10 NBA Comebacks We Would Love to See

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

10 NBA Comebacks We Would Love to See

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    The retirement of Brandon Roy before the start of last season was easily one of the most depressing basketball-related stories in a long time, but his comeback could be one of the best stories of this year.

    Roy played only five years in the NBA, but they were glorious years. In fact, he was such a good player that it seems like guys started referring to him as a "veteran" when he was only in his third year in the league.

    He matured quickly, but his body broke down quicker, and it's a shame that it had to end last year.

    Thankfully, Roy has announced that he's coming back. So with him and his comeback in mind, it's time to take a look at which former NBA players, including Roy, would make the most intriguing comebacks. 

10. Michael Jordan

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    This one always seems to be polarizing, so I figured I wouldn't put it too high, but I would be completely into a Michael Jordan comeback at this point.

    Here's what it would be. It wouldn't be like when he came back with Washington when we all expected him to be Michael Jordan again; it'll be him proving to us all that he can still play even going on 50.

    In a way it's the ultimate Jordan thing to do. Who else would have an opinion of himself so high that they would come back and play with kids half his age?

    For the record, Jordan could still play. He probably wouldn't play better than half the guys in the league, but there's no way he's any worse than Jonny Flynn.

9. Greg Ostertag

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    A Greg Ostertag comeback nearly made it all the way back to the NBA, but he never quite made it.

    The big man who made watching the Jazz seem as awkward as can be was always entertaining, with the way he would rumble after offensive rebounds and bumble his way toward the hoop. He made a career out of being uncoordinated in the most coordinated way ever.

    Ostertag played 10 games with the Texas Legends before a knee injury ended his comeback bid with the Dallas Mavericks.

    It's disappointing we never got to see the big man get another chance.

8. Antoine Walker

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    Antoine Walker achieved greatness at one point with the Boston Celtics, something that the younger generation of NBA fans would scoff at if we tried to get them to believe it, but it's true.

    Hell, Walker was even on the cover of NBA Live 1999.

    That's why when I heard he was attempting a comeback in 2010, I was pretty psyched.

    Unfortunately, Walker spent two full seasons with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA's D-League, never getting the call-up by the Portland Trail Blazers.

    C'mon Portland, give the dude a 10-game contract and let's give him a farewell tour.

7. Brent Barry

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    Sure, he's 40, but Brent Barry's still got to have his shooting stroke, and I'd rather see him make a comeback to shoot some threes than someone like Reggie Miller to come chase a title.

    There was something about Barry that made his game, even as a dull old man who could barely get into the lane, incredibly watchable.

    He had a kind of white boy swagger that was admirable, and the way he would put up a shot and just hold that pose a half second too long was the slightest, yet most obvious "in your face" moment of any game in which he played.

    C'mon, Brent's at least as mobile as Mike Miller.

6. Rasheed Wallace

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    Rasheed Wallace nearly made a comeback back in January when the Lakers were looking for something, anything to bring their team together, and they thought that something was Rasheed Wallace.

    Unfortunately for basketball fans everywhere, we never got to see the meanest, craziest lineup in NBA history of Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace, Wallace and Andrew Bynum.

    Still, if Rasheed's got anything left in the tank, anything at all, I urge him to come back. Just come back and shout, "Ball don't lie!" for me one more time and I'll be good.

5. Dikembe Mutombo

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    Yeah, I know he's going on 47, and I know he only averaged two points a game before he had career-ending surgery after getting tangled up with Greg Oden back in 2009, but I want this man back in basketball.

    I don't care if it's for a season, a month, a game or a minute, all I want is one more Mutombo finger wag in my life to make me complete.

    We know you can do it Deke—come back and swat some shots.

4. Fabricio Oberto

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    It's strange, Fabricio Oberto was never a player who made a huge impact on the league, but he was always one of my favorite players to watch.

    Oberto was a guy you could go to war with. He wasn't ever going to score so many points that he would put your team over the top, but he was always a player who could grab the loose ball, dive for a rebound and run his heart out.

    Unfortunately, Oberto really did run his heart out. Back in 2010 Oberto revealed that his previously diagnosed cardiac condition was going to force him to retire.

    He was 36 years old and only played in the NBA for six seasons, but it seemed like he was around for much longer, and he played like he was much younger.

3. Brandon Roy

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    Brandon Roy is coming back, so there's no wondering about this one anymore, but it's still a return that I'm looking forward to.

    Roy retired far too early, there was never a question about that, and it's a shame that he reached greatness so quickly, only to be struck down in his prime due to the fact that he had no cartilage left in his knees.

    Here's what I think happened here. Bradon Roy was such a team player that when he heard Greg Oden was having knee troubles, Roy donated his knees to Oden and the two underwent an illegal knee-transplant surgery. Roy took Oden's knees, which he still has, but Oden's body rejected Roy's knees and he was never able to get any new knees since the injury.

    Now, however, Roy is coming back, and I can only imagine that everyone is hoping for the best from the young guy.

2. Allen Iverson

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    Allen Iverson has been flirting with the idea of a comeback for a while now. Ever since 2010 when he retired it seems like rumors have swirled about him getting back in shape, itching to get back into the game.

    It doesn't seem like it's a question of ability. Iverson averaged 14 points a game in his final 25-game stretch with the Philadelphia 76ers and could still get his, despite diminishing shooting percentages.

    Even as an older guy he was still fun to watch. He wasn't the old, herky-jerky Iverson who forced you one way and went the other, but the Iverson who went straight at you and made you decide on what to do before you even had time to think.

    I may be in the minority here, but an Allen Iverson reunion with the NBA would be fine and dandy with me.

1. Yao Ming

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    Yao Ming retired far too early. After Shawn Bradley left the league, all we had left of the super-giants in the NBA was Yao Ming.

    Yao, of course, was forced to retire after only nine seasons in the NBA after a flurry of lower-body injuries in the latter half of his career.

    He came into the league like a storm. Everybody knew his name, everybody wanted to see him play and everybody had an opinion on him. As he left the league he showed that he could play the game, and he left behind nary an enemy, as he seemed to be one of the nicest guys to ever play the game.

    Try it one more time Yao, you're at least better than Ryan Hollins.


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