Allen Iverson thanks Biggie, Redman, Jadakiss, Tupac and Michael Jackson for being the theme music of his career !!! pic.twitter.com/kLicfc1mDZ
— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) September 10, 2016
Allen Iverson delivered an emotional speech during his induction ceremony into the 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Friday (Sept. 9).
The former Philadelphia 76ers (and Denver Nuggets) player held back tears as he spoke eloquently about his tough upbringing and the mentors like NBA icon Julius Erving (Dr. J) who helped him become a NBA superstar. The 41-year-old thanked everyone from Georgetown University coach John Thompson, to his siblings, to his children and lifelong friends.
He also compared his first game against Michael Jordan to a famous The Chappelle Show skit. “That’s Mike!” Iverson exclaimed. “And I’m looking at him. I’m looking at the shoes. And I’m like, ‘Man, he got on the Jordans!’”
A.I., aka the Answer, also thanked several hip-hoppers who gave him inspiration throughout his NBA career. “I want to thank Biggie Smalls, Redman, Jadakiss, Tupac and Michael Jackson for being my theme music throughout my career,” he said. He also saluted Mase and Dipset.
At the end of his speech, Iverson pulled a microphone drop reminiscent of Michael Jordan’s abrasive 2008 induction speech by calling out people that betrayed him.
Overall, it was a wide-ranging speech of Allen Iverson’s highs and lows in the NBA. You can watch his entire induction speech below.