Allen Iverson spent more than a decade wearing No. 3 for the Sixers. (Lou Capozzola/SI)
The Sixers announced Wednesday that 11-time All-Star guard Allen Iverson will have his No. 3 jersey retired by the franchise. The ceremony will take place at halftime of Philadelphia's March 1 game against Washington at the Wells Fargo Center.
“Allen Iverson is, without question, one of the most iconic players to ever wear the Sixers uniform,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement. “Allen left everything out on the court and no one could ever question his heart – he was relentless, fearless and pound-for-pound, was one of the greatest to ever play the game.”
The jersey retirement was only a matter of time, as Iverson served as the face of the franchise that he carried to the 2001 Finals. Philadelphia selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft and he spent the first 10-plus years of his career in the City of Brotherly Love. After stops with the Nuggets, Pistons and Grizzlies, Iverson then took a brief homecoming victory lap with the Sixers in 2009-10. This year, the Sixers have honored Iverson with his own bobblehead night and they played host in October when Iverson formally announced his retirement from basketball.
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“You know, I thought once this day came it would be basically a tragic day," Iverson said at his retirement press conference. "I promise you it is a happy day for me. I really thought this day would be a tough day for me, but it’s a happy day. ... I gave everything I had to basketball and the passion is still there, the desire to play is just not. I just feel good that I’m happy with the decision I’m making. It was a great ride.”
Regarded by some as the best pound-for-pound scorer in league history, the 6-foot, 165-pound Iverson is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the highest scoring average in Sixers franchise history. He also ranks second in minutes played, second in points, second in steals and third in assists on Philadelphia's all-time lists. During his 14-year NBA career, Iverson won four scoring titles, was selected to seven All-NBA teams, was named 1997 Rookie of the Year and 2001 MVP.
“I’m going to always be a Sixer until I die," Iverson told reporters in October.
Iverson will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his jersey retired, joining: Charles Barkley (No. 34), Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Maurice Cheeks (No. 10), Billy Cunningham (No. 32), Julius Erving (No. 6), Hal Greer (No. 15) and Bobby Jones (No. 24).