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76ers’ statue honoring Allen Iverson draws jokes, outrage

In Sports
April 13, 2024
Apr 12, 2024; Camden, NJ, USA; Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson during the unveiling of the statue honoring him in a ceremony at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NBA legend Allen Iverson has a big legacy. On Friday, the Philadelphia 76ers unveiled a statue in his honor that was widely criticized for being too small.

After photos and videos of Iverson posing with the sculpture reached social media, Iverson became the No. 1 trending topic on X. Based on over 15,000 posts on the platform reacting to the size of the new work of art, many users failed to realize that Iverson was commemorated in standard size for the 76ers.

Iverson is the 10th 76ers great to receive a statue on the Legends Walk located in front of the team’s training complex in Camden. On Friday, he joined Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones and Dolph Schayes as an honoree. All of the statues for the aforementioned players are around the same size as Iverson’s:

As noted by ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin, it makes sense the size had the potential to be “jarring to some folks,” but it’s normal for the collection of sculptures.

That said, the announcement of Iverson’s incoming statue came last month, on the 10th anniversary of Iverson’s No. 3 being retired by the franchise. That timing evoked reminders of Iverson’s achievements, which include him winning NBA Rookie of the Year in 1997 and an MVP award in 2001.

The seven-time All-Star was often dominant while standing 6-feet tall and often being one of the smallest players on the court.

His prolific scoring and size considered, Friday’s statue reveal didn’t go over well with some media personalities and former NBA players:

Other responses from athletes, fans, journalists and rappers opted to take the comedic route:

It should be noted that the 76ers’ statement announcing the statue referred to Iverson as “one of the greatest 76ers to ever live and one of the most iconic players in the history of the NBA.”

That statue was created by sculptor Chad Fisher, a Philadelphia native who created the nine other sculptures on Legends Walk, along with multiple sculptures for the Chicago Bears.

Iverson will also be honored Sunday ahead of the 76ers’ matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

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