NBA D-League Team Reportedly Pushing to Sign Former Legend Allen Iverson
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Dallas Mavericks' D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, is making yet another pitch to Iverson in hopes that he'll elect to try and play his way back to the pros:
The Texas Legends are lobbying Allen Iverson to try to work his way back to the NBA by playing for the Dallas Mavericks' Development League affiliate, according to D-League sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Legends, who are co-owned by Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their season-long pursuit of Iverson on Monday, offering him the chance to resurrect his career.
The 37-year-old Iverson last played in the Association roughly three years ago, spending time with both the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers during the 2009-10 campaign. He spent the following year in Turkey, but injuries didn't allow him to play much.
Though Iverson has passed on the Legends' attempts to snag him in the past, Stein notes that the team's recent addition of Delonte West, coupled with Mike James' return to the NBA, may finally peak the guard's interest.
Before assuming Iverson's ego or age will prevent him from spending any time in the D-Leauge, it must be noted that he has yet to give up on his hope to return to the NBA:
Iverson last played in the NBA in 2009-10 in brief stays with the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers, but the 37-year-old has resisted opportunities to sign lucrative deals in China because, to date, he's been reluctant to consider playing anywhere besides the NBA.
Iverson has likewise resisted the Legends' overtures so far this season -- as well as a similar offer last season -- but sources say that the Legends are trying again now because they've moved back to the top of the list in the D-League's waiver line, meaning they'd have an unobstructed path to signing Iverson if he could be convinced to put his name in the D-League's player pool.
With the Mavericks, among other teams, in need of some added backcourt depth (Boston Celtics, anyone?), Iverson might be hard-pressed to turn an offer such as this one down.
Pushing 40 and having not played in the NBA for three years, a return to the hardwood has seemed anything but likely for Iverson. And yet, we can't help but acknowledge that there's no use completely erasing the hopes of a player who averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists per game for his career.
Should Allen Iverson attempt a comeback?
Plenty of teams, Dallas included, would welcome the presence of some additional offense. Seeing the newly unretired 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace resurrect his career (sort of) with the New York Knicks may pique Iverson's existing interest further. Watching as 38- and 39-year-old point guards like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd carve up opposing defenses surely doesn't hurt either.
Can Iverson still score the way he used to? Could he still be of value to a contending team in need of some extra offense? Or a younger team just looking to fill a roster spot?
This year has already become a year marked by a deluge of hyped returns (mostly from injuries), so in the words of Russell Westbrook, I ask Iverson and the NBA sphere at large: Why not?
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