|Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson could be convinced to join the D-League. (Getty Images)|
Allen Iverson is 37 years old and without a job in the NBA. Looking at other stars from his generation (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd), it's kind of unbelievable to think he's had such a different path leaving basketball than these guys have had staying in basketball (and thriving in their roles).
If the Texas Legends have their way, Iverson could be on his way back into the NBA via the D-League. Marc Stein reports:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Legends, who are co-owned by Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their seasonlong pursuit of Iverson on Monday, offering him the chance to resurrect his career.
Iverson has likewise resisted the Legends' overtures so far this season -- as well as a similar offer last season -- but sources say that the Legends are trying again now because they've moved back to the top of the list in the D-League's waiver line, meaning they'd have an unobstructed path to signing Iverson if he could be convinced to put his name in the D-League's player pool.
Iverson hasn't played in an NBA game since Feb. 20, 2010, when he scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting for the Philadelphia 76ers. It was supposed to be a time in which Iverson finished out his career where it began in 1996. After not being able to accept a lesser role with the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009-10 season, Iverson signed with the Sixers after being waived three games into his stint with the Grizzlies.
He lasted three months with Philadelphia before being released in early March 2010. For the 2010-11 season, A.I. attempted to play with Besiktas in Europe. That was the same team Deron Williams played for during the lockout. Iverson played in just three games with Besitkas, averaging 9.3 points and three assists in 22.7 minutes. He battled a calf injury and returned to the United States.
If he decides to accept the offer from the Texas Legends, it probably wouldn't take Iverson long to work his way back into the NBA. Accepting the offer would show he's serious about working his way back into the league and taking a lesser role that many have feared he'd never want to take on. If he believes he's still a star capable of scoring 30 points per night, he might not be worth the risk because it's unlikely he'd be able to do that for a winning team.
However, if he's fine being a bench player who is asked to score when he enters the game, it would be hard for teams in need of that role player to pass him up. The Texas Legends helped Mike James get a gig with the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season and have acquired Delonte West and Rashad McCants in the past week in an attempt to do the same thing.
But the question of how badly Iverson wants to be in the NBA if he's not a star player still remains.