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#AI3Forever: A Look Back

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: March 2, 2014

Nearly 18 years ago, Philadelphia was introduced to Allen Iverson, a scrawny, six-foot-nothing guard from Hampton, Virginia. His gritty demeanor and dogged determination won over the city’s fans, and his flash and penchant for the spectacular garnered worldwide acclaim. Over his 14-year NBA career, he earned 11 consecutive All-Star appearances from 2000-2010, four scoring titles, and one Most Valuable Player award, leading the Sixers to their first Finals appearance in 18 seasons in 2001. Saturday, Iverson received an honor that exceeds all of those: his number three jersey was forever retired by the franchise with which he began and ended his storied career.

Let’s take a look back at the night through the lens of social media:

Fans began to line up outside Wells Fargo Center hours before doors were scheduled to open, braving the elements and patiently waiting for their chance to witness history.

Inside the arena, Wells Fargo Center had undergone a makeover, with banners, signs, merchandise, and more bearing his likeness and #3 present throughout the building.

Outside, the line grew longer…

An hour before tip off, fans were let into the building. The atmosphere was electric, and the concourse buzzed with activity.

The man of the hour arrived…

With the game about to begin, everyone was in the Iverson spirit!

Legendary center and key member of the 2000-01 Eastern Conference Champion Sixers Dikembe Mutombo rang the bell to signal the start of the game.

The game began, and one-by-one the former Sixers in attendance are honored.

We reached halftime, and a two-minute timer was put up on the big screen.

The arena went dark, and Iverson’s voice emanates from the PA system while highlights from throughout his career play…

PA announcer Matt Cord introduced Iverson, who entered the arena to raucous applause and MVP chants.

Words were shared.

Iverson took the mic.

And then the moment we’d all been waiting for…

The game resumed and Iverson addressed reporters in the press conference area.

Iverson posed with one of a number of gifts from the Sixers’ ownership group, a bass fishing boat called The Answer.

After the game, new season ticket holders and those who have renewed their season tickets for next season were given a unique opportunity to have their picture taken with Allen Iverson’s #3 banner.

And even visiting point guard John Wall thought that was pretty cool…

Throughout the night, former players took to social media to congratulate Iverson on his remarkable career.