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The Answer?...Not Allen Iverson Anymore

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies on the court against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 6, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-98. 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 License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Austin SchindelAnalyst IINovember 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Iverson,

You are too small. You have no heart. You do not care. You can not longer go toe to toe with the best guards in the NBA. You do not matter.

Are you buying any of that? I'm certainly not. Mr. Iverson, your contributions to the NBA and the city of Philadelphia have been nothing but good. You have never run into the stands or punched a referee and if missing practice is your biggest downfall, then so be it.

But something changed once you left the city of brotherly love. You became...really, really human. No longer were the days of hoisting up 30 shots, shooting 17 free throws, and being the literal center of attention still possible. Eric Snow became Carmelo Anthony, and Theo Ratliff turned into Kenyon Martin.

While your days in Denver were successful from a personal statistical standpoint, team success did not follow. In Denver, you were not "The Answer;" you just raised more questions.

Though this may have not been a fit made in heaven, Detroit must certainly be much better, right? I mean come on, the Pistons craved that one guy that could create his own shot in the clutch, something they had been missing for years. It just had to work. Wrong! Apparent lies, deceit, and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time were the only things you learned from that experience.

But no worries, we love AI. We want to root for you. So naturally, we saw your move to Memphis as a gift. This was a chance to enter the next stage of your life; the one where you teach younger players about the value of teamwork and working hard before and after practice (yes I said practice).

But unlike your second and third marriages, this ended so quickly you applied for an annulment; and thus it was granted.

Now...you're rolling single...a free man to go where he wants and when he wants, answering to nobody. But AI, that feeling of freedom is going to turn into loneliness real soon. Eventually, people are going to forget that you are one of the best scorers of all time and the Brett Favre comparisons are going to become eerily similar.

But this is not an obituary, you must not be concerned because there is hope. YOU CAN LEARN TO BE A MAN. It is never too late!

Beyond reasonable doubt, you have enough money to support your family for the rest of your life, so go out there and play for the love of the game. Remember back when you played at Georgetown and your earliest days as a Sixer (don't forget crossing up MJ).

And now, a little tough love for you. We would love to see you continue to play. You are still a young man that has a few good years left in him. You are too important to the game to quite, and losing you, because a team won't start you is just not good enough.

When I was younger, and I would get mad because the coach would not start me during rec basketball, my dad would always say to me, "It not about who starts the game, but it's about who finishes it." Iverson, you are a finisher. Finish what you started.

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