Allen Iverson delivers his speech upon being enshrined to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2016. The accomplished point guard from the Philadelphia 76ers was overcome with emotion, as he shared how his Georgetown University coach, John Thompson, “saved his life”.

After two seasons at Georgetown, Iverson was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1996 NBA draft. Listed at 6 ft tall, Iverson became the shortest first overall pick ever, in a league normally dominated by taller players. He’s an eleven-time NBA All-Star, NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2001, and won the All-Star game MVP award in 2001 and 2005.

Despite reports of personal struggles off the court, Iverson’s contribution to the game was never second-guessed! Iverson played 14 seasons of basketball as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons,  and Memphis Grizzlies. He even played ten games of Turkish basketball before an injury forced him back to the States for surgery.

Once he returned to the States, he never played professionally again.

Iverson announced his retirement in October of 2013. The 76ers organization retired Iverson’s jersey during a special halftime ceremony in March of 2014.

Iverson will not only be remembered for his signature killer crossovers. His tenacious effort on the court and his true love for the game is what solidifies him as one of the greatest players in NBA history. This prestigious honor is deserving, to say the least.

Watch full speech below!

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