Which teams in the NBA are hesitant to give League minimum poster boy, Allen Iverson, a third chance next season? All of them. And it’s warranted.
I’m going to say some things about Iverson that you might not care to hear from a critic/fan like myself. But after I finish my tirade, and give some valid points on why some club should roll the dice, maybe , some GM out there might actually consider the Answer’s latest outreach for some work in the 2010/2011 season.
First off, this little dude is the personification of the human super ego. With a Napoleon complex on overdrive that could conquer a small country, this guy has been known to disembowel a team’s chemistry faster than the flick of O.J. Simpson’s wrist. A true Galactus of NBA franchises.
Look at what he did to poor Memphis last year. Three games coming off the bench busted his ego so bad, he had to retire. And in the process, making the Grizzlies management look like chumps for giving The Headache another chance.
Later that season, I almost felt sorry for Stephen A. Smith when he threw his campaign to get Iverson the vacancy on the Sixers squad. Yeah, he had me in tears too, with the old “Let him go out the right way” speech. A.I. had learned his lesson, and “realized” Philly was his home.
As if on cue, 25 games later, he quits again because of family problems, citing his daughter being ill. Understandable, of course. Maybe I would have done the same thing. But he was already branded with a reputation of quitting on teams. To just desert Philadelphia mid-stream confirmed his mindset. Iverson's family crisis clearly took his competitive heart, and he just didn’t want to play anymore.
SAS’s credibility would take a severe hit from that disaster. He would later get “revenge” by revealing A.I.’s gambling and drinking problems. Or was that some type of intervention?
Enter the biggest free agency season of all time. With so much hoopla and excitement in the air, anyone who was playing, or ever had played pro ball, was instantly revitalized. Especially someone like Mr. Iverson, who was now at home, playing Medal of Honor, wishing for a pick-up game.
The Answer wanted to play again. He even twitted that he was ready to serve in any capacity for any team willing to give him ANOTHER chance. He also added that his family problems and “other” issues were resolved. A genuine sounding statement, I admit . But owners/GMs/coaches/fans/haters have all heard this before. But we can dream can't we?
Let’s look at what A.I. has to offer. Just a few years ago, Allen would crank out endless layups just to see how many points the scoreboard could display. Those days are over. But coming off the bench, Iverson could become a firecracker that could get you a good 10 or more points a night. I really don’t see him starting, unless a garbage team picks him up who doesn’t have a shooting guard. Just don’t expect 27ppg a night, though.
He also knows how to distribute the ball. That discussion could lead to him being the point on a team like Miami, if they would give him a shot, and if he’s willing to take the food stamps Pat Riley is peddling. But with A.I.'s history, his vet minimum contract would have to have stipulations because he's a flight risk(he will get the vet minimum, right?)
And they’ll want him to come off the bench. But at least he’d lead the second squad. In fact, forget the statement I said earlier about him potentially being a starter somewhere. Those 35 year-old legs have to be balsa wood by now.
Another consideration is the fact that he doesn’t have a championship ring. That discussion also leads back to Miami. The Heat is the closest thing to a guarantee in the NBA right now, and I promise you Iverson is on bended knee with Miami representatives trying to get a spot on Super Team. This would officially be his last chance to get a sniff of an O’Brian trophy.
Lastly, I never liked Allen Iverson that much. Because of his antics and cavalier attitude, I never really appreciated his ridiculous scoring power, or his floor leadership. But I always admired his work ethic. I saw how he played in the 2004 Olympics. He tried to kill himself to get the gold, only to taste bitter copper, I mean bronze. That effort alone deserves one last afterthought from all the GMs out there. Allen Iverson is ready to listen. That's the correct Answer.