#13 Louisville 82 | Temple 58
Stat Leaders: Louisville
F Montrezl Harrell 22 pts 10 rebs 2 ast 1 stl 4 balks
G Russ Smith 15 pts 2 rebs 2 ast 2 stl
G/F Luke Hancock 11 pts 3 rebs 3 ast 1 blk
Stat Leaders: Temple
G Will Cummings 16 pts 1 reb 2 ast 1 stl
F Anthony Lee 14 pts 3 rebs 1 ast 1 stl 1 blk
G Quenton DeCosey 8 pts 5 rebs 3 ast
Today, one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history is set to officially announce his retirement. In a barely 6’0 foot frame and weighing only 165 pounds. He took on all challengers and never strayed away from contact. Big or small. A true warrior on the basketball court. His 14 year career was filled with extreme highs and unfairly lows, but you can’t deny the passion he brought on the basketball court every night. He played every game as if it was his last game. Off and on the court he was a trendsetter. Just like everybody wanted to be like “Mike”, everybody wanted to be like Iverson. It wasn’t always a good thing though. A lot of people in the NBA viewed him as a “thug” simply because of the way he dressed and his tattoos. But he was just being Iverson, expressing himself. Same way he did on the court and in interviews. Everything he gave you was a true indication of who he was. From the cornrows to the infamous “practice” quote.
With plenty of accolades under his belt. Whether it be winning rookie of the year, MVP or winning the scoring title four times. Iverson was always missing the hardware he wanted most. Which was a championship ring. Due to an inadequate front office in Philadelphia. A.I. was never able to attain that piece of hardware. They never put the right pieces around him to contend for a championship. They did make it one time, but that was partly due to Allen’s will as a player. He lit the Lakers up the first game, but LA proved to be too much for a team, ran by one player. Lakers went on to win the next 4 after dropping game 1 to Philly. Iverson would never get back to the finals. He will go down as one of the greats who never won a ring. Which is a shame because, if anybody deserved to be a champion it was him. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go your way.
A.I went on to play for 3 other teams (Nuggets, Pistons, Grizzlies) but he just always seemed out of place. After trying another stint with Philly, Iverson decided it was time to walk away from the game. Which brings us here today. He’s making his retirement official. A.I will finish his career having averaged 26.7 ppg (6th highest scoring average in NBA history) 3.7 rpg 6.2 apg.
Call him what you want. Selfish, a disappointment etc. One thing you will never be able to take away from him, is he is the best pound 4 pound scorer to ever play this game and one of the special talents the NBA has ever seen. One can only think how good he would have been had he put in the work and took care of his body like a Kobe Bryant. It’s scary to think he got this far just off talent alone. If he was a hard worker, we might be talking about him as the greatest 2 guard to ever play. Today everybody should celebrate the retirement of one of the best. Even though it seems incomplete, it is still a great career and one that deserves praise.
Thanks for reading.