After spending 14 seasons making a name for himself in the NBA, Allen Iverson didn’t disappoint when he stood to give his Basketball Hall of Fame Speech. Over the course of his speech, which lasted an impressive 31 minutes, there was plenty of applause, laughs, and even tears, as he thanked everyone from Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls to his mother.
A Round of Thanks…
Iverson’s epic speech touched on everything from a famous skit from the Chapelle Show to his first game against Michael Jordan, which he compared to comedian Charlie Murphy meeting Rick James for the first time. (He has mentioned on numerous occasions that Jordan was his boyhood idol.) He also made sure to thank Redman, Jadakiss, Michael Jackson, and of course, Tupac and Biggie, for providing his career soundtrack, while also giving Reebok a shout out for his lucrative lifetime contract.
He made sure to thank his former Georgetown coach John Thompson for “saving my life,” while also recognizing his children for acting as “his crutch.” While thanking his parents and friends from home, he was very near tears, as was everyone else in the room. He finished up by thanking essentially every one of his previous teammates, coaches, and even members of the media he had argued with in the past, before closing his speech by thanking his ex-wife, Tawanna, who stood by him throughout his NBA career. Though the two divorced amid allegations of domestic abuse in 2011, they have since buried the hatchet.
…But Not for Everyone
It’s definitely worth noting that Iverson made the time to call out anyone who had betrayed him over the years. After all, his mentor, Michael Jordan, did the same thing at his own induction in 2008, and he is Allen Iverson, who has never been one to shy away from controversy.
Congratulations #3 and #1 during his final season with the Detroit Pistons!