Allen Iverson last played in an NBA game in 2010. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
After years spent clutching to his hoop dreams, 11-time All-Star Allen Iverson is reportedly set to "officially announce his retirement" from the NBA this week.
SlamOnline.com reports that the 38-year-old Iverson, who last stepped foot on an NBA court in February 2010, has apparently come to terms with the fact that his playing career is over. As recently as March, Iverson was still holding out hope for a possible comeback, although he seemed to realize that the writing was on the wall.
"If the road ends here, then it does and I am not bitter about it," Iverson told CSNPhilly.com during a visit to Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, where he was honored with a bobblehead in his likeness. "At some point it comes to an end regardless, however it comes, whether it is retirement or injury, at some point it comes to an end. I am happy and content with everything that has gone on in my life and I am just looking for the next phase, and if I get a chance to play again I would love the opportunity, but if not I will continue to just be happy.”
“I’m not using that word [retirement],” he said during an in-game interview televised on ESPN at the time. “I want to play basketball so bad. … I mean, the way it is right now, I’ve accepted the fact that [playing in the NBA] might not happen, but I still want to play basketball. If I can get an opportunity to where it’s going to make me happy at the end of my career, I’ll take that opportunity. But I just love to play and I want to have another opportunity to play on the professional level.”
Iverson briefly played for Besiktas, a Turkish club, in 2010. His time there was cut short due to a leg injury, and he hasn't played professionally since, although a D-League team was reportedly interested in his services back in January, .
Regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound scorers in NBA history, Iverson averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists during a 14-year career that included stops with the Sixers, Nuggets and Grizzlies. Selected No. 1 overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, Iverson was the 1997 Rookie of the Year, the 2001 MVP, a three-time All-NBA first-team selection and a four-time scoring champ. He is destined for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.