Allen Iverson thanks coaches in emotional Hall of Fame speech
Four scoring titles, three consecutive steals titles, 11 All-Star appearances, one MVP, and one great speech to cap off his career. Watch it here:
Iverson was immensely emotional and wasted no time thanking his former Georgetown coach:
“I want to thank Coach Thompson … Coach Thompson, for saving my life, for giving me the opportunity,” said Iverson during his speech.
“I was recruited by every school in the country for football and basketball. An incident happened in high school and all that was taken away. No other teams, no other schools were recruiting me anymore. My mom went to Georgetown and begged him to give me a chance and he did.”
The 6-foot Hall-of-Famer has told the story in multiple occasions, but never as vividly as he did last night. Battling the tears, he went on to thank one of the most influential people in his career:
“Once I started to listen to Larry Brown and take constructive criticism, I learned that how much of a great, great, great coach that he is,” said Iverson.
“Once I started to listen to him the way I was supposed to and was coached by him, that’s when I became an MVP, that’s when I became an All-Star, that’s when I made first-team All-NBA — once I got the message from him. And I followed his lead all the way.”
Iverson and his former 76ers coach had their share of rifts during their six years together, but have remained gratefully fond of each other as years passed.
While the vast majority of the speech was him thanking all the people whom he thought helped him to get where he is, it somehow didn’t feel like a boring speech — it was heartfelt, genuine and fitting to the person he’s been throughout his whole career.