Allen Iverson to China? Why It Would Be a Shame To See the NBA Lose A.I.

Ray BoydContributor ISeptember 17, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 16:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers gestures to hear cheers from the crowd during the NBA game against the Washington Wizards at First Union Center on March 30, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Sixers won 107-87.  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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Since 1996, there has not been a tougher little man in the NBA than Allen Iverson. In fact, there probably has not been a tougher player, regardless of height, than Allen Iverson.

"The Answer's" game has been the embodiment of toughness and passion since the day he brought his talents to the Philadelphia 76ers. He not only played in the NBA, he made a new definition of the NBA player.

Allen Iverson brought a certain "hip hop" culture to the NBA, which was associated with his attitude, his clothing, and of course his trademark braids. His brand was loved, not only here but also around the world. Iverson jerseys flew off the shelves here in the USA and across the globe at an enormous rate.

Although Iverson's game has clearly diminished, it is not gone. He averaged 13.9 points per game with the Sixers last season and if a return is possible, that would be the only team that would seem right for Iverson.

Iverson is one of those NBA players that just does not look right in any other jersey than that of the Sixers. Iverson's 13.9 points might be low for him, but that is far from gone. There are a ton of players in today's NBA that average that or less who play roles on teams.

Allen Iverson has made it clear that he will play any role for any team that wants him, and if that is the case, there is no reason why the NBA should lose such a legend so early.