NBA Free Agency 2010: Top Destinations For Allen Iverson
July 2 marked a terrific day in the NBA.
People had meetings! Get some champagne, let’s make this a bigger deal than ESPN has!
Actually that’s impossible.
While the mass media ogles the big name free agents like Roman Polanski at an elementary school, many teams are looking for better deals to be had. There is talent to be had all over the free agent market, it just takes a bit more looking
And if you squint hard enough, you will see Allen Iverson.
Yes, the same Allen Iverson that looked like he would retire, then came back, then complained about his role, then retired, then came back. Only Jay-Z has made more returns to the game.
He may not be the same guy that single-handedly took the 76ers to the NBA Finals, but he’s one of the best scorers to ever play in the NBA. That alone will get him some attention from teams, but who will go hardest to get him?
Meet Allen Iverson
Weight: 165 lbs
Experience: 13 years
2009-2010 Statistics: 30.9 mpg, 13.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 43% FG
Say anything you want about Allen Iverson. But I know one thing for sure.
He works harder than nearly anyone in the NBA.
NBA.com must be using a bum tape measure, because Iverson is six feet only in heels. For a guy who is essentially a two guard, he has to shake off guys who have half a foot or more on him for shots, and still is money with the jumper.
However, Iverson is well past his prime. His numbers have considerably dropped since his days in Philly, and he has to accept this if he wants to come back in 2010-2011.
If he thinks he is still a star athlete and No. 1 guy, people will avoid him like the plague.
However, only two seasons ago, A.I. averaged 26.4 points per game, so teams know the man can still ball. So let’s take a look and find out who will sign the former All-Star.
5) Boston Celtics
No, Rondo, you wait. We’re bringing in reinforcements.
Rajon Rondo has undoubtedly become the best player in Boston. His leadership and presence on offense are one of the Celtics’ biggest weapons.
Jameer Nelson is still wondering where he went after Rondo burnt him like toast on every possession.
But he needs a back-up. Anyone watching the NBA Finals saw Rondo slowly getting tired because Doc Rivers couldn’t afford to take him out of the game for more than a minute.
That’s where Iverson comes in.
He’s a completely different pace than Rondo, has just as good passing skills, and can light it up with his jumper. While Nate Robinson changed the game when he came in, he can’t lead a team like Iverson can.
4) Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a team that’s all about fun and scoring. If they don’t score in the first eight ticks of the shot clock, they get a lashing.
Okay, maybe that’s harsh, but they love to run.
While a lot of people think that these two guys are solid backups for Steve Nash, I’m not so confident. Leandro Barbosa disappeared in the playoffs, and Goran Dragic, while he exploded this year, could just be a flash in the pan.
So why not add someone who is 17th all-time in scoring?
You’d add Elgin Baylor right? Well he’s 21st.
The Suns don’t pride themselves on defense, and Iverson can help them there too. He’s not the thief he was before, but he didn’t get to 13th all-time in steals by accident.
Steals start breaks, and the Suns are all about the break.
3) New York Knicks
New York has always been a haven for oddballs, nut jobs, and screwy dudes.
Shockingly, that’s not the only reason Iverson fits well in Madison Square Garden.
Mike D’Antoni has only one thing in mind for his team: score. Everyone on his team knows they need to run the floor, shoot quickly, and hope the other team doesn’t score, a mantra Iverson can quickly adopt.
If the Knicks aren’t scoring over 100 points, they are losing.
But D'Antoni doesn’t have a reliable floor general. Chris Duhon wasn’t the point guard he wanted, and without someone to run the break, the Knicks wingmen are as useful a silencer for a grenade launcher.
The key for the Knicks will be to keep Iverson happy. If they can get a big time free agent and re-sign David Lee, he has the talent around him to win.
Smiles all around.
2) Philadelphia 76ers
When he signed with Philadelphia for the end of last year, Iverson seemed so happy to come back to the city he ran earlier in the decade.
If he’s willing to take a smaller contract, he should come back.
That’s a Seth Rogen sized if.
Iverson may be one of the only athletes that the city doesn’t boo or hurl objects at. He’s managed to find a spot in 76ers fans’ hearts, something not even Santa Claus could do.
Talk about the City of Brotherly Love.
The Sixers’ guards need some tutoring. J'rue Holiday and Evan Turner make up a very young backcourt, and Iverson can impart some sage wisdom upon them so they know the ins and outs of being liked in Philly.
As long as Iverson tells them to go to practice as well, this could be a solid move.
Sadly, the era of Iverson may be ending.
As much as I love him for his monumental efforts in the NBA, I think he needs to pack up his bags and stop going to practice.
Which shouldn’t be hard, he did that six years ago.
Iverson’s stock has been plummeting since he left Denver, and he just hasn’t been able to match his attitude with his level of play. No one is sure if he is willing to accept a support role, and that scares away many suitors.
He will go down as one of the best NBA players under six feet tall, if not the best. Despite all the flare-ups in the basketball world, he’s been known as a conscientious person and a respectable father.
So why not hang out with your kids, relax, and enjoy your illustrious career?
The longer he drags his career out, Iverson will start to be known for this tail end of his career more so than his amazing beginning.
And I can’t bear to see that happen.