allen iverson hall of fame

Allen Iverson’s emotional & great Hall of Fame speech.

Allen Iverson was going to cry.

You knew that going into his Hall of Fame speech Friday night that he was going to thank everyone who ever helped him. He was going to credit John Thompson as the man who saved his life in 1994; the salvation of mid-90s Georgetown Basketball. Hampton’s own was going to thank the city of Philadelphia for holding him down unrequitedly for 10 seasons, including his MVP campaign in 2000-01. Iverson was going to thank his mom, his wife, his children and immediate family members.

But A.I.’s speech wasn’t just about those immediate. He gave thanks to Vernon Maxwell, his initial protector in Philly “because Vernon was always down to fight.” Tyronn Lue found his way into the gracious 32-minute acceptance speech too. Beyond “The Step Over”, Lue and Iverson had become good friends. Lue personally thanked Iverson as the reason he got $5 million from Washington. Biggie, Redman, Tupac, Jadakiss and a couple of others as his personal theme music. The man who taught him the crossover. Reebok for the lifetime contract.

The best story of all? His first game against Michael Jordan. The Answer compared it to a Chappelle’s Show skit, noticing Jordan’s aura or “glow” on the court. “When I looked down at his shoes, he had the Jordan’s on!” he exclaimed to laughs from the crowd. It was tearful, it was beautiful. He rocked back and forth because of nerves and the only prepared portions of the speech felt like they came from remembering names. Everything else? Honest, raw & pure.

Classic Iverson.

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