Allen Iverson Set to Make Philly Basketball Return

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Hey, Sixers fans — wouldn’t you kill for just one more opportunity to cheer on Allen Iverson as he breaks ankles at the Wells Fargo Center? Now you’ve got your chance.

The Answer will be playing basketball in Philadelphia again on July 16th as part of rapper/actor/triple-double machine Ice Cube’s new venture, the BIG3, a traveling three-on-three basketball league featuring ex-NBA stars and other former pros looking for a paycheck. Read more »

WATCH: Iverson Talks His Most Memorable NBA Moment

Allen Iverson was on SportsCenter on Monday before the Sixers game and interviewed about his most memorable moment in the NBA. Was it winning the Eastern Conference in 2001? Or was it stepping over Tyronn Lue in Game 1 of the Finals? How about that time he stole the ball and laid it in with .2 seconds left for the win?

ESPN actually limited it to two options, including the Lue stepover. But Iverson chose a different one.

Iverson said his rookie-season crossover of Michael Jordan, when he crossed-over MJ and then hit a jumper, was his most memorable. “You gotta say the Mike joint,” Iverson told ESPN, “because it was Mike! I mean, the greatest player to ever play the game.” Read more »

Allen Iverson Is Not a Fan of Lifting Weights, Minute Restrictions

The Sixers brought Allen Iverson back to celebrate his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers brought Allen Iverson back to celebrate his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As he looks to return from missing the previous two seasons because of a fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot, Sixers center Joel Embiid has been under a playing time restriction all season long.

That restriction, which started off at 12 minutes per game in the preseason and has been steadily bumped up to the current 28 minute allotment, has created quite a bit of discussion in the Philadelphia area as the league increasingly moves toward taking a cautious approach to the workload it places its athletes under.

Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson would have struggled to play in this environment.

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The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Allen Iverson Made It to the Hall of Fame

Allen Iverson talks about his selection for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2016 during a press conference at Wells Fargo Center in April. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson talks about his selection for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2016 during a press conference at Wells Fargo Center in April. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

He was late for his first official duty — a press conference. Of course he was. As fellow 2016 inductee Shaquille O’Neal joked, “You’re talking about the Hall of Fame?” Allen Iverson, straight outta Hampton, does it his way and always has. Scarcely six feet tall, barely 165 pounds, he was the scrawny, ornery heart of the 76ers from his 1996 first-overall draft pick, leading the team on that thrilling 2001 ride to the NBA Finals against the Lakers. He was a Sixer again on the day in 2013 when he retired from the game, having been let go, at that point, by the Nuggets, the Pistons, the Grizzlies. Everyone knew he’d stayed too long in the gym.  Read more »

Hall of Fame Speech Captures Iverson’s True Legacy

allen-iverson-hof

On Friday night Allen Iverson, a six-foot guard from Georgetown, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Iverson was treated with near-reverence, as he should have been on this day of celebration. But it wasn’t always this way for Iverson. Not even close.

The cornrows, the baggy clothes, the tattoos, the checkered past. Iverson entered the league as anti-establishment as it gets, with an “I’m going to do it my way” defiance that was endearing to some, offputting to many, many others. Throw in an early-career fight with Jerry Stackhouse and an ill-conceived (and ultimately unreleased) rap album and Iverson only became more polarizing during the early part of his NBA career.

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The Real Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson laughs while talking to the media about his election into the Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson laughs while talking to the media about his election into the Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Things are better now between the two legends, the older one says over the phone, his monotone voice still heavy with the echoes of his native Brooklyn.

The tension that once defined their relationship — that of an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object  — and threatened to derail one of the most exciting eras in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers has remarkably softened with the passage of time, giving way to a warm, affectionate bond. So when Larry Brown gets a text message from Allen Iverson these days, the Hall of Fame coach pores over every word. He treasures the little digital glimpses into the mind of a complicated figure who captivated basketball fans in Philadelphia and across the country with his otherworldly skills on the court for 14 years.

But the public’s fascination with Iverson always went beyond whatever he accomplished in any individual game or season. Part of the thrill and the anxiety of watching his career unfold was the uncertainty of it all. Could he escape the suspicions and judgments people projected onto him because of the four months he spent behind bars at the age of 18 in Newport News, Virginia? Could he survive and thrive at 6-foot-nothing, 165 pounds, in a league filled with giants? Could he rise above the criticism he faced from NBA bigwigs and the media for the way he dressed, the way he wore his hair, the company he kept? Could he stay one step ahead of his own self-destructive tendencies, or learn to co-exist with authority figures like Brown?

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Get a Chance to Meet Allen Iverson at Lapstone and Hammer This Friday

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson’s glory days. | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports.

Hold up, AI fans: If you can remember where you were during the 2001 NBA All Star Game, then you need to make your way over to Lapstone and Hammer, online and in-store, tomorrow to purchase an exclusive Allen Iverson 2001 All Star Game Mitchell & Ness Jersey.

The jersey – an exclusive collaboration with the Midtown Village boutique and the throwback sports company – includes an embroidered 2001 All Star logo patch on the right shoulder and a Hardwood Classics hem tag printed with game’s date, February 11th, 2001. Sales begin Wednesday, June 22nd, at 10am. And you’ll want to shop early: The first 100 people to purchase the jersey also score an invite to Friday’s release party at Lapstone and Hammer. Allen Iverson will be there as a special guest, so yeah, you’ll want to go to this. Click here to see the jersey and get more event details.

Utley Puts All-Star Home on the Market

1432 Monk Rd., Gladwyne, PA 19035 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1432 Monk Rd., Gladwyne, PA 19035 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

So who will be the next famous athlete to live in this modern-Colonial hybrid in Gladwyne?

We’re not saying that the next owner will definitely be a famous athlete, but two of the last three owners were. Phillies second baseman Chase Utley purchased this home, which was built in 1998, in 2013 for $2.325 million from its then-owner, who bought it in 2006 from retired 76ers star Allen Iverson for $2.85 million. Utley then gutted it and renovated it in a more contemporary style. Read more »

Emotional Allen Iverson Reflects on Hall of Fame Career

Allen Iverson laughs while talking to the media about his election into the Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson laughs while talking to the media about his election into the Basketball Hall of Fame | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Iverson strolled to the podium last night wearing a red Reebok t-shirt, blue ‘phila’ jacket, Philadelphia 76ers hat, an ear-to-ear grin that could only be worn by a man just voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the  highest honor in his profession.

“Do you want to make an opening remark?” Michael Preston,  Sixers’ public relations coordinator, asked Iverson.

“No.”

“Do you want to go straight to questions?”

“Yeah.”

It was the only real way that press conference could have unfolded. Iverson has never been one to be confined to a script. Not on the basketball court, where putting the ball in his hands was an indescribable combination of poetry and chaos, and certainly not in the press room. Iverson’s always been at his best, and sometimes his worst, when raw emotion and passion were brought to the forefront. That doesn’t happen with canned opening remarks.

Read more »

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