By Val Marvin Macanas
Allen Iverson was part of the much talked about All In PCWorx Gawad Kalinga Charity Game last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. And, despite not playing in front of his Filipino fans, he still made them feel good by giving a warm opening message.
"I just wanna say thanks for having me here. This is my 2nd time coming to the Philippines. Thanks for embracing me. I love you. I will come back," said Iverson.
Iverson coached the Team Gawad Kalinga made up of well known street ballers such as Bone Collector, Air up There, and The Professor. They faced Coach Tim Cone and his young guns Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, Mac Belo, CJ Perez, Ola Adeogun and other famous ballers.
The game went down the wire and I'm sure you can guess who nailed the game winner in the dying seconds of the ball game. You're right, the Blue Mamba did it again. This time, he dazzled the fans with a sterling lay-up to win the game for his team, 98-96. His game winner outshone all the the amazing dunks last night.
Iverson's loyal fans who watched the game live felt sad because their favorite player's team lost. But that was not the only thing that they had to deal with that evening. They also heard the sad announcement of the former NBA MVP.
“The passion that you saw from me throughout my NBA career is gone. I obviously miss the game, but I get emotional with all the memories and things like that. I’m done. At this stage in my life, I don’t want it no more and I don’t want to do it anymore. I prefer to be a full-time dad and make up for all that lost time I sacrificed while I was still playing active ball,” the one time NBA MVP announced.
On the lighter side, Iverson bared that he believes that the 1996 NBA Draft Class is The Greatest Ever.
"We had the best draft class. People try to debate it all the time with the draft class of LeBron, D-Wade and Melo, but our class is the best," Iverson disclosed.
Iverson's basketball story may have drawn to a close, but his torch will soon be held high by another Iverson as he has son.
"I have a son. You have no idea how good he is. He's way better than I was at 16. You will be seeing him," Iverson proudly said.
He was also asked by the media about his Top 5 NBA Players of All Time. He said that he can't put himself in the top 5 as he's a 2 guard, MJ has to take his spot. As a result, this is his list:
1. Magic Johnson
2. Michael Jordan
3. LeBron James
4. Charles Barkley
5. Shaquille O'Neal