An emotional, reflective and tardy Allen Iverson faced the press ahead of Friday’s Hall of Fame enshrinment.
A.I. says he’s thankful not just for his legion of fans, but also the haters for pushing him to become a basketball immortal.
Allen Iverson can't believe he made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame: "I thought I was the greatest football player God ever created."
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) September 8, 2016
An emotional Allen Iverson, his voice breaking throughout, thanking those that got him to the Hall of Fame: pic.twitter.com/KH3GY2wK9P
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 8, 2016
Iverson earned 11 All-Star nominations, and put up averages of 26.7 points and 6.2 assists during his 14-year NBA career.
Per the AP:
“Even the ones that were negative in my career, obviously to try prove them wrong” was a motivation, he said Thursday after arriving late to a pre-induction press conference. “I had to overcome what they said about me. I had to overcome all that to be wearing this (Hall of Fame) jacket right now. The naysayers, they helped me, too.”
A dozen years after Michael Jordan joined the league and established himself as its greatest player — and greatest pitchman — Iverson was a different kind of star. […] “When it came to basketball, obviously I wanted to me like Mike. Doesn’t everybody?” Iverson told reporters on Thursday during a media availability for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Class of 2016. “But I didn’t want to talk like him. I felt it was enough being who my mom loved.”
Iverson, 41, said his induction will be a proud moment for his fans, and “all the people that are waiting for A.I. to get a chance to say ‘He did what you never thought he could do.'” […] “That’s a great feeling for me,” he said. “For all the barbershop talk, the ones that supported me can always say, ‘This guy was immortalized by being a Hall of Famer.'”