The Hot 2012 Philadelphia 76ers Should Give Allen Iverson 1 More Chance

Tim NguyenCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2012

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 16:  Guard Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat defends against guard Jodie Meeks #20 of  the Philadelphia 76ers at the American Airlines Arena in game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Liscence agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

In sports, we love the rare and special athlete who can captivate fans with their play and win over our hearts with their valor.

Guys like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson fit this description well. Fans in Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles have great stories to tell about their homegrown legends.

In Philly, the last legend to come from the Sixers was Allen Iverson, who the team drafted No. 1 overall in 1996.

The 6'0" guard was deemed too small to play in the NBA, and his attitude in college would not translate to success in the pros, critics said.

He would prove almost everyone wrong , averaging nearly 30 points per game in his career and carried the Sixers to the NBA finals in a magical year in 2001 where he won the MVP.

Iverson would be traded from Philly to Denver in 2006, be traded again to Detroit in 2008 and have a stint with Memphis at the start of the 2009 season before re-signing with the Sixers later that year.

That Sixers' comeback was disastrous as Philadelphia couldn't win with their returning hero in the lineup and AI departed shortly after the All-Star break

Iverson has been playing in Turkey ever since his hiatus from the NBA.

Allen Iverson coming back to the place he called home in 2012 would fit the bill.

The 2012 version of the Philadelphia 76ers are contenders in the East and nothing would be more beneficial to their formula than the veteran presence of Allen Iverson.

Recently it has been reported by various media outlets that "The Answer" has had  financial troubles since his last stint in the NBA back in '09-'10. The club would be making a great humanitarian gesture as well as a smart basketball decision to bring back Iverson.

Things have changed a lot since that 2009 season, with the hiring of Doug Collins who has instilled a winning attitude to the club.

Also, guys like Jrue, Iggy, Lou and Elton Brand have matured as players since then, not to mention the addition of  guys like Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Jodie Meeks, who have changed the atmosphere as well.

The stench of losing from two years ago has worn off as they broke .500 last season and made it to the playoffs. They are off to their hottest start in 10 years this season, going 20-10 so far in this 2012 campaign.

The disappointment of the 2011 Eagles and Phillies will linger until training camp starts for both teams. Both teams had high expectations and failed to deliver on both. As a Phillies fan, I know it creates hope whenever there's a winner in the city.

The basketball team can provide the relief if they bring back their former hero and do the unthinkable.

Maybe it isn't impossible to see AI regain some of his glory with the team he once made his name.

With the rise of Jeremy Lin, who really knows what will unfold this NBA season? But let's hope for hoops fans everywhere, AI sees the light of day in the NBA again, whether it be with the Sixers or not.