When the idea of the Big3 League was first proposed to the public, one of the main appeals it made to fans was the opportunity to see your favourite stars whose NBA days are behind them get out on the court and show that they could still play competitive basketball. That didn’t work out for Philadelphia fans.
While the league boasted the likes of Mike Bibby, Chauncey Billups, and Jermaine O’Neal, it was no secret that the biggest marquee draw the it had in it’s elevator pitch was Allen Iverson in the role of player-coach.
Last night when the Big3 League arrived in Philadelphia, many local fans were excited to have the chance to see their favourite Sixer ever lace up his shoes one more time in their home stadium. But after Iverson received a rousing ovation from his hometown crowd, he never entered the game due to an injury and doctor’s orders.
The announcement came just a few minutes before the games were set to begin at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and was made via the Big3 Instagram feed, which you can find below.
Needless to say, many fans were disappointed. And since the announcement was made via social media moments before the on-court action was underway, many fans at the arena were completely unaware of the situation, which led to various “WE WANT A.I.” chants which reportedly broke out throughout the night.
Iverson made a point to shake hands and show love to those in attendance that had come to see him, but no amount of handshakes and autographs could make up for the fact that fans were missing out on seeing The Answer pull up from the four-point spot.
Iverson has not played much so far in the Big3 League, and has only put up six points on 3-for-13 shooting in three games so far for 3’s Company, but this was the first game he did not appear in, and his absence could not have come at a worse time.
For his part, Ice Cube took to Twitter to address the controversy late Sunday night, promising Philadelphia he’d do his best to bring them a better show in the future.
Iverson is the Axl Rose of basketball.
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) July 16, 2017
What A.I. did to the Philly fans that came out to see the GOAT play one more time was a pathetic and heartless move and I love Iverson too
— ΑΤΗΑΝΑΣΙΟΣ (@athantsigi) July 17, 2017
Allen Iverson skipped last night’s BIG3 game? Was it Fan Appreciation Night?
— Rob Riches (@Riches61) July 17, 2017