“I just wanna thank God for loving me.” Those were the first words out of Allen Iverson’s mouth as he solidified his spot in NBA history forever.
This past week Iverson, along with Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming, was inducted into the 2016 class of the NBA Hall of Fame.
As all basketball fans know, Iverson is more than deserving of this moment. Easy is the word opposite to one you would use to describe A.I’s career. He has had a basketball career full of highs and lows. From brawl in high school that he wrongfully served time for which resulted in no team wanting him to his second chance at Georgetown to leading the 76’er franchise in Philly to the media mistreatment condemning him for his appearance and attitude to having to play overseas in China to the present, a 2016 Hall of Famer inductee.
In his acceptance speech, fighting back tears less than 3 minutes in, his sincerity can literally be felt. In his 32 minute speech Iverson names everyone possible that has helped him and inspired him in some type of way throughout his career. Most notably his mom who had to drag him to his first basketball practice because he thought the sport was too “soft”. His Georgetown coach John Thompson for “saving his life”, his idol and hero, Micheal Jordan, his die-hard Philly fans and last but certainly not least, his real love, Tawanna Iverson, who he called his “#1 person in the world” and declared her a hall of famer as well.
Also known for merging the worlds of basketball and hip-hop, having already shouted out Ma$e, Cam’ron, Fab and Jim Jones earlier in his speech, Iverson also took the time to thank hip-hop legends, Tupac, Jadakiss, Redman, Biggie Smalls and Micheal Jackson for being the theme music throughout his career.
Staying true to himself, regardless of what any critic has to say, was a charastic of A.I that most of us loved and the rest loved to hate. One of the greatest to ever do it and rocking the cornrolls STILL in 2016, we have nothing but love and respect. Watch his induction speech below.