Tearful Iverson retires as a Sixer

Former Sixer Allen Iverson , with his son, Isaiah, announcing his formal retirement. "I am happy with the way I done it because it taught me a lot," said Iverson, who was emotional at times. The NBA MVP in 2001 averaged 27.6 points with the Sixers. Story, D5. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff
Former Sixer Allen Iverson , with his son, Isaiah, announcing his formal retirement. "I am happy with the way I done it because it taught me a lot," said Iverson, who was emotional at times. The NBA MVP in 2001 averaged 27.6 points with the Sixers. Story, D5. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff
Posted: November 01, 2013

Allen Iverson, who last played in the NBA in 2010, formally announced his retirement, and like his career, it was done with flair.

Speaking at an afternoon news conference at the Wells Fargo Center, Iverson was emotional, talking about his career and those close to him.

Iverson was candid in his comments and unwavering in his belief in himself and what he stood for. When asked if there was anything he would change during a stormy career, he said, "No, not one thing."

Then he expanded.

"It's easy to say I wish I would have done things this way, but I can't go back and rewind it back and do it all over. I am happy with the way I done it because it taught me a lot."

Among those in attendance were NBA icon and former Sixer Julius Erving and Iverson's coach at Georgetown, John Thompson.

Yet it was a person not in attendance who Iverson said stood above all others as a teammate - former Simon Gratz and Temple product Aaron McKie.

Fighting tears when talking about McKie, Iverson composed himself and then spoke.

"He helped me with a lot of personal issues I had, things going on in my life," Iverson said. "It was different than just being a teammate."

Moments later, when talking about the mistakes he made in his career, Iverson added, "I made a million of them, but if not for Aaron McKie it would have been two million."

Iverson, 38, didn't seem sure what he would do with his life but said the main thing was to be there for his five children.

In 12 seasons with the Sixers, Iverson averaged 27.6 points and 6.1 assists. He played 10 full seasons and parts of two others with the Sixers, finishing his career in 2009-10, averaging 13.9 points.

Iverson was the NBA MVP in 2001, when he led the Sixers to the Finals, where they lost in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He said his greatest moment came when the Sixers earned a trip to the Finals after a Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.

"My favorite moment was just being in the middle of the court, jumping up and down when we were going to the NBA Finals," Iverson said.

He also played for Denver and Detroit and appeared in three games for Memphis in 2009-10 before finishing with the Sixers.

Iverson scored 24,368 career points, 19,931 with the Sixers. He appeared in 722 of his 914 career game with the Sixers.

He was an 11-time all-star and the 1996-97 NBA rookie of the year after being selected first overall by the Sixers.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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