CAMDEN, N.J. — The brush strokes from Allen Iverson's time with the Philadelphia 76ers slathered his basketball canvas in a vast assortment of colors that signify times of greatness and frustration. He left an impact that few athletes are capable of, becoming one of the most recognizable stars of his era and changing the cultural landscape of the NBA.

Iverson put the paintbrush down for good in 2010, wrapping up his NBA career with 25 games as a Sixer after spending three years elsewhere (and then later playing a handful of games for Besiktas in the Turkish Basketball League). The tumultuous times of Iverson's tenure, his moments of awe-inspiring accomplishment and everything else in between painted a one-of-a-kind picture that, to this day, is a heralded piece of artwork in Philadelphia.

Nowadays, Iverson and the 76ers look back at their time together with enjoyment and mutual appreciation. The former superstar appears at games all the time. His name and jersey number sit in the Wells Fargo Center rafters. For the player who many considered to be the Sixer of all time, there was another rare honor he now has finally received.

As the 76ers wind down their 2023-24 season, the team honored Iverson with a sculpture along the Legends Walk at the team's practice facility. Along with icons like Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Charles Barkey, Iverson's image graces the walkway to the entrance. While his jersey number has already been retired, being immortalized in his iconic crossover pose means a lot to him.

“This is such an honor, man,” Iverson said before the unveiling, “and it don't even seem real.” He cut himself off halfway through his next sentence, a recognition of everyone who showed out for him, to let some tears flow. Much of his speech focused on the people around him, stressing that this honor was a combined effort.

It wasn’t certain what pose the sculpture would take. Would it be Iverson's famous step-over from the 2001 NBA Finals? His hand-to-ear pose? Something else? In the end, it was the move that Iverson was best known for, which he said he “loved” and thanked sculptor Chad Fisher for.

“This is a moment that I'll never forget,” Iverson said. “I'll cherish this moment for the rest of my life.”

Iverson's sculpture reveal drew a huge crowd that featured plenty of people he collaborated with over the years. From former head coach Larry Brown to former 76ers president Pat Croce to a vast collection of former teammates (including Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, Matt Geiger, Theo Ratliff and Marc Jackson) and other former star athletes like Terrell Owens and Rasheed Wallace, a whole lot people made the appearance to celebrate Iverson.

76ers unveil Allen Iverson sculpture at practice facility

Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson during the unveiling of the statue honoring him in a ceremony at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex.
© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Fans waited outside the gates of the 76ers' complex to see Iverson. Some wore Sixers gear while others repped Georgetown. Where they were waiting, they couldn’t even see the new sculpture. But from well before the ceremony began to after it ended, a collection of fans supported Iverson from afar.

“I think it tells you who Allen is, that people will stop their day to fly in to be a part of this,” said former 76ers general manager Billy King.

Brown, who famously squabbled with A.I. during their time working together in Philly, recalled how people today recognize him as Iverson's former coach more often than he's recognized as himself. “The impact he's had on our sport, on young kids, it's just amazing,” the former head coach said.

The appreciation Iverson shared for his former head coaches — Brown, collegiate head coach John Thompson and high school head coach Mike Bailey — was sincere. The former superstar's passion on the court is rivaled only by the admiration he has for those who shaped his life. For those who remember watching No. 3 on the hardwood, that intensity made a lasting impact.

Iverson's dedication to the game of basketball — one that he still follows and enjoys through vast changes — is the foundation of his legacy. Current 76ers head coach Nick Nurse was among the many speakers who praised him for it. What defined Iverson and made him a basketball legend is something Nurse wants to instill into his own team, especially given the heights that A.I.'s Sixers reached.

“I think that it leaves, has left or will leave forever a foundation of what the city stands for and how guys need to play the game,” Nurse said.

“You go out there and play, putting that jersey on, s**t goes by fast. Like, you gotta respect that, you gotta enjoy that. You gotta get everything you've got 'cause it's all gone just like that when you're a player. If anybody maxed out that thought playing this game, it was you. So I want to thank you for that. And I'm gonna tell you what, I'm gonna fight my ass off to get this team back to where you took them a long time ago.”