Allen Iverson is ready to formally retire from the NBA, as first reported by SLAM Magazine. Having not appeared in an NBA game since 2010, Iverson's retirement will not come as a surprise but it will draw an official close to one of the most compelling careers in basketball history.
Citing an unnamed source close to the 11-time NBA All-Star, Tzvi Twersky of SLAM reported that Iverson is "prepared to officially announce his retirement from the NBA in the coming days." Iverson last appeared in the NBA in February 2010 with the Philadelphia 76ers, who drafted the 6' 0" dynamo out of Georgetown in 1996.
After his brief return to the 76ers during the 2010 season, Iverson went overseas rather than hang up his hightops. Even as he played 10 games for Besiktas in Turkey in 2011 and embarked on an exhibition tour in China in 2012, Iverson held out hope of finishing his career back in the NBA.
In January 2013, the four-time scoring champion turned down a chance to play for the Dallas Mavericks' D-League affiliate and let his Twitter followers know that the NBA remained his target. With his off-the-court financial problems generating more headlines than his play at that point, Iverson seemed resigned to the reality that he may not make it back to the stage that he once dominated.
In March 2013, Iverson appeared in Philadelphia when the 76ers honored him with a bobblehead giveaway. He still held out some hope of a dream end to his career.
“At some point it comes to an end regardless, however it comes, whether it is retirement or injury, at some point it comes to an end,” Iverson told CSN Philly. “I am happy and content with everything that has gone on in my life and I am just looking for the next phase, and if I get a chance to play again I would love the opportunity, but if not I will continue to just be happy.”
Several months later, Iverson is reportedly readying to announce that he has given up his pursuit of an NBA curtain call.