Iverson officially calls it a career

PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson officially called it a career on Wednesday, announcing his retirement more than three years after playing his final NBA game with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Iverson last played in February 2010 with the Sixers, his second go-round with the club that selected him with the first overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. He was the NBA’s top rookie in 1996-97 and won the league’s MVP in 2000-01, a season in which he led Philadelphia to the NBA Finals.

"I thought once this day came, it would be basically a tragic day," Iverson said at a news conference at the Wells Fargo Center. "I never imagined the day coming, but I knew it would come. It is a happy day for me. I always thought this would be a tough day, but it is a happy day."

Iverson also played for Denver, Detroit and Memphis during his 14-year career, but will always be remembered as a Sixer. He spent his first 10 full seasons in Philadelphia and was a charismatic and sometimes controversial character.

An All-Star seven times in his first stint with the 76ers, he often traded verbal jabs with media members. Among his most memorable rants was about not practicing, as he went off for more than a few minutes saying over and over, "We’re talking about practice, not the game, about practice."