No more “practice” for AI

Allen Iverson who hasn't played in the NBA since 2010, announces his retirement

Iverson at his last press conference with the press

Iverson at his last press conference with the press

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Allen Iverson has officially retired from the NBA.

AI hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010 and not professionally since 2011 (he played in Turkey for a year). Though he tried to make a comeback the past couple years, he accepted the fact that it is over – and is moving on.

Iverson held a press conference on the broadcast network Comcast SportsNet Philly last night as he said his final thank yous to his family, friends, coaches, and players.

“It’s just a hard life to live. It’s a great one, I wouldn’t trade it for nothing,” Iverson said in the press conference. “I have no regrets on anything. People ask me all the time, ‘Do I have any regrets?’ I don’t have any. If I could back and do it all over, would I change anything? No. Obviously if I could go back and change anything I would be a perfect man. And I know there’s no perfect man and there’s no perfect basketball player. So no, I wouldn’t change anything. My career was up and down at times. I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of things I’m not proud of. But it’s only from other people to learn from.”

AI, known for his filthy crossover, was loved by many. He put on a show every time he stepped on the court, whether it was from breaking an ankle and finishing at the rim or making a hesitation move and stepping back to hit a fade away.

He was the first overall pick out of Georgetown, going to the Philadelphia 76ers. He started 74 of the 76 games in his rookie season with 7.5 assists and 23.5 points a game as he earned Rookie of the Year in 1997. He would go on to play 914 games through 14 seasons, starting 901 of them, and he averaged 26.7 points a game along with 6.2 assists. The 6’-0” 165 pound point guard finished with 24,368 points in his career.

“He played like a 6’-8″ 2-guard,” LeBron James said of Iverson. “He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever.”

AI, the 11 time All Star, brought a revolution to the game. He brought tattoos, and when he brought his tattoos and wasn’t allowed to show them, he brought shooting sleeves. He brought cornrows and chains. He brought a thug-like attitude to the court as he played, intimidating players almost a foot taller. He was a true point guard who never lost touch with his past.

When I saw the news of AI trying to make it back in the game, I hoped his old team would pick him up. But unfortunately that was not the case. I hope he gets out of his financial issues and back on his feet, he deserves it.

“I hope someone can create a better crossover,” he once said. “But I don’t think they will.”

His attitude, his game – especially his crossover – will be missed. The soon to be Hall of Famer is done.

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