I just happened to flip on the TV just in time to watch the Allen Iverson Number 3 retirement ceremony during halftime of another woeful 76ers losing effort. After catching the score, I almost turned away but I became curious how the ‘6ers would conduct the retirement ceremony. They did a very classy job.
I emotionally follow Chester High and Villanova basketball celebrating every win and lamenting each loss. But NBA basketball is pure entertainment for me. I could give a hoot the outcome of most pro games as my interest is to see the greatest players in the world do the amazing things they do on the court.
Allen Iverson was one of those amazing players.
When Iverson walked out the tunnel to the retirement ceremony my first thought went to David Stern who enforced a dress code on NBA players primarily because of Iverson. I wondered if Stern would enforce a dress code for players getting their jersey’s retired if he were still the commissioner. Shouldn’t we expect Iverson to be dressed in a suit and tie like the other ‘6ers stars sitting behind him during the ceremony? Or, was it okay for him to come out with an overcoat, hat, sneakers, and gold chains wrapped around his neck?
Iverson’s wardrobe reminded me of British designer Ozwald Boateng’s comment that American men dress like adolescents. But, we all know that Iverson would have looked stupid with a suit and tie on. He was certainly fashionable, but not in a classic mature sense. But, so what? That's him.
Once Iverson took the mic, he gave me what I expected. Never has he been eloquent, but he is always honest and sincere. He said all the right things, gave credit to all the right people, cupped his ear for the crowd one last time, and headed out to party.
Congrats to Allen Iverson for his special accomplishment. It’s only fitting that the ‘6ers retire his jersey because no one else should wear #3. He was one of the best at what he did even though I think he could have been even better (scary thought). His elusive crossover dribble is a staple in the game today and although kids aren’t saying they ‘Want to be Like A.I.’, they can only wish to bring the entertainment value to the NBA that he did.