The BIG3 rolled through Philadelphia on Sunday night in one of the most anticipated stops of the season. The headliner of the league since he signed on has been Allen Iverson, not just because he’s a Hall of Famer, but because few players in the past two decades have had larger, more passionate legions of fans than The Answer.
Nowhere is he more beloved than in Philly, where he took the Sixers to the NBA Finals and wowed crowds with his crossovers and big shots. Philly fans are notoriously passionate and the opportunity to see Iverson on the court one more time was going to be an absolute treat for the Sixers’ faithful.
That was until 25 minutes prior to tip-off at the Wells Fargo Center when Iverson announced on Instagram that he wouldn’t be able to play on Sunday night do to an undisclosed injury. That announcement was well after most fans had showed up to the arena, with a number of them in Iverson jerseys, so, for the most part, those in attendance were blissfully unaware of Iverson being sidelined.
Iverson’s 3’s Company squad was scheduled to play in the fourth and final game of the day against Tri-State, coached by Dr. J. It was a matchup of Philadelphia legends, but on this night neither would play. According to Adi Joseph of For The Win, the Iverson announcement wasn’t posted in the arena through the first three games, which meant anticipation for Iverson’s return to the court built throughout the first three games. As much as Iverson’s absence, the handling of the announcement (or lack thereof) in the arena caused as big a problem as anything.