Allen Iverson to Reportedly Announce Retirement at Sixers 2013-14 Home Opener

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 17, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Former Philadelphia 76ers player Allen Iverson walks onto the court to deliver the game ball before the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Allen Iverson wants to hear Philly roar one last time.

According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Answer is going to officially call it quits. And when he does, the same fans that worshipped him for a decade will send him off with a final, deafening ovation.

It's a little strange that Iverson is making his retirement official three seasons after the NBA decided it was through with him. These last few years have been somewhat sad, as Iverson held out hope that some squad would come calling with a suitable offer.

AI's stubborn insistence that he was still worthy of being an offensive focal point (when he clearly wasn't) made his last few stops with the Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies and Sixers a little uncomfortable.

But Iverson's unimpressive exit from the league can't tarnish his place in its history.

Per, he'll finish with a career scoring average of 26.7 points per game, good enough for sixth all-time. Not only that, but he'll retire with 11 consecutive All-Star selections from 2000-2010, four scoring titles, three nods as an All-NBA First Team member and a reputation as one of the toughest players to ever put on a jersey.

Iverson's statistical achievements were significant, but his role as a pioneer in the NBA's cultural revolution might be even more important to his legacy. For better or worse, his defiant attitude and brash refusal to change his image made him a cult hero.

He partied hard, played harder and stayed unfailingly true to himself—often to his own detriment.

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 29:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers stands on the court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 29, 2010 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Lakers won 99-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expr
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In every way imaginable, AI refused to compromise.

There's no question that Iverson was one of the single most influential figures in NBA history. The fact that LeBron James—who'll be on hand with the Miami Heat when Iverson makes his announcement—named him as one of his two biggest idols speaks volumes.

His decision to walk away from the game isn't necessarily a surprise. Back in August, Tzvi Twersky of Slam reported that Iverson was most likely going to call it a career before the 2013-14 season started.

But now that AI has picked a time and place for his announcement, it appears as though the end of his playing career is official. However, it's possible that he'll have a chance to stick with the Sixers in the future, per David Aldridge:

When he walks out onto the floor of the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 30 before the Sixers take on the Heat, there won't be many dry eyes or intact eardrums in the house.