Patrick Ewing on Allen Iverson: He showed no fear
PHILADELPHIA -- The Wizards have been here before, faced with a team that is desperate, feeling disrespected but possibly with all the motivation in the world. The Philadelphia 76ers may be on a 12-game losing streak, but they're expecting a sellout crowd to witness the retirement of Allen Iverson's No. 3 jersey Saturday at Wells Fargo Center.
Sixers greats Julius Irving and Moses Malone, as well as Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton will be among those in attendance.
"We talked about it this morning," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It's going to be a crowd, very into it. All the great players that have played through here are going to be here. It's probably going to be an emotional night for that team. They're going to be coming out pretty hyped. We have to understand that. It's always good fun to play in front of a big crowd."
Washington (30-28) remember that not too long ago, on Jan. 22 at home, they faced an undermanned team in the Boston Celtics and were embarrassed in overtime. Even in a 107-99 victory vs. the Sixers two days before that, Michael Carter-Williams blitzed the Wizards for 31 points on 13-for-22 shooting. In a Nov. 1 loss at Philadelphia, the Wizards allowed Thaddeus Young put up 29 points on 14-for-20 shooting.
As much as this team has posted signature wins against the likes of the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and on Thursday, a triple-overtime win at the Toronto Raptors, they can post clunkers against easy marks such as the Sixers.
Wittman is just glad he doesn't have to contend with Iverson.
"He's one of the toughest small guys we've seen in a long time," Wittman said. "Very tough. Loved to play the game. Hated coming out of a game. Never stopped coming after you. This is obviously a well-deserved tribute they're giving him here for what he did for this team and this organization."