Even the current players are caught up in the hoopla.
"He brought a lot to the game, to the city. He is an icon. Every kid wanted to be like him with the braids, the headband, the sleeve," Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams said. "He definitely brought his own swag to the game and I am glad to be part of history [Saturday]. . . . Witnessing his greatness growing up was a special thing."
Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter, himself an eight-time all-star, spoke glowingly of Iverson last week when his team played the Sixers. Listed as 6-foot and 165-pounds, Iverson, now 38, was known for taking a pounding on the court and never backing down.
"He is one of the greatest to ever do it at his size - fearless," Carter said.
Iverson had two stints with the Sixers, the first lasting more than 10 seasons. He ended his NBA career playing 25 games for the Sixers in 2009-10.
Current Sixers power forward Thaddeus Young is the only player left on the roster who was a teammate.
"He is a legend," Young said. "He was great for me . . . because he sat next to me at my locker and was really helpful."
Iverson won the MVP award in 2000-01, the season he led the Sixers to the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers.
During his first 10 seasons with the Sixers, Iverson was selected to the All-Star Game seven times. He was twice the All-Star Game MVP with the Sixers.
As a longtime assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Sixers coach Brett Brown had the unenviable task of attempting to stop Iverson.
"From a skill perspective and toughness and competitive perspective, what a package," Brown said. "He was such a unique athlete, getting it done on the big stage with the body type he had."
The rookie of the year in 1996-97, Iverson finished with 24,368 career points. Iverson was and remains a huge fan favorite, even though his off-court behavior often drew the ire of his coaches.
According to Connor Gregoire, an analyst for SeatGeek.com, a search engine for tickets, demand has been extremely high for this game.
"In November, the day before the Sixers announced they would be retiring his number, tickets for this game were averaging $86 apiece on the secondary market," Gregoire said. "They are now averaging $163."
Gregoire said some people have paid about $2,000 on the secondary market for courtside seats.