Allen Iverson's NBA career is officially over. Even though he hasn't actually played in the league in about three years now, AI made things official earlier today when he held a press conference in Philadelphia to announce his retirement from the game of basketball. And it was every bit as amazing as you would expect it to be. Like he always does, Iverson kept it 100 throughout the course of the press conference and repeatedly spoke openly and honestly about himself, his family, those who helped him throughout the course of his career, his critics, and the fans who have supported him.
It was a real pleasure to hear AI talk about everything that he has gone through in the last two decades and, even though we already know a lot about AI, we feel like we learned a lot about him during his press conference. Here are the five things we took away from it:
#1. Allen Iverson hasn't changed one bit since he first came into the NBA.
Did you think AI was going to show up to his retirement press conference in anything other than a hat turned backwards and a gold chain? Oh. Well, he dressed the same way that he always dresses for the press conference and talked at length about the fact that he hasn't changed since coming into the NBA back in 1996. "I don't mind being me," he said at one point, while stressing the fact that he never forgot where he came from or moved on from the people that he grew up with. For better or worse, AI always stayed true to AI.
#2. Allen Iverson hasn't kept himself in shape over the last three years.
For three years now, AI has been trying desperately to get back into the NBA. But during his press conference, he revealed that even if he had gotten another chance in the NBA, he probably wouldn't have been ready for it. His heart was ready. But his body? Not so much. When a reporter asked if he had spent the last three years keeping himself in shape, he offered up a very simple answer: No.
#3. There is a story behind Allen Iverson's infamous "Practice?!" press conference that has never been told.
Did you know that, prior to that press conference, one of AI's best friends passed away? Did you know that he walked into the press conference thinking that he was going to be talking about the possibility of him being traded? Did you know that he probably wouldn't have agreed to do the press conference if he had known that it was going to be about...practice?! AI is well aware of the fact that that press conference has taken on a life of its own in recent years. But he set the record straight during his retirement press conference and let it be known that there were a lot of things going on with him at that particular time.
#4. Allen Iverson has the best stories in the NBA.
Has AI ever written a book? No, right? Well, we fully expect one to come out sooner than later now that he's officially finished with the NBA. He stressed over and over that he has the best stories in the NBA at one point and talked about how former teammates, college players, and even high school kids always pester him and ask him to share some of his old tales. With that in mind, we figure he's due to write a book anyday now.
#5. Allen Iverson doesn't subscribe to Drake's "No New Friends" policy.
Towards the end of the press conference, Iverson was asked a question about some of his old teammates. And he pointed out how influential his former teammate Aaron McKie was during his career. McKie was never one of the best players in the NBA or anything. But according to AI, he was a great friend who helped him avoid making "two million mistakes" during his career. AI also talked about how he kept a lot of the friends that he had growing up when he was in the league but also made sure to try and make new friends like McKie who could help him grow as a person.
If you missed Iverson's retirement press conference, we suggest you go and watch it, like, now. There will never be another NBA player quite like AI. And during his final press conference as an NBA player, he proved that one more time. Farewell, Allen.