What should the new ownership group in Philadelphia do about the Allen Iverson question? If they’re on their brainstorming jobs in corporate board meetings, then surely they’ve thrown around the idea of bringing “The Answer” back.
I have an interesting, although unsolicited, take on what they should do. It might sound crazy to some, but totally sensible to others.
The new tentative owners took over the ship in July, but I haven’t heard anything to suggest they’re interested in sign him. The good news for Iverson is I haven’t heard anything negative from the new group.
In fact, I haven’t heard anything at all from them. I’m not sure if they know I exist. If any of the new owners are reading this, then please drop me a line and let me know what your thoughts are about bringing A.I. back to the City of Brotherly Love.
I don’t think Iverson has been getting much love from NBA general managers. They are allowed to contact him, though, during the lockout. This could be his window of opportunity to get back to the league he loves.
After he made the announcement in early June, there wasn’t exactly a line of GMs stretching around the corner trying to get at the former NBA MVP before the lockout took hold. It’s been a decade since he brought home the highest individual honor in the game.
Unsavory reports would suggest he’s been too high on himself. The 25-year-old who won the MVP in 2001 is now 36. He’ll be 37 next June.
Jason Kidd won his first NBA championship last season with Dallas as a 38-year-old. However, Philly doesn’t have the same caliber of teammates for A.I. that Kidd had.
I don’t know where Allen would fit on Philly's current roster. There is room for maneuverability, though, with the free agents needing to be signed or let go. He could possibly put more seats in the stands and provide an NBA super veteran's experience.
He’d certainly have no fear of any of the other teams in the division. I’m banking on there being a division and a season, but the lockout is going strong.
In my pieces during the divisive lockout, I’ve been focusing lately on the combination guards and players the Sixers have on their roster. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner have received prominent print space from me.
A.I. is another combination guard who deserves considerable attention from Lake. He's a legendary NBA scorer and former NCAA and prep star.
In college, he was a quarterback and a defensive back—a combination football player. Calling the signals to unlock the virtual work stoppage in the NBA, however, is up to the newer owners sprinkled in the league.
When A.I. left the Association after 25 games to deal with personal issues during the 2009-10 season, he had totaled 24,368 points in 14 years with Philly, Denver Memphis and Detroit. That was excellent enough for top 20 status (No. 17) in NBA scoring history—a 26.7 points per game average.
While A.I. isn’t your average cat, he wants everyone concerned about him to know everything is blessed with him these days in the game of life (quote from the ESPN article linked above):
"The only thing that I give a damn about is that the people that care about me know that I'm all right," Iverson said. “All I want is my real fans to know I'm fine, my wife is fine, my kids are fine. I'm fine and I'm looking forward to getting back on a team and being productive like I have been my whole career."
I do think he could help Philly’s young players in the familiarity with the NBA department. And if his skills are anywhere near the 34-year-old A.I., then he could certainly provide double figures per game.
But, this could be a rush to judgment considering what’s going on with the team. It would certainly be a goodwill gesture from the new owners. On the other hand, it could be seen as a desperate attempt to fill seats and win fans. But, that’s what owners are supposed to do.
I wouldn’t be opposed to the team bringing A.I. back. I’d go as far as saying they should for at least one season. He’d help them in the playoffs. I’m not sure if A.I. wants to return to Philly, but I’m guessing he would.
Let me know how you, my readers, think the A.I question should be answered.
Contact Lake at his Bleacher Report mailbox or at email@example.com.