Sixers Will Retire Allen Iverson’s Number

They will do so at a game. Not at practice.

If it’s starting to feel like Allen Iverson’s post-playing NBA career has lasted nearly as long as his career, you’re not alone. The Sixers have announced they’ll retire Iverson’s number March 1, during a game against the Washington Wizards.

This, of course, comes just months after Iverson’s official retirement from basketball, which in turn happened a year after the Sixers trotted Iverson out like a mascot—retired in all but name—for a playoff game against the Celtics. We’ve been celebrating the end of Iverson’s career for awhile now.


Nothing wrong with that. But riddle me this: Why is Iverson so beloved in this town and Donovan McNabb not? McNabb, by pretty much any measure, was far more accomplished at the team level then Iverson during their careers here, yet it's Iverson who is beloved and McNabb who is treated as a semi-pariah. What am I not getting?

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • John Walter

    You are just extremely wrong on your absurd assertion that “McNabb by pretty much any measure, was ‘far more accomplished’” than Iverson on a team level. Iverson was brought into the league to a terrible team, with zero upside, and turned them into a gritty, city attitude adopted, spectacularly entertaining, and winning team. Iverson was the only true star of the team, and he LED them with heart and grit and extreme talent. After Iverson’s second year, the team never had a losing season. They obviously never truly had the talent to win a championship, but Iverson consistently led them to the playoffs and even to the finals, where, if not for the talent laden Lakers, they likely would have walked away with the title. McNabb, by contrast, had an extremely talented, very well-coached team at his disposal at all times in Philly. He was just lazy and not as “Philly” as Iverson. He was not as talented at football as Iverson at basketball, and he did not command the same affection and attention as a result. I would also like to point out that football is much easier a sport to make the playoffs, especially when you have a good team. Finally, your overall assertion, which is stated as an absolute, loses any form of justification due to the actual absolute fact, that McNabb never won a championship either, and had seasons when his team missed the playoffs. To make such an absolute statement, then he would have to at least have won ONE championship and never missed the cut, division titles and such are not enough, especially in two differing sports. There… riddle solved.

    • Joel Mathis

      McNabb had a better winning percentage in the playoffs. McNabb made it to the conference finals in his sport far more often. So no, riddle not solved.

      I think the “Philly” thing might be more to it, but I’m not sure that reflects well on Philly.