Blog Entry

Iverson: What's next?

Posted on: November 16, 2009 7:48 pm

Now that Allen Iverson's career with the Memphis Grizzlies has come to its predictable end, the question is: What about the rest of his career?

Is there any career left?

Crickets were all I heard in my admittedly unscientific polling of NBA front office executives Monday night as to where Iverson might go next. Nowhere for a while, seems to be the consensus. But at some point, something will happen -- an injury, for example -- and A.I. will be back in play.

"Down the road, I think so," one front-office executive said. "I say someone will take the plunge."

But who? Depends on the circumstances. And if we've learned anything from Iverson's two most recent basketball experiences, any team picking up the phone had better be doing it for the right reasons. Iverson has made it quite clear he does not view himself as a bench player, even though I believe that's a role he could've thrived in with a contending team. But if there was ever an NBA player who was built to play one way, and one way only, it was Iverson. He's not changing.

Neither I nor the basketball minds I consulted can see any viable fit for Iverson at the moment. But things change. People get hurt. Championship contenders get anxious, and teams on the cusp of making the playoffs get dazzled by the potential revenue from a few home playoff dates. As I said, though: Proceed with extreme caution.

While still with the Pistons, Iverson said last season that he'd retire before ever coming off the bench for another team. He has remained true to the spirit of that threat. And indeed, retirement may turn out to be his only option. Does anyone see Iverson as the mercenary type who'd go get lost in the oblivion of some European league just to continue playing basketball? Not me. He loves basketball, but he loves being the center of attention. Starting and scoring and trying to do the things he's done for 13 years is what drives him, not merely lacing up his sneakers just for the sake of it.

I leave you with a scenario that is purely speculation, but it's speculation offered by an Eastern Conference front office source, so it has merit from that standpoint. It's also a scenario that I'd pay to see happen, as someone who has followed Iverson from his very first significant moment on an NBA court -- the rookie game at the '97 All-Star weekend in Cleveland.

What if the Lakers at some point in the next few months become afraid of the fact that Derek Fisher isn't getting any younger? What if they come to realize that Jordan Farmar is never going to be a big-minute option at point guard on a championship contending team? What if the stars aligned for Iverson and Kobe Bryant, who came into the league together and dueled famously in that All-Star rookie game, to go out together, too?

I'm not saying it's likely, or any more likely than another scenario that might present itself. But Iverson playing with Kobe and Ron Artest? Iverson being coached by Phil Jackson? Who among us wouldn't want to see that happen? Count me in. And in the meantime, don't hold your breath waiting for another team to make the same mistake Memphis made. 

Maybe I'm a hopeless holdover from the NBA that Iverson helped create after the 76ers made him the No. 1 overall pick way back in 1996. Maybe I'm not ready to see his career come to this kind of unceremonious end. But I'm not ready to say we've seen the last of the little fella with the cornrows. Retirement doesn't suit him any more than Memphis did. 

Somebody will take the plunge. They always do.


Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2009 7:09 pm

Iverson: What's next?

I think Iverson is running himself out of the NBA. Great player that's just NEVER understood the concept of team. It's a real shame.

Mister Blond
Since: Oct 24, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 4:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 17, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 2:03 pm

Iverson: What's next?

So, you're saying he's not like Rickey Henderson, who played for the Newark Bears in the Independant League when his MLB career was over/winding down?

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2009 1:12 pm

Iverson: What's next?

Nothing about the knicks taking the plunge wow. A.I. would be the perfect fit for the knicks they have no superstars their especially at PG duhon would be a great backup for allen.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 12:44 pm

Iverson: What's next?

I think Lakers would be a great fit for A.I., or the Cavs!

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 12:32 pm

Iverson: What's next?

I say he should go back to the only city where he truly belongs, Philadelphia.  Now I have no idea if it is even possible cap space wise so this is all speculation, but I say why not?  They aren't going to win anything anyway and they can't draw flies right now.  So bring AI back for a farewell tour and the building will be packed every night.  And better yet they may actually improve the team by having him on it. Instead of being at best a 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs they will miss the playoffs completely and get a higher draft pick.  I can't see anything negative that could come out of this other than Andre Iguodala's ego will take a hit.  Who cares, he stinks anyway!  This collection of stiffs (Dalembaert and Elton Brand especially) aren't winning anything.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 11:13 am

Iverson: What's next?

Iverson to Charlotte makes the most sense, they need scoring pretty bad, and somone to get people in the seats. Another good fit would be chicago, Salmons has not really played that well and Rose needs some help. It could jumpstart either team.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:25 am

Iverson: What's next?

I would be surprised (in fact, shocked) if Iverson landed in Los Angeles.  The Lakers are the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Finals this season and Jerry Buss does not want to risk meddling with the team chemistry.  And while I think the concern about his attitude and the clashing of egos between him and Kobe has the potential to be detrimental (albeit only minorly), I am thinking more of the concern with bringing in a slasher and scorer who is going to be taking shots away from Kobe Bryant.  Why mess up a good thing?  Allen Iverson in L.A. has the potential to force the Lakers re-tool their offense and re-consider how their offense is run.  Iverson has had a history of being a terrific scorer, but why risk upsetting the offensive chemistry by having him compete with one of the league's best scorers for touches?  Iverson has been known to be a fierce competitor, but he's also been known to be a selfish player and not a hard worker in practice.  He's not worth the risk.

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2009 9:41 am

Iverson: What's next?

europe is waiting.....

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 8:21 am

Iverson: What's next?

A couple of things:

1. I'm not a huge Allen Iverson fan, but I could see him blending better with a Kobe or LeBron lead team where the leadership role is not up for grab, but he still get's bigtime minutes.

2. What was Memphis thinking? I mean it's AI, and you have a bunch of young question mark players, of course he wants to start. That whole situation was just beyond bizarre.

I may be crazy but I could see AI making a great team better, not a good team better or a bad team better. Maybe this memphis thing will give him a bit of humility which wouldn't hurt either.

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