WATCH: Dwayne Wade showers Allen Iverson with praise during Hall of Fame speech, thanks him for changing the game of basketball
Dwyane Wade was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last night and was joined by current hall of famer, Allen Iverson on stage for his induction speech.
Wade was induced into the Hall of Fame as a part of a class that included Dirk Nowitzki, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, Becky Hammon and Pau Gasol.
Last night, in Springfield Massachusetts, Iverson was dressed for the occasion, sitting on stage in a custom “Wade 3” suit jacket as Wade spoke about his impact on the NBA and how he shaped the way the Miami Heat guard played the game of basketball.
Dwayne Wade Speech
“As I reflect on my own destiny and the impact that my heroes have had on my life, I’m reminded that our heroes are not always perfect. Instead, they possess a relatability that makes them touchable and real. When anyone speaks about Allen Iverson, that’s exactly what they say. He’s real. So A.I., I need you to know this: I watched you with awe because I saw a reflection of myself in you. The way you played the game was exciting and fearless. It didn’t matter who they put in front of you. They weren’t going to stop you. I know. I tried.”
“It didn’t matter what they said about you because they couldn’t measure the size of your heart. Your authenticity and unapologetic attitude resonated with me. Your swagger, your unique style — rocking durags, braids, the baggy shorts, the untucked jerseys, the earrings, the chains, the throwback jerseys. It all combined to create an image that broke the mold. You challenged conventional norms and became the poster child for individuality and self-expression, inspiring countless individuals to embrace their own uniqueness.”
“You brought hope to those who grew up with limited resources. You showed us that success and greatness were attainable, even in the face of adversity. Your struggles made your accomplishments that much more remarkable. A.I., you are a living, breathing reminder that redemption and growth are possible. You inspired a generation, my damn self included, to believe that coming from nothing was not a limitation but motivation.”
“I wore an arm sleeve throughout my career because A.I. did. I respectfully wore the No. 3 throughout my college and NBA career to represent the love and the respect that I have for this man. So from the bottom of my heart, you are the culture and we love you and we thank you, Allen Iverson.”