The statement expressed gratitude to his sponsors, fans and family for their support and inspiration -- as well as resentment for the lack of interest NBA teams have shown toward signing him as a starter.
"I would like to announce my plans to retire from the National Basketball Association. I always thought that when I left the game, it would be because I couldn't help my team the way that I was accustomed to. However, that is not the case. I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level."
Despite Iverson's choice of words (and confirmation from his business manager), it's worth pointing out that he hasn't actually "retired" so much as confirmed that he's not signing a contract in the foreseeable future -- which, to be honest, we already knew.
As Comcast SportsNet confirms, Iverson has not filed formal retirement papers with the league, meaning he's free to change his mind at any point. If/when he does file papers, he'll be ineligible to sign another contract for an entire calendar year -- but considering how highly Iverson regards himself as a player (and how clearly he resents not leaving the game on his terms), there's little to no chance he'd officially close that door.
In other words, should the right opportunity present itself in a few weeks, it's hard to believe Iverson would pass. Comcast SportsNet also reports that Iverson will soon meet with John Thompson, his former college coach and mentor, to discuss his future, adding that Thompson is on the record being opposed to Iverson ending his career just yet. If Thompson can talk Iverson into viewing himself as a spark plug off the bench instead of a clear-cut starter -- and if NBA teams actually believe he'd accept a role without complaint -- we may yet see Iverson on the floor this year, despite what he'll have us believe at the moment.