Former 76ers star Allen Iverson received a heartfelt ovation when he brought out the game ball before the Celtics-Sixers showdown on Wednesday, but a more revealing moment came during a second-quarter interview with Lisa Salters on ESPN's telecast.
Asked if he was retired, Iverson told Salters (video below): "I'm not using that word. I wanna play basketball so bad. The way it is right now, I've accepted the fact [the NBA] may not happen, but I still want to play basketball. If I can get an opportunity to where it's gonna make me happy at the end of my career, I'll take that opportunity."
Iverson was the first pick in the 1996 draft by the Sixers and spent his first 10-plus seasons in Philadelphia, where he led the league in scoring four times and willed the Sixers to the 2001 Finals. His last two NBA stints were aborted attempts with the Grizzlies in 2009 and with the Sixers later that season. He then spent two months in Turkey at the end of 2010 before returning to the U.S. for a procedure on his leg