On Monday, the basketball world experienced quite a significant loss. Georgetown Hoyas’ coaching legend John Thompson passed away suddenly at the age of 78. “We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson, Jr,” Thompson’s family said in a statement. “Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else.”
As expected, Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson was hit hard by the news on Monday. Iverson, who played for two seasons under Thompson at Georgetown before heading into the NBA Draft, credits the late, great coach for essentially “saving” his life. To remember Thompson, Iverson took to Twitter on Monday to pay tribute.
“Thanks for saving my life coach,” Iverson wrote via Twitter. “I’m going to miss you, but I’m sure that you are looking down on us with a big smile. I would give anything just for one more phone call from you only to hear you say, ‘Hey MF’, then we would talk about everything except basketball. May you always rest in paradise, where there is no pain or suffering. I will always see your face in my mind, hoping that I made you proud. ‘Your Prodigal Son’. #Hoya4Life.”
As expected, Iverson received an outpouring of support from friends and fans on Monday, as many knew precisely how much Thompson meant to the Sixers legend. Therefore, Iverson took to Twitter once again on Tuesday to express gratitude to everybody who reached out. “I want to thank all my family, friends, and fans from all across the world that have sent me positive messages and words of encouragement during this tough time,” Iverson wrote. “It means a lot to me knowing that I have this type of support in my corner!!!”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_