Is It The End Of The Road For A.I.?

Matthew FitzgeraldFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2010

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 20: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers tries to drive into the lane against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Philadelphia got what they wanted, and what do you know Allen Iverson throws it right back in their faces. Iverson announced yesterday that he is out indefinitely from the 76er's so he can take time off to care for his 4-year-old daughter who was plagued with an illness. Iverson missed the Sixers last five games leading into the All-Star break. Though, he did return on Feb. 16th against the Heat in which he went 7 for 28 shooting.

Iverson's return to Philadelphia was filled with crocidle teared press conference and a giant kiss on the 76ers logo during the announcing of the players on December 7th against the Denver Nuggets.

Now, I do understand that family is family and I believe that the Sixers realize that A.I. is more then just a basketball player, he is a caring father.

We all know the old Allen Iverson. The 6'0 point guard who left our jaws wide open for more than a decade with his nasty cross-overs and the quickness he brought to the NBA after he was drafted out of Georgetown University. The former league MVP is now 34 years old and towards the end of his outstanding career.

A source familiar with the situations of Iverson and the Sixers said that, in this case, "indefinitely," could mean the remainder of the season.

''The team is concerned about the distraction this could bring, but everyone understands it's most important for Allen to take care of his family," the source said.

It's over. Iverson's injury, fatigue, and deteriorating quickness have put him towards the brink of retirement or another year in basketball. The Iverson that uplifted the crowds of The First Union Center is now a shell of itself.

The truth is Sixer fans, Iverson's small stint with the Sixers, in my opinion, is slowly coming to an end. The question to think about here is what is best for both the Sixers and Allen Iverson? I say the Sixers send him on his way and give him full support and their blessings so the team can move on.

As much as I would love to watch Allen to continue to play basketball with the Sixers, it is just to much. His last game against the Chicago Bulls was probably his last, and it didn't go out with a bang. Allen has had a brilliant career with the Sixers, Pistons, Nuggets, and Memphis. Sorry Allen, it's just time to hang it up.