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Source: Iverson deadline next week

Posted on: February 23, 2010 12:05 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2010 5:34 pm
 
If Allen Iverson can't make it back to the Philadelphia 76ers by next week, a parting of ways between the iconic star and the city where he tried to resurrect his career will be inevitable, a person with close ties to the future Hall of Famer told CBSSports.com Tuesday.

"For the team's sake and his own sake, he can't keep trying to go back and forth with this," the person said. "If he can't get back by next week, it's probably not going to work."

Contrary to Iverson's often stormy history with the organization, sources described his indefinite leave of absence as "amicable" and "nothing sinister." Iverson has been in and out of the lineup in recent weeks while he tends to his ill daughter.

The Sixers tried to make it work with Iverson, getting an initial spark in attendance and excitement from his return. But Philly plays Orlando on Monday and Atlanta on Wednesday, and if Iverson can't commit to returning to the team by then, the wheels will be in motion for his release.

News of Iverson's predicament, which could well signal the end of his career, made me think back to comments from one of his friends and former teammates during All-Star weekend. Carmelo Anthony, perhaps the only star player who's ever been able to co-exist productively with Iverson, was asked what A.I.'s legacy will be -- if, in fact, this is the end for one of the greatest athletes ever to appear on an NBA court.

"His legacy is self explanatory," Anthony said. "He came into the NBA and almost changed the whole game of basketball in his own way."

The key words being "in his own way." To the end, Iverson never compromised. He lost the cornrows only briefly, sporting a haircut during All-Star weekend in Phoenix in 2009. He gave up on winning a championship when he accepted money from the Memphis Grizzlies, and then from the Philadelphia 76ers -- choosing his "happiness" over more lofty goals that have eluded him since he turned the NBA on its head as the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft.

Now, Iverson is dealing with something no parent ever wants to even think about -- a sick child who needs him. No one will ever dispute the importance of that. It simply isn't debatable. Neither is the Sixers' right to move forward without Iverson if he can't uphold his commitment to the team.

"He’s always going to go down as one of the greatest players to ever play," Anthony said. "Whether they say 6-feet-or-under or whatever. Regardless of height, he’s going to be one of the greatest. I was fortunate enough to play with him for two years. It seems like a long time ago, but it was only two years ago when I played with him and he averaged 26, 27 points. In the last year and a half was when everything went south for him."

I shared my thoughts about Iverson before he signed with the Sixers, when it appeared that his NBA career was over. Now it seems like that career obituary was only premature by a couple of months.

Anthony called Iverson's stubborn insistence on doing this his way "a positive and a negative. When he came into the league, I don’t think anybody was expecting that type of player, that type of person to come into the league. He made fans embrace him, and they stuck with him all the way until today."

Now, the NBA is more than ready to move past Iverson's "me" generation of stars. Could Iverson have compromised? Could he have changed his game, extended his career, given himself a chance to add a championship to his resume if only he could have accepted coming off the bench for a contender? Sure. But when it comes to A.I., it's pointless to even ask such questions.

What you saw was what you got. Like a comet, Iverson was something to watch until he flamed out in spectacular fashion -- which was the only way this was ever going to end.

One more thing about Iverson: Drama walks in lock step with him wherever he goes. When it comes to The Answer, another plot twist or two isn't out of the question.

Comments

Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2010 8:20 pm
 

Source: Iverson deadline next week

Agree.  You could argue Melo was the only true "star" he played with.  Webber and Big Dog were on their last legs, Webber literally and he actually played very little with Big Dog due to injuries and Robinson's problems with management.  Sheed, Rip, and Prince, aren't really stars to me and I thought he played fine with them, the issues were with the coaching staff and players.  Stackhouse you could make an argument, but you could also make an argument that Stack was selfish.  Larry Hughes only seems to be brought up as a star or positively when people want to make this argument against Iverson, any other time he's nothing but an overpaid disappointment.  Even still, guys like Webber, Van Horn, Hughes, Stack, Melo, etc. still were always able to get their numbers with AI and Philly was more often than not a playoff team.  When people talk about Iverson, instead of talking about the mistakes he has made or his true faults, they paint him this broad stroke of selfish and don't actually look into his career.  The best example was the Nuggets after AI left, you'd never think the team won 50 games with Iverson in one of the most difficult conferences in history, while missing a key piece in Nene, the way the media talked about the Nuggets.  Sure everyone hoped for more playoff success from that team, but the reality was that team wasn't a true contender with Anthony Carter at point guard, they needed a point like Billups all along, not a combo guard in AI.  The sad part is AI's legacy, while will still be remembered fondly by most, will unfortuantely be looked at with too narrow a view by many.



Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2010 6:17 pm
 

Greatest Little Man of All Time

That is his legacy.  At his best, he was the league's premier scorer, and he singlehandedly led the sixers to the finals.  To say Melo was the only star he could coexist with is a little ridiculous; he never had a chance until late in his career.  If he would have had a guy like Melo in Philadelphia, I'm sure he could have won a title.




Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2010 6:11 pm
 

Source: Iverson deadline next week

"I shared my thoughts about Iverson before he signed with the Sixers, when it appeared that his NBA career was over. Now it seems like that career obituary was only premature by a couple of months."<br /><br /><br />At least you got to toot your own horn




Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2010 5:38 pm
 

What's Iverson's legacy?

Iverson's legacy is...He's the greatest little big man to ever play the game, he played his heart out every time he stepped on the court.
It does not matter that he did not win a championship, that miracle run through the playoffs he led the Sixers on in 2001 when they lost to the Lakers in the finals was one of the greatest I have ever seen. he's a hall of famer and will have his number retired by the 76ers. like him or not he deserves respect as one of the greatest ever!




Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2010 3:56 pm
 

What's Iverson's legacy?

The man is keeping you down??

As for Iverson's legacy "it is all about me" and who can resist "practice??"  Good thing he had Larry Brown in for a few years, otherwise we all be saying what a waste of talent.



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2010 12:32 pm
 

What's Iverson's legacy?

HEY CAN YOU HELP US GET THE DAILY NBA PICKS , I HAVE BEEN WRITING CBS SPORTS AND THEY WON'T EVEN ANSWER WHY THEY WON'T PUT THEM BACK ON, IN FACT THEY WON'T ANSWER OUR CLUB PRESIDENT AT ALL...........


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com