Few athletes have fostered a connection with a city like that of Allen Iverson and his relationship with Philadelphia, where the former NBA MVP and perennial All-Star spent the first 11 seasons of his career leaving his blood, sweat, and tears on the court as the face of the 76ers.
Yet, Iverson’s dealings with the franchise since his retirement have not mirrored that of other NBA legends, as he recently revealed his disappointment with not being offered a role within organization, a common practice for iconic players across the league.
During a sit-down with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, the Hall of Famer expressed his affinity and adoration for the Sixers organization and the city of Philadelphia, but shared his desire to be a part of the team’s staff and play a role in its future success.
“I’m a Sixer for life,” Iverson said emphatically. “I got Sixer blood pumping through me. Everybody knows that I want to help that organization. I been retired, what, 11 years? I don’t know how I’m not a part of that staff in some kind of way.”
When asked what capacity he’d wish to work with the 76ers, A.I. was open to any and all possibilities, but remains miffed about why he hasn’t been embraced by the organization’s brass in comparison to the likes of the late great Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Alonzo Mourning, and other Hall of Fame talents that played in his era.
“Even if it’s [as a consultant],” Iverson added. “I will be the happiest in the world and the money thing ain’t got nothing to do with it. It’s just me being me and me being a Sixer and wanting to help. I don’t know why nothing has been put in place for me. I still love y’all. Don’t get it twisted. It’s all love and it ain’t never going nowhere. But it’s just something I don’t understand.”
With Iverson’s reputation as a polarizing vanguard during his playing career, some have speculated that the same image that has made him beloved within the urban community and Hip-Hop culture has also closed certain doors that may have been open to him otherwise. However, with the influence, respect, and knowledge of the game that Iverson possesses, it’s certain that he deserves the opportunity to be a part of the organization he put on his back for more than a decade and become an ambassador for basketball in the City of Brotherly Love.