NBA PM: Iverson should take D-League job if he wants back

iverson-black-shirtAllen Iverson has been trying to return to the NBA for several years, but he’s not willing to play in the NBA’s Development League to revive his career.

The 37-year-old recently turned down an offer from the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League affiliate.

The Legends had been recruiting Iverson for quite awhile, but made their strongest push to sign Iverson last week because they were first in the D-League’s waiver line.

All Iverson had to do was enter his name in the D-League’s player pool and he would’ve been signed, just as Delonte West and Rashad McCants did last week. However, the former MVP wasn’t interested in playing for a D-League team.

“I thank Donnie [Nelson] and Dallas for the consideration and while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me,” Iverson tweeted.

The D-League would’ve been a great opportunity for Iverson to show that he can still play at a high level and contribute to a team. It also would’ve shown teams that he was ready to swallow his pride and do whatever it takes to return to the NBA.

The main reason that teams have been afraid to sign Iverson is because he still viewed himself as a starting-caliber player and became upset when his minutes were cut or when his role was diminished during his final years in the league.

Teams know that he still has talent, but the general consensus is that he’s no longer worth the baggage that comes along with that talent.

By playing in the D-League, Iverson may have been able to prove that he had finally changed. Instead, executives will see this refusal to play in the D-League as the latest example of Iverson refusing to accept that he’s declined since the days when he was an 11-time NBA All-Star and four-time scoring champion.

Iverson wouldn’t have been the first notable NBA player to use a D-League stint to revive his career. Jamaal Tinsley, Gerald Green, Bobby Simmons and Mike James used short stints in the D-League to get back on an NBA roster. Others, such as Antoine Walker, Rafer Alston, Ricky Davis and Greg Ostertag, played in the D-League but didn’t get signed by an NBA team.

However, Iverson is hoping to skip the D-League step and just go straight to the NBA. He has made it clear that he still wants to play in the league.

“My dream has always been to complete my legacy in the NBA,” Iverson tweeted. “To my fans, I love ya’ll! Not a day goes by that I am not asked when am I coming back, we all must accept my return is not up to just me. I realize my actions contributed to my early departure from the NBA, should God provide me another opportunity I will give it my all.”

This is nothing new. Iverson has been lobbying for a roster spot for several years, but he never received significant interest from an NBA team.

If teams weren’t willing to sign Iverson to a low-risk, veteran’s veteran-minimum deal two years ago, when he was 35 years old and less than one year removed from playing in the NBA, why would they sign him now when he’s 37 years old and hasn’t played professional basketball since January of 2011 when he had to leave the Turkish club Besiktas to undergo calf surgery?

While Iverson has had someone on his behalf contact NBA trainers since then in an effort to get in shape for a comeback, it’s unlikely that teams will suddenly change their mind on Iverson and sign him.

While Iverson had an outstanding 14-year NBA career and solidified himself as one of the best guards of a generation, it’s unlikely that he’ll get another chance to play in the NBA.

That is, unless he’s willing to put his ego aside and accept a D-League offer. That may be the only way that he can change how he’s viewed and prove that he still has something left in the tank. But even then, nothing is guaranteed.

During the course of his 15-year career, Iverson has been an 11-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, and two-time All-Star Game MVP.

Iverson took his team all the way to the NBA Finals in 2001 but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Despite never winning a championship, Iverson was rated the fifth greatest NBA shooting guard of all time by ESPN in 2008.

Iverson played in 914 NBA games (901 started), and holds career average of 26.7 points per game, and 6.2 assists per game, with 41.1 minutes per game.

Four times in his career he averaged more than 30 points per game in a regular season – all with Philadelphia 76ers.



Stay updated on latest stories!

Subscribe, and receive free updates directly in your Inbox. Enter your email address:

comments powered by Disqus

Comments are closed.