Blog Entry

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:51 am
Edited on: November 28, 2009 5:18 pm
Allen Iverson has reached out to the Philadelphia 76ers about a possible reunion with the team that launched his iconic and controversial career, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to on Saturday.

The person, who is familiar with the Sixers’ plans but not authorized to comment on them, said Iverson’s name is one of several that has been under internal consideration since starting point guard Lou Williams suffered a broken jaw that will keep him out about eight weeks. But a decision about whether to accept Iverson’s offer to shelve his retirement plans and return to Philly is complicated and will likely take several days to unfold. The person familiar with the team’s plans estimated the chances of Iverson returning to Philly at “50-50.”

UPDATE: A second source with knowledge of the team's internal discussions said Iverson's name came up in organizational meetings Friday, but only after it was learned that Williams would miss up to two months. No meetings with Iverson or his representatives have been scheduled, the person said. 

While some members of the organization recognize that Iverson’s play-making ability could be an asset for a team that is 21st in the league with a 96.9 scoring average, others recall the ugliness of Iverson’s departure when he demanded – and received – a trade in December 2006. Since then, Iverson’s resume consists of a mostly positive experience in Denver and two stormy exits – from Detroit, where he was not willing to accept a bench role, and from Memphis, where he played only three games before leaving the team amid persistent rants about his role. Iverson’s contentious departure from Philly, his history with the team, his desire to dominate the ball, and how his role would be defined will all factor into the team’s decision, the source said.

Iverson’s camp felt an offer from the Knicks was a “done deal” last week, according to another source, which contributed to his willingness to leave Memphis with only about $400,000 of the $3.1 million contract he signed over the summer. But the Knicks had an 11th-hour change of heart, deciding on Nov. 20 that Iverson’s dominant personality was not the answer for a rebuilding team.

So on Wednesday, Iverson, 34, announced his intentions to retire from the NBA in a statement published on Stephen A. Smith’s personal web site. On Saturday, Smith wrote on his own site and for that the Sixers had all but decided to re-sign the future Hall of Famer. The Sixers were leaving Saturday for San Antonio, where they begin a four-game road trip Sunday against the Spurs. If coach Eddie Jordan and team president Ed Stefanski decide to pursue Iverson, it is believed that Jordan will meet with the 2000-01 league MVP to discuss his potential role.

In his retirement statement, Iverson made a point of saying he still had "tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level." His rapid about-face on stepping away from the game to "spend quality time with my wife and kids" has NBA front office officials just as dubious about his intention to return as they were about his plans to retire.

Iverson and the Sixers getting back together makes sense only in the way that remarrying a divorced spouse makes sense. You know each other all too well -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it would appear that the Sixers are Iverson's only chance to continue his career, barring the desperation factor that could emerge with major backcourt injuries elsewhere. When Iverson was shopping his services during the summer, only the Grizzlies showed serious interest. Once that situation flamed out in spectacular fashion, not even the dysfunctional Knicks were willing to take the plunge.

A.I.'s first tour of duty with the Sixers included a little bit of everything -- four scoring titles, two All-Star MVPs, a Finals appearance, and countless clashes with coaches, many of whom wound up getting fired at Iverson's behest. Now, the organization that Iverson defined and overshadowed for so many years is at a crossroads. What's more important? Ticket sales and a short-term boost in excitement? Or the long-term plan to rebuild the right way under Stefanski and Jordan?

One way or another, the Sixers still can't seem to emerge from Iverson's shadow.

Category: NBA

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2009 8:10 pm

whoever said that...

 im tired of hearing about drew holliday might be good in three years. he at best is a backup his whole career.
is a moron. ya think anyone coulda looked at Jordan in his second year at UNC and say "oh he's gonna be the best ever". Jrue is only that age.
Yea he has talent, but what's gonna help him out is consistency -- within the rotation (memo to Eddie Jordan) and confidence which takes most players time to build up. I think he'll work out. 
btw the guards u mentioned had more than 30 college games before the NBA -- except jennings who's played a whole professional season overseas. But again its the individual ...many never pan out. 

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2009 8:01 pm

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

what the hell is Carmelo doing on that list?

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2009 11:05 am

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

Iverson is still far better than 90% of  the guards currently starting in the NBA.....Hate all you want....!

Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2009 10:06 am

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

Allen Iverson along with Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan and  Steve Nash are my all time Favorite players in the NBA, and as a Baseball Nutthis is catamount to Clemens returning to pitch or Boggs becoming the Manager of Boston ( for me not for you)I want to see AI return I really do; I did not want to see him sit on the bench and end up retiring w/out a ring or a great shotat one.I hope this makes him realize that in order to win that he needs to BECOME a part of any team yet a lone the 76er's; we have all seen him on the Hardwood. We have all heard his off the court comments, well putting those aside he can lead his squad to greatness or at least the playoffsI hope he has seen his character defects in basketball and can get it done as a NBA player not just AIPeace

Since: Aug 15, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2009 9:54 am

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

BRING BACK ALLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He is the best pound-for-pound NBA player of all-time.... The 76ers were nothing before him and nothing after him. 

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2009 5:02 am

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

There are quite a few disagreements about AI. I say who knows what would happen if AI came back. Sure, he would put up some great points, but what happens when Lou comes back? Will he go back to the bench? Probably not because we know how that will turn out. If that did happen, how would Lou react not starting?

I think it is sad that the sport has become so obssesive on people being the star and the center of attention instead of getting back to the basics of team basketball. What happened to teamwork? What happened to helping each other get better. It's truly dissapointing to see some of this selfish behavior keep growing and growing. Whatever the move, hopefully it is the right one.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2009 12:57 am

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

Iverson can play the same role as Lou Williams if 17 ppg and assists are what they're looking for. As many others have stated he's better than anything else they have. Iverson has the ability to score if he goes back into full throttle mode, the other AI, Andre Iguodala can't spark the team like Iverson can. The guards the 76ers have can't provide that spark.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:53 pm

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

I know I am in the minority here, but A.I. is my second favourite Sixer ever, and I would relish another opportunity to see him pull that #3 jersey on again.  It's a homecoming I would love to see, and A.I. will have come full circle.  I know it's become almost automatic for people to rip him, but all of that aside, this guy gave me thousands of terrific moments as a Sixer fan, and I appreciate that.  The best player in NBA history 6'0 or shorter, in my opinion, and a completely fearless scorer that cound put the ball in the basket from anywhere.

Since: Dec 15, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:18 pm

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers

Regardless if Philly is 'rebuilding', they are 2 games out of 2nd place in the unbelievably pathetic Atlantic division. With the way the NBA seats playoff teams, the 76ers would almost cetainly make the postseason with opposed to the rookie starting. With Iverson in tow, Williams' return could potentially muddy the the 76ers management would have to be assured that Iverson wouldn't pout and kill the locker room if he became the 6th man down the road. Personally, I don't get Iverson's attitude...never have either. Some teams 6th man is nearly their best player. The original 6th man Bob McAdoo, Vinnie 'Microwave' Johnson, and Jason Terry are clearly 3 of the best...don't think Iverson is that good on the court? Iverson could easily score 15-20 off the pine and create a somewhat scary playoff team in Philadelphia once again. With this assurance from Iverson, signing him in Philly is a no-brainer...without it, it's no more risky than sticking with what they have now.

Since: Jul 20, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2009 11:11 pm

Change of heart: Iverson reaches out to Sixers



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