The first person Allen Iverson thanked in his jersey-retirement speech was Michael Jordan. "Yes, I was one of those kids that wanted to be like Mike," he said. Iverson proceeded to thank friends, family and former teammates, each name greeted by applause from the crowd. And then he thanked Stephen A. Smith and Howard Eskin. So much booing.
Iverson was clearly emotional but he never broke down during his speech—which is a pretty Iverson way to give a speech—and even though he didn't shout out the infamous "we talkin' 'bout practice" bit, he did a pretty solid job. He was funny (Philadelphia has "the best fans in the world. Hands down, hands down—definitely in the sport of basketball"), poignant and real. Then, when he was done, he just said it was time to party.