We knew going in that Allen Iverson‘s induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday would be something to behold. And he didn’t disappoint. Iverson was emotional throughout his wide-ranging acceptance speech, taking ample time to thank coaches, teammates, friends, family members, along with just about everyone he’s ever met or known, but by far the most entertaining part was when he paused to thank a handful of rappers and musicians who helped him get hyped before games.
“I want to thank Biggie, Redman, Jadakiss, Tupac, Michael Jackson for being my theme music throughout my career.”
Since the beginning of his career, Iverson has been inextricably linked to hip hop culture and his fashion choices were one of the main reasons former commissioner David Stern instituted a dress code. For him to acknowledge controversial figures like Biggie and Tupac was a fitting tribute. Despite never winning a championship, the flashy 6’1 guard is one of the fiercest competitors the league has ever seen and is widely considered the best pound-for-pound player in NBA history.
Earlier in the evening, fellow inductee Yao Ming got in a hilarious jab at Iverson for his infamous practice rant, which Iverson chose not to address directly in his own speech.