Why Allen Iverson Has No Room to Struggle Playing in Dominican Republic

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIMarch 22, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 26:  Basketball player Allen Iverson smiles during a news conference at the Thomas & Mack Center to announce the Las Vegas Superstar Challenge October 26, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three-game tournament will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 12 and 13, 2011, and will feature four teams made up of NBA players, former NBA players and rookies. Iverson will serve as a captain for one of the teams.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Allen Iverson's goals of returning to the NBA have never been more up in the air right now.

One more misstep, and any chances of an NBA comeback are gone. 

As Royce Young of CBS Sports detailed, Iverson has signed a one-month contract to play in the Dominican Republic.

That sounds good, as it gives teams a chance to see the former MVP in an actual game, but it comes with a problem:

The Answer must be stellar. 

See, the Dominican Republic is not exactly the home of the best basketball leagues in the world.

To give you a general idea of where they stand, the current FIBA rankings has the Dominican Republic as the 25th best team in the world, which gives you a general sense of the kind of players he'll be going up against. 

In terms of quality, this is about as far away from the NBA as you can get, so there can be no doubt that Iverson is clearly a full step ahead of any teammate or opponent. 

Iverson may be the best player in the league, but just being the best won't be good enough.

Being the best player in the Dominican Republic doesn't exactly instill confidence that you'll be any good in the NBA.

He has to be dominant against every player and team that stands in his way. 

The reason people aren't likely to gamble on Iverson is that he's 37.

For a guard in the NBA, that might as well be 77.

If he goes to the Dominican Republic and is good, there's no reason for an NBA team to sign Iverson over whatever good player is player standing next to him, who's likely 10-15 years younger. 

I am certainly not going to judge Iverson for wanting to come back to the NBA.

Whether it's the "financial difficulty" detailed by Young, a pure love of the game and the NBA or a completely different reason altogether, he has every right to try to come back to the league if that's what he wants to do. 

The problem comes when and if anything goes wrong.

Putting yourself on display against opponents that are nowhere near what you're used to facing in the NBA is a huge gamble, as any problems are going to be amplified. 

For Iverson's sake, I hope he's ready to be perfect.

If not, then let's just hope he has other options lined up beyond the NBA.

If this month is anything less than an unqualified success, then his hopes of getting back to the NBA are no more.