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Allen Iverson: Not the Answer for Tumbling Sixers

Adam HartAnalyst IDecember 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies on the court against 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

After three games with the Memphis Grizzlies as a backup, a disgruntled Allen Iverson fled Memphis. A few days later, while AI was contemplating retirement, the Philadelphia 76ers, his former team made him an offer. Iverson decided to return to basketball and to his former city.

AI was once thought to be a rare player who would play his entire career for one squad. From 1996 until 2005, Iverson was the leader of the Sixers. Back in Philadelphia, he walks with the label of an ex-Sixer, ex-Nugget, ex-Piston and ex-Grizzly. Midway through 2006, Iverson's attitude problems led Philly to deal him to Denver. For the first time in his life, he would be playing alongside another superstar, Carmelo Anthony. AI and 'Melo led the Nuggets to back-to-back playoff appearances—but they failed to get out of the first round.

Four games into the next season, the Nuggets dealt him to Detroit in exchange for Chauncey Billups. It seemed as if the Pistons got the better end of the deal. In his career, Iverson had won an MVP award and four scoring titles.

Instead, Iverson was a bust, averaging only 15 points and the Pistons were swept in the first round by the Cavs. Billups, on the other hand, led the Nuggets to the conference finals where they lost in a tough six games to the eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pistons dropped him and relied on Rodney Stuckey instead.  Iverson was involved in hundreds rumors before Memphis finally picked hm up. He struggled again and left after only playing in three games before finally returning to the Sixers.

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When he signed, the sixers were in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. He scored 11 points in each of the teams first two games—both losses. He then brought back memories of the old days when a 20-point performance erased a 13-game losing streak. Maybe, just maybe, the Sixers future is looking up. But I don't think so.

I'm not saying that the answer is not an asset to any NBA team, as a matter of fact there are a few where he could make a huge impact.

There are three teams that come to mind right away. First, the Cavs. A team that has pretty much all the pieces but needs a backup for Mo Williams or even a starting shooting guard. Iverson, if he's willing should step into a backup role for the next two teams. First, the Atlanta Hawks, besides Mike Bibby, they have no leadership, Iverson could step in and make the Hawks a legit Eastern Conference contender. Also, Portland could use some veteran help. They need someone to step in and score some points of the bench.

The answer in no longer the answer for teams in turmoil, but he could be the missing piece on teams could be championship, or playoff contenders—those are the only teams on which he could make a serious impact.

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