Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am  |  45 responses

Photos: Allen Iverson’s Return to Philadelphia

We go behind the scenes with Iverson, as he meets up with Dr. J and David Stern.

photos courtesy of Reebok

When word leaked yesterday morning that Allen Iverson would be in attendance for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Philadelphia Sixers and Boston Celtics, everyone knew it would be an emotional visit, a memorable visit.

No one knew quite how special it would be, though.

At about 10 minutes after 8 p.m., with a sellout crowd of deafening proportions cheering out in unison, Allen Iverson walked out on to the court at Wells Fargo Center. As the crowd grew to a fever pitch, Iverson—joined by Josh Harris, the Sixers’ majority owner—cupped his hand to his ear and sauntered over to the referee at midcourt. With his legs wobbling from the overwhelming emotions, Iverson—who at that moment feared breaking down on the court—turned around, hugged some of his former teammates and beat a hasty retreat off the court.

It was a special moment. It was a beautiful moment.

That wasn’t it for his night, though.

Between signing autograph after autograph for young kids, between posing for picture and after picture with adoring fans, Iverson found some time to engage in some small talk with Julius “Dr. J” Erving and David Stern. Finally, after seemingly playing host to 20,000-plus people in an arena that was once again his home, Iverson sat down and took in the game, an 82-75 Sixers victory.

Plans for Iverson to attend a Playoff game had been in the works for nearly a month. But with Game 6 being the biggest Sixers home game since, arguably, the 2001 NBA Finals, and with his original shoe—the Reebok Question Mid in a red/white colorway—due for a limited re-release this weekend, a mutual agreement was made that last night was the perfect time.

And perfect it was.—Tzvi Twersky

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  • http://twitter.com/thefarmerjones Ryan Jones

    Tzvi cameo!

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron

    What Ryan said!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/blogs/adventures-of-the-catford-saints/ Ben Taylor


  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Still realer than anyone in the league today. Miss this dude’s heart, effort and skill. If you hate on AI, you’re a hypocritical douc*ebag. Or a self-important, white-bred di*k. That’s as plain as it can be said. Hope he can make it back to ANY teams roster next season, and he’ll have a ton of people behind him.

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    On of the best little bigmen it was..ever to do it..had swag before the word was brought to the mass..to bad he never got that ring he deserved.

  • http://nba.com GP23


  • http://nba.com AIthebest

    Really really really hope,next season, as a starter,or bench, doesn’t matterr, I just imagine that, he(AI) join to 1 team till season end,then retired, why till now he never really announce his retirement officially, because maybe, he want it a little more sweet moment,as a pro basketball player, so for any NBA teams, I’m not AI biggest fan, but, please, just give him a chance 1 more time, for a closing moment of all his dedication, passion,n all what he did,for basketball, for NBA

  • showmerespect

    I love Iverson. Seems like a good guy.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Holla. This was great to see last night. Let the dood come back.

  • http://www.nba.com Saviour

    Eboy – each time I read one of your comments it makes less and less sense. Why is anyone who doesn’t like AI hypocritical? You misunderstand the term you loosely throw around. The same applies for ‘white-bred’…what does that even mean!? Please think before you think writing such a thing makes you look ‘real’ or ‘cool’…it just makes most of the people on here await your next comment, not because it contributes to the site, but because we hope you are going to top it with an even more idiotic statement to make us smirk.

  • Reggie06

    Cmon sixers give him a chance to go at sg

  • http://youtu.be/Xqppw3d0Q8Y titanic

    Here is a video that I saw last night on youtube: Allen Iverson Interviews with NBA TV Crews 2012. either click my name or copy & paste this link to watch. (http://youtu.be/Xqppw3d0Q8Y)

  • R32

    No skinny jeans and fitted tee, just AI. Love the Questions too!

  • LA Huey

    When I saw him wearing a Sixers jersey, I was hoping he pulled a Keith Closs and wore his own jersey to attend an NBA game.

  • Gregg

    Still like the ’96 AI.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Got to get my hands on those questions.

  • bloghoggers

    image 10 is somewhat sketchy #pause

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Saviour, if you don’t understand the context, then you’re just a big of an idiot then you claim me to be or you haven’t been reading SLAM long enough. Take your pick.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    thx for posting that titan!c… LET AI BACK IN THE NBA!

  • markymark

    Dayum, he doesn’t look 36 at all. Bet he was itching to cross Rondo! AI was, is, and will always be the man.

  • Pingback: Allen Iverson Still Embodies Philadelphia’s Spirit, Despite His Troubled Years … – NESN.com | Danta Report

  • http://hotmail.com The WZA

    Yes R32!!! Right there with you. No skinny jeans and fitted shirts. My man AI. Did anyone notice he gave everybody a high five except the assistant coach Michel Curry who benched him as the head coach for the Pistons? Walked right by him. That’s what’s up AI.

  • Antonio

    Respect for a legend AI, he must return to the NBA.

  • http://youtu.be/Xqppw3d0Q8Y titanic

    @teddy youre welcome. couldnt believe it when I saw that interview posted on youtube after the game. I sat down, put my SONY headphones on and listened attentively. Loved every second of it. LET ALLEN IVERSON BACK IN THE NBA!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://youtu.be/Xqppw3d0Q8Y titanic

    @WZA yeah. dont know if it was done intentionally but dont care. I noticed that later on when I was rewatching the video on youtube after someone mentioned it in the comments section. SH**. I know that`s right AI.

  • SixURRRS

    Michael Curry didn’t deserve a hug. Coaches should discipline and guide their players. Curry started wars between his players by lying and going behind their backs. Once Iverson and Rip both got together and relayed their stories it turned into them against Curry instead of AI vs Rip like “Coach” Curry wanted. Iverson screwed up Memphis all by himself but I’ll never blame Iverson for what happened in Detroit.

  • http://youtu.be/Xqppw3d0Q8Y titanic

    @SixURRRS I totally agree. Memphis was on AI. But Detroit was all Curry with perhaps a quiet knudge from Dumars because I found it hard to believe that a first year coach with no prior experience is given power to bench a good player in RIP and a HOF in Allen Iverson.

  • http://slamonline.com TBRK

    and he reppin his young boul (excuse the butchered Philly slang) Lou Will. Much love for AI, pound for pound/inch for inch, the most gifted scorer of all time. BTW I was driving back from Richmond and I saw Dr. J driving a white Chevy Suburban….no lie I almost went insane lol

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Great stuff. Thanks Tzvi, AI and Reebok!

  • Hobbes

    AI is gonna play in CBA next season. Thanks to Starbury.

  • http://bebe310.blogspot.com/ anonymous

    Allen Iverson is going to play in the nba next season. Thanks to his capabilities.

  • JB

    Can AI get some better seats? Damn…look like nose bleed seats with the real fans.

  • LAgunerosFan

    Doc J looking like Obama hahaha

  • Moj

    Man, what I would give to see this guy back in the League in a good situation. He deserves it.

  • IamYOU

    Dr J and Ai philly’s heroes!

  • Towelie

    Love the shoes!

  • JMagicFan

    lol #12 is too funny

  • Sean B

    I’ll never understand how this web site continues to adore this guy. His time has come and gone. Every time there’s an AI article, people say he needs to be on someone’s team. Well which team would he go to? He’s made it clear repeatedly that he is not a sixth man. Maybe he needs to take Starbury’s advice and play in China.

  • http://bebe310.blogspot.com/ anonymous

    When you post a comment all subjective data should be accurate and easily supported by evidence. When you post false information you lose credibility.
    July 21, 2011
    Allen Iverson Willing to Play Any Role on an NBA Team
    July 6, 2010
    Allen Iverson: ‘I Want to Return to the NBA’
    With that being, Iverson is still capable of being a starter in the nba with the right team when paired with the right backcourt mate.

  • EGOT

    Anyone else loving the fan sign in the first two pictures?

  • hillbilly

    On a deeply personal level, I’m outraged. Incredulous, even. I just can’t understand why those stupid GMs around the league aren’t breaking their collective necks to sign a soon-to-be-thirty-seven-year-old ball hoggin’, practice hatin’, no defense playin’ primadonna headcase with a history of quitting on teams because he’s “too good” to come off the bench. I mean, seriously, WTF? No love for a thug? (shrugs)

  • freezy

    Much love to ai man, a legend no doubt. Miss watching him and hope he comes back so he can be sent off the right way.

  • http://slamonline.com Maker

    We need a caption contest for photo 10.

  • Tiez

    He obviously comes back for love of the game, but after going bankrupt he probably likes a veteran minimum contract as well…

  • Sam Skei

    Nice to see Allen “The Answer” Iverson still holding down, I got nuttin’ but love for Allen, Stay ballin’, playa…….