1996, shining for Georgetown. During his brief two year Hilltop career, Iverson, or 'Bubbachuck' as he was known in his native Hampton, VA, garnered a first team All-American nod in 1996, while also being tabbed BIG EAST Rookie of the Year ('95) and the league's Player of the Year ('96). While a Hoya, Iverson not only changed the team's offensive style - it became dominated by him and a fast break ethos - but returned it to the forefront of the college game's consciousness.

Prior to arriving in D.C., Iverson was jailed for a 1993 bowling alley melee, one with racial overtones. That ugly cloud hung over his trial as well, as misdemeanor charges were ramped to felony ones virtually by judicial fiat, and the fact that no white participants were charged. A subsequent five year sentence was later quashed through clemency granted by then Virginia Governor Doug Wilder.

Though he didn't face legal troubles as broad in the NBA, after being the first pick in the league's 1996 draft Iverson was nevertheless a lightning rod for scrutiny and controversy, including his playing style - he liked to get shots up - on court demeanor and off court lifestyle.

Nevertheless companies like Reebok and the NBA itself benefited from his ethos, which included tattoos and corn rolls, a 'steelo' heavily informed by and drawn from rap music.

On NBA hardwoods, Iverson well, dominated, winning 11 All-Star appointments in 14 seasons, was good for 26.7 points a game, 24,368 total points and a 24th slotting on the league's all time scoring list.

Additionally for Iverson, who led the 76'ers to 2001's NBA Finals, a MVP award was also secured that year. Seven consecutive All-NBA nods were earned ('98-'99 through '05-'06), as well as two All-Star Game MVP awards.

Seven times Iverson, also nicknamed A.I. during his pro career, led the league in minutes, further highlighting the 6'0", 165 pound guard's credentials as one of the toughest players in the league. He's certainly believed to be on the short, short list of best little men the NBA has ever seen.

NBA teams he played for: Philadelphia, Denver, Detroit and Memphis, with multiple stops in Philly, where he played his last game in the 'L' on 2.20.2010, notching 13 points and 3 assists.

Following the 'L' was a 10 game stint in Turkey with Besiktas. That was not his only foray into international basketball, as Iverson also played in the 1995 World University Games, the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship (both gold medal winning efforts), and the 2004 Olympics (bronze was secured).

Iverson has not been a fixture at Georgetown since his departure, but is venerated for his work there and later. Conversations have raged on HoyaReport.com regarding his status as the best guard and/or player to ever where Blue and Grey. Many feel he certainly can lay claim to the backcourt performer acknowledgement, and is in the running for the overall nod.

Whatever your take, Allen Iverson's impact, no holds barred playing style and excitement brought must be respected. There were few, if any, like him.

Discuss Iverson's impact at G'Town, in the NBA, and on society as a whole, on Premium Court.


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