Allen Iverson Announces Retirement Following Knicks Rejection

Allen Iverson, after securing his release from the Memphis Grizzlies and being rejected by the New York Knicks, has announced his retirement, effective immediately, from the NBA although he believes he still has enough ability to contribute significantly to a team that could use his talents. Iverson issued a statement through Stephen A. Smith’s website, Stephena.com.

TO ALL OF MY FANS:

I would like to announce my plans to retire from the National Basketball Association. I always thought that when I left the game, it would be because I couldn’t help my team the way that I was accustomed to. However, that is not the case.

I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level.

Stepping away from the game will allow me to spend quality time with my wife and kids. This is a reward that far exceeds anything that I’ve ever achieved on the basketball court. I have prayed for this day and I see it as my greatest gift.

I want to thank the people of Reebok International Ltd., for always allowing me to be me and for supporting me my whole career through all the ups and downs. I have enjoyed 13 wonderful seasons in the NBA, and I am grateful.

I want to first acknowledge my fans everywhere, who have been with me throughout my entire career. Without you, there would be no me. You should all know that I appreciate your support from the bottom of my heart. Thank you!

To Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Charles Barkley and Larry Bird, you guys gave me the vision to play the game that will be forever in my heart.

To my Mom, who encouraged and inspired me to play every day, and to all of my family and friends who stood by me from the beginning. Thank you!

To my high school coach, Michael Bailey, Coach John Thompson at Georgetown University, Coach Larry Brown and to all of my other coaches, teammates, administrators, owners and staff who’ve been a part of my career, Thank you as well!

I’d like to give a special thanks to the people of Memphis. I never played a home game for your beloved Grizzlies, but I want you to know how much I appreciate the opportunity given me by a great owner in Michael Heisley, and the support of the city. I wish the Memphis Grizzlies’ organization all of the success that the game has to offer.

And finally, to the city of Philadelphia: I have wonderful memories of my days in a Sixers’ uniform. To Philly fans, thank you. Your voice will always be music to my ears.

God Bless all of you,

ALLEN IVERSON

ESPN ON ALLEN IVERSON RETIREMENT




Former NBA players turned announcers who know Iverson, speculate that the retirement is the result of GMs not understanding what Iverson can and has brought to the league as a dynamic offensive force and cultural icon.  Apparently, even woeful teams like the Knicks are reluctant to engage Iverson’s services on his own terms.  Iverson made it clear that if he is going to play it will be as a starter or a contributor with starter minutes.  Undoubtedly, the Knicks were unwilling to surrender control of the team to Iverson’s demands despite fan reaction favoring the acquisition of the the future hall of famer guard.
I find it hard to believe that this is actually the end of Iverson’s playing days, especially since he is able to play.  At some point between now and February 2010, a GM will find it wise to invest in Iverson in the short term for either ticket sales or offensive production or both.    He will be back for a appropriate retirement tour.  If Jason Williams can come back after a year and contribute, someone will figure out how to make Allen Iverson fit into their winning concept, I believe.
IVERSON MIX-TAPE



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