Pivot Points: Is It Time To Write Allen Iverson's Career Obituary?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer INovember 12, 2009

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 6: Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies drives against Josh Powell #21 of the Los Angeles Lakers on November 6, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-98.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Let's see, start with a talented, but young Memphis team, mix in a troubled Allen Iverson, and sprinkle an untested coach on top and what do you get? Well, if I were cooking up a recipe for disaster, those would be my ingredients.

In the wake of the latest failed Allen Iverson experiment, it may be time for the former superstar to ask himself some tough questions. He should start with, is it even worth his time to continue on this endless merry-go-round?

Iverson's last two stints have been a lot more memorable for things that have transpired off the court, than for anything that has happened on it. Even his prior stop in Denver, although marginally successful, was still mired in controversy.

He recently returned to the idea of retirement after his latest "leave of absence" from the Memphis Grizzlies and maybe this is a decision that he should stick to his guns on.

Think about it, when was the last time that the public witnessed Iverson actually contributing in a meaningful NBA game? When was the last time that Iverson even looked comfortable in the uniform of a team that he was playing for at the time?

I know there are a large contingent of extremely faithful Iverson fans who will say that he just needs to find the right situation and team that will best utilize his skills, but where exactly do you propose that place might be?

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The best situation he has played in, was out in Denver where we were exposed to his usual A.I. antics. Sure, he was among the league leaders in scoring, but he still refused to play defense.

Yes, the Nuggets made the playoffs in Iverson's last year there, but they were unceremoniously swept out of the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers, in a series in which they looked like they didn't even belong.

His fans will point out that Iverson and Carmelo Anthony were the highest scoring duo in the league that year, but the silence from Anthony on Iverson's departure speaks volumes.

There was simply no rhythm or cohesion between the two and Iverson's refusal to buckle down on the defensive end, contributed to Denver being one of the worst defensive playoff teams in recent memory.

I don't want to add to the "let's all gang up on Iverson sentiment" that's been floating around the web recently, but facts are facts; his relevancy to any team may be coming to an end.

It's a shame too, because Iverson in his prime was a pure joy to behold, a whirling dervish of bottled lightning, possible of erupting for bunches of points in mere minutes.

Now, the biggest eruption is likely to come from his disappointment over his lack of playing time and his fans will say, who can blame him? I mean Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was starting Mike Conley over him, right?

Hollins was right and regardless of what fans or the media think, it was his decision. Wrong or right, he fielded the team that he felt gave him the best chance to win and A.I. couldn't wait to chime in with how he felt.

He played exactly one game before he let the world know how his backside felt from sitting on the bench. In all honesty, he was lucky to be there. It's not like teams were beating down his door to sign him.

He could have been a role model for the youngsters and exhibited a willingness to be helpful to his teammates, but he has never been that type of player. He felt that he should have been playing right now.

So, this latest conundrum has raised speculation as to where Iverson may end up now and the popular choice seems to be Cleveland. Really? LeBron, Shaq, and A.I. is destined to be a match made in hell.

Everyone knows that LeBron is at his best when he is able to dominate the ball and Iverson is unable to be effective unless he dominates the ball, so something would have to give.

In that instance, it would probably be the Cavaliers' season, and an admission that this season is lost. Iverson is incapable of sharing the spotlight, especially with a player whose light is as bright as LeBron's.

Why do you think that Denver became such a better team when the deal for Chauncey Billups was made? The lame excuse that Billups was a better fit for the team has floated around, but what does that mean for A.I.?

Was he too good for the Nuggets and they needed a lesser player like Billups to come in and make them click? Absurdly, that explanation has been given and it's usually by Iverson's own delusional fans who don't realize how silly that excuse sounds.

I will no doubt be considered a Allen Iverson hater by some and I don't mind that at all, but that may be the longest thing from the actual truth. In fact in time, some fans may eventually thank me for the foresight.

How much longer can Iverson bounce from team to team extolling his own virtues while laying blame at the feet of everyone else?

It may be best for him to hang up his sneakers while his legacy is still intact. The former greatness of his game will be missed and may it forever rest in peace.


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