Question: Should Allen Iverson be Signed to The Lakers? The Answer, YES!
Call me crazy, and I acknowledge this could be a risky move, but I think I have the answer to the question of what team should sign Allen Iverson? It's the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers.
This could potentially be a good deal for both the team and the player for a myriad of reasons, provided Iverson is willing to play for discount. Now, I'm no NBA cap expert so maybe this is completely impossible but if (and that's a big IF) the Lakers and Iverson could make the money work, let me explain why it works on the court.
For starters, there's the question of "starting". If I'm Allen Iverson and I see myself as a starter, but I am coming to the realization that IF I want to play in this league I may have to come off the bench, then I might as well play for the traveling all-star team that is the Los Angeles Lakers and try to win a championship.
If he is going to do something he doesn't want to do, then he should at least go to the team that offers him the best fringe benefits, the biggest of which is winning.
One of the Lakers most discussed perceived weaknesses is scoring off the bench and their inability to defend the quicker point guards. Iverson would address both of those issues. The struggling Sasha Vujacic could slide further down the bench and maybe the young Jordan Farmar loses a few minutes. The Lakers bench mob led by Lamar Odom and Allen Iverson would be sick.
Iverson is a basketball legend and some might say there wouldn't be enough basketballs in LA for this to work, but the Lakers have done this before with much success. In the 80's the "Showtime" Lakers added former league MVP Bob McAdoo to a championship squad and went on to win a few more with McAdoo.
Prior to that they acquired basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain late in his career to play with Jerry West and company and went in route to 33 consecutive wins, a 69-13 record and a championship. To be fair, Wilt was still a starter when he came to LA and for this to work obviously Iverson would need to embrace this reserve role, which is no guarantee.
Coach Phil Jackson is one of the best managers of egos, personalities, and difficult situations. He's coached Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, Rodman, Pippen, and now Artest; why not throw A.I. in the mix. The Zenmaster could throw him a few esoteric books about the team being more important than the individuals, get Iverson meditating, and before you know it A.I. turns into the Lakers version of Vinny "the Microwave" Johnson, lighting it up off the bench.
Playing on such a great team would make it easier to check your ego at the door. The Lakers have Lamar Odom, a top notch NBA player who would start on most teams embracing his role off the bench and Ron Artest a former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year, embracing his role and taking fewer shots. This attitude mixed with winning would become contagious, and even Iverson would join in and embrace it.
The LA fans would love Iverson and this would only add to his rock star image and the ongoing prime time drama that is the Lakers. This team seems to thrive on the spotlight so why not turn up the heat. Imagine what this team would look like led by Kobe Bryant along with Pau Gasol, Artest, Odom, Andrew Bynum, Iverson, and Derek Fisher; not to mention the other role players already on the roster.
Allen Iverson has nothing left to prove except for showing he can humble himself for the betterment of a team goal, which is bigger than his own personal agenda. He is already one of the greatest players to ever play the game and maybe the greatest little man ever.
Known for the famous rant about practice, Iverson has had his challenges with his work ethic, but I have a feeling that playing with the champs and the ultra competitive Bryant could bring out the best in Iverson in his practice and training habits. And the prospect of winning on this super team would keep him happy.
So if you are reading this Mitch Kupchak, think about it, the "Answer" may be more than a nickname. He could be the answer to a few of the Lakers question marks.
Am I crazy for this thought? Let me know.
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