Coach AI: Iverson doesn't play in Philly Big3 homecoming

From FOX Sports - July 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP)Allen Iverson walked onto a familiar court to a rousing ovation and then took an unfamiliar spot on the sideline.

The Answer was Coach AI in his Big3 homecoming.

Iverson said a few hours before his team played against Dr. Js squad that his doctor advised him not to play Sunday night for unspecified reasons.

So, he assumed his role as coach of 3s Company in Ice Cubes 3-on-3 league. That didnt stop fans from chanting: We want AI!

Im glad I had a chance to come back home, Iverson told the crowd after introductions. Aint nothing like this relationship we have. I love you for supporting me throughout my career and still today youre still supporting me.

After he walked on the floor, Iverson cupped his ear the way he used to during his days leading the Philadelphia 76ers and implored the crowd to cheer even louder.

They made it sound like 2001 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Iverson hugged everyone in sight, smiled, waved, blew kisses and went to work as a coach. He stood in front of the bench, arms folded, interacted with officials and did his best Larry Brown impression.

The Hall of Famer hasnt played much so far. He had six points on 3-for-13 shooting in the first three games before sitting out this one.

Julius Erving, coach of the Tri-State team, embraced Iverson and whispered in his ear before addressing the crowd first.

Big3 is a new concept but its an old story, Erving said. Its about playing ball the way we all learned how to play ball out in the playground, like the playgrounds all around Philadelphia.

Ervings team, led by Jermaine ONeal and Bonzi Wells, won the game. Iverson didnt speak to reporters afterward.

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