Full: Iverson gives speech during number retirement ceremony
PHILADELPHIA -- The only time the home crowd became electric was during the halftime ceremony to retire Allen Iverson's No. 3 jersey, who only seemed to choke up when he started reciting the names he's joining such as Julius Irving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks.
A sellout showed up at Wells Fargo Center for Iverson, not to witness the Wizards put up 74 points in the first half after Trevor Ariza scored 29, including 7-for-7 on three-pointers.
Iverson, dressed in typical Iverson fashion -- baggy clothes, all black, a hat and with necklaces of diamonds and gold stacked around his neck -- didn't read from a prepared speech. He shot from the hip.
"Show me the fool that says dreams don't come true," said Iverson, who was drafted in the first round by the 76ers in 1996, spent time with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies before last playing here in 2010. "I love you all for believing in me, and for caring about me as a man. I love Philly to death. Best place in the world."
After playing two seasons at Georgetown, Iverson went pro and averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 914 career games. He led the Sixers to an NBA Finals appearance in 2001. He thanked many, including Michael Jordan, for inspiring him to greatness.
"I'm gonna remember it the rest of my life," Iverson said after the ceremony. "I am Philly."