To celebrate the league’s return for a 75th season, the NBA continued to roll out its Anniversary Team, unveiling 25 more members Wednesday including former Sixers standout Allen Iverson, a Hall-of-Famer and the second-leading scorer in franchise history. Iverson, who had his No. 3 retired at Wells Fargo Center in 2014, joins fellow 76ers Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Moses Malone on the Anniversary squad with 25 names still to be unveiled Thursday night.
An 11-time All-Star and four-time NBA scoring champ, A.I. was one of the most electrifying players of his era, leading Philadelphia to an Eastern Conference title in 2001, which was also the year he won his first and only MVP Award. No stranger to controversy, Iverson often ruffled feathers with his brash demeanor, though even when he was ranting about practice or succumbing to some of the off-court demons that plagued his later career, he remained a fan favorite until the very end, thrilling crowds with his scoring prowess, highlight-reel crossovers and invigorating finishes at the rim. A fearless scorer famous for wearing his heart on his sleeve, it’s easy to see why Iverson’s blue-collar aesthetic resonated with fans, particularly those in Philadelphia, a city that, for better or worse, has always played with a chip on its shoulder.
Other notable selections from the Anniversary Team include current NBAers Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Chris Paul along with former players Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson—all members of the 50th Anniversary Team announced in 1996—were also honored.