This will be the last article I write in regard to the 76ers bringing back Allen Iverson.
I want to start by getting rid of some common misconceptions.
First of all, the 76ers fill the lowest percentage of their stadium at 58 percent, while they still face the second worst overall attendance in the league.
With Iverson, that would change quickly.
If there is one thing you can say about Iverson, it's that he has some of the most loyal fans in the world, most of whom are 76ers fans. Think of all the people who would pay good money to see Allen Iverson's farewell season in the NBA.
I know, because I'm one of them.
For most of the Iverson era, I was a season ticket holder, and can tell you I'd make more games than I'd miss if Iverson comes back to Philly.
The next misconception is that Iverson would stunt the development of the young players, and ruin all team chemistry. But the Sixers could still give Jrue Holiday plenty of time as the point or shooting guard, especially since Lou Williams will be out for eight weeks. Even when Lou comes back, the only guards that should see playing time are Iverson, Williams, and Holiday.
Last night against the Mavericks, Willie Green played 38 minutes. 38 MINUTES! HELLO! This guy is not a young developing player. He should be a journeyman, but Billy King chose to re-sign him several off seasons ago over John Salmons.
The next misconception is that Iverson is a selfish player or a ball hog. Throughout his career the guy averages over six assists per game, to go along with his 27 PPG, and two SPG. Iverson is one of three players in NBA history to average 25 points, five assists, and two steals per game (the other two are MJ and Jerry West).
When Iverson played for the 76ers, he lacked other offensive options. He was forced to carry the load. The more he shot, the more likely the 76ers were going to win. Anyone who wants to say the 76ers would have made it to the finals in 2001, and been the only team to defeat the Lakers in the whole playoffs, without Iverson taking the majority of the shots is absolutely insane.
When Iverson went to Denver, his shot attempts went down and his percentages went up. He was shooting 20 times a game, 46 percent overall, and 35 percent from downtown while still getting to the free throw line almost 10 times a game (80 percent FT's), averaging 7.5 assists, and two steals. He also led the league in minutes. In his last full season in Denver, he started and played all 82 games, leading the Nuggets to 50 wins without Nene.
The Pistons made the trade for cap purposes, because they knew Iverson would keep people coming to the games. And the Grizzlies, are you serious? You sign Iverson and then tell him you are going to bring him off the bench and start Mike Conley? You've got to be kidding me.
Next, some people seem to think Iverson would not fit on this 76ers team. The truth is, there may not be another team in the NBA that Iverson would be a better fit for. They lack a No. 1 scorer, and while Iverson has only expressed that he wants to start, he would immediately be the 76ers best offensive player.
The Sixers need to stop playing Iguodala as a shooting guard. He is shooting 42 percent from the field this season and 29 percent on three-pointers. He is a good player and can be an excellent point forward guy, but isn't it clear that he can't handle being the No. 1 option?
Then, between Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Marreese Speights, the 76ers have a solid group of players receiving the bulk of the minutes, as well as a very happy City of Brotherly Love.
Iverson has made his mistakes in Philadelphia, no doubt. There are his run-ins with the law, his practice rant, and his divorce with Philadelphia in December of 2006.
Philadelphia misses the Answer, and the Answer misses Philadelphia.
The last time the 76ers had a player of Iverson's caliber, he went by the name of Charles Barkley. Bring back the best little guy the NBA has ever seen for a proper farewell. Do not let him go out having played his last game as a Memphis Grizzly.
"I always wanted to finish my career a Sixer," Iverson said when he reached out to the 76ers several days ago, in hopes of being welcomed back, shortly after announcing his plans to retire.
All in all, I beg Ed Snider, Ed Stefanski, and Eddie Jordan to bring back the six-foot guard from Georgetown, No. 3, ALLLLLENNNNNN IIIIIIVVERRSOOOONNNNNNNNN!