You read that correctly. The washed-up, Turkey-playing, 37-year-old point guard with an attitude like no other may soon be wearing the Big D blue.
The Dallas Mavericks D-league affiliate team, the Texas Legends, are attempting to persuade A.I. himself, Allen Iverson,to start his NBA comeback in Texas, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Sources say that the Legends have wanted Iverson throughout this season and have increased this pursuit recently. (Most likely due to the Mavs’ need for some sort of spark and lack of veteran point guard play. No, Mike James is not the answer.)
The last time Iverson had a meaningful season was the 2006-2007 NBA season, when he averaged 26.4 points and 7.1 assists for a dangerous Denver Nuggets playoff team. But that was six years ago…
He went on to finish his NBA days playing for three different teams in three consecutive seasons – first Detroit, then back to Philadelphia and ended in Memphis, which lasted three whole games – leaving a bad taste in all of those cities’ mouths due to his complaints and lack of consistency.
Since then, anywhere overseas has been his place of work, specifically in Turkey. He has played well while in Europe but done nothing eye-opening that makes it seem as though he is ready to jump back in the NBA. There are few NBA players out there that have had such fallouts without a major injury being a leading cause.
But he has been working hard of late and ignoring offers to play in China for the sole reason of making an NBA comeback. With this new driven desire to make it back to the big stage, I envision Iverson coming to terms with the Legends eventual offer.
So, is it good that the Mavs might be in the midst of taking on a risk that could inevitably turn into a affair almost as frustrating as the Lamar Odom fiasco?
There’s one main difference between these two situations: this ol’ man wants to play.
On May 23, 2012, A.I. attended Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals when the Boston Celtics visited Wells Fargo Arena to take on his former team.
Iverson made it clear to the nation he isn’t ready to be done.
“I want to play basketball so bad,” Iverson said during an ESPN interview.
This desire to be a part of the sport that he has played his entire life can’t go unnoticed. When you hear players talk in this way, they are often the players that don’t focus on their statistics or on which teammates playing their position are getting more minutes.
Take Elton Brand for example. The man that only cares about helping Dallas win has been all over the place minutes-wise for the Mavericks this year. How did he respond Sunday night when asked about Carlisle’s constant shuffling of his centers?
“I want to win,” Brand said. “I’m out there when I’m out there. My goal is to win some games.”
Now, let’s be clear. Brand has shown a greater level of maturity throughout his NBA career compared to his former Sixers’ teammate. But now that the former MVP has played in Europe for over a year, it’s possible that he could be more humbled and not focused on if he’s starting or not. This could be a man with the same flash, though a step slower, with a new outlook on his purpose in the league.
Or I could be wrong and he ends up lasting a few games with the Legends and goes back to China. Sometimes people just can’t change and a problem has no solution.
But maybe the Answer has finally found the answer in himself. Maybe he has finally grown up.
Either way, the Mavericks are in a position where they can take on this short-term, risky project. Looking to simply squeeze their way into the playoffs, this team as it is will not contend for a title. The Thunder, Spurs and Clippers won’t allow it.
So, why start this now?
In order to give this reputable sports city that has had nothing but disappointment of late the Jeremy Lin-esque spark it needs, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson can’t step lively – they must spring into this offseason. They have to do so not only for the fans but also for the big German himself. Cuban promised Dirk he would get him a “Big Fish” for his willingness to take a pay cut in his contract two years ago. Well, that still hasn’t happened. So, even though he may be unable to reel in that promise at this point, he still needs to do something to prove his desire to make this team the best they can be.
Iverson may or may not be the solution, but at least it would be proof that Cuban is still focused on his franchise more than ABC’s ratings.
So, as we move forward with this Iverson situation and his likelihood of joining the Texas Legends, we can only envision the pros and the cons of what may soon come to fruition. And if it does, let’s hope that Iverson talks about winning and not practice. Please – hope he doesn’t talk about practice…
Ignite the Site!