Before the 76ers and Celtics took the floor in Philadelphia for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, Allen Iverson slipped into a home jersey. However, his familiar No. 3 wasn't stitched on the crisp white uniform. Nor was it his name on the back. The 36-year-old was sporting a replica jersey at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, bearing the name and number of Sixers guard Lou Williams, who wasn't yet in high school when Iverson earned NBA MVP honors for his dominance during the 2000-01 season.
With the 76ers facing elimination in Game 6, the Answer was back in Philadelphia to deliver the game ball. He took the floor -- decked out like a fan -- and walked the ball out to NBA referee Joey Crawford. Working the crowd by imploring it to get louder, Iverson ensured that the fans recently tabbed as being "fair weather" by Kevin Garnett were producing a roiling storm of noise by the time the game got underway.
The 11-time NBA All-Star and four-time scoring champ watched from a suite as the 76ers attacked the rim with what could perhaps best be described as Iversonian tenacity (42 points in the paint) and staved off elimination with a 82-75 win.
The teams will return to Boston for a Game 7 and based on his in-game interview with Lisa Salters of ESPN, it seems that Iverson would love nothing more than to have the chance to wear a jersey with his own name on the back in such a game. Asked about his plans for retirement, Iverson stated that he's "not using that word" and said "I want to play basketball so bad."
Will Iverson get back on the floor? Is there anything he could still contribute to an NBA team? Does it tarnish his legacy for him to finish his career playing overseas or even in the D-League?
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