Friday , Jul , 31 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Not The Answer: 5 reasons Allen Iverson is still unsigned

Shouldn’t a perennial All-Star, former MVP, and one of the game’s great little men have a team by the second month of free agency? Doesn’t ‘The Godfather’ of the NBA’s hip-hop generation and a powerful box office draw deserve more respect than the Mid Level Exception from mid level squads? And why hasn’t a legit contender recognized his heart and shown love by tendering a short term contract? …

Not The Answer: 5 reasons Allen Iverson is still unsigned


Everyone has a theory why Allen Iverson is unsigned.

Shouldn’t a perennial All-Star, former MVP, and one of the game’s great little men have a team by the second month of free agency? Doesn’t ‘The Godfather’ of the NBA’s hip-hop generation and a powerful box office draw deserve more respect than the Mid Level Exception from mid level squads? And why hasn’t a legit contender recognized his heart and shown love by tendering a short term contract?       

Nothing is ever simple with Iverson. Remember, his great high school career was overshadowed by the fallout from that bowling alley brawl. In college, there were rumours of impropriety, which included rolling in a ‘loaner’ Mercedes before officially declaring pro. Once in the NBA, there were many ups and a few very public downs –like leaving the Detroit Pistons last year under, well, interesting circumstances.

Baggage and controversy aside, Iverson is too talented to be without a team. After all, he’s just two seasons removed from averaging 25 points per game for Denver.

So what gives? Why is ‘The Answer’ not ‘The Answer’?

  • Iverson is no longer a star. Last season’s debacle in Detroit proved he’s more a blending player; an off-the bench scorer or complimentary piece. Problem is Iverson doesn’t share this sentiment and wants first option minutes, touches, and shots.
  • Money matters. Iverson wants decent dollars because he equates his contract with respect. For instance, he believes taking the veteran’s minimum means he’s a journeyman. This is incorrect. There’s nothing wrong with taking less for the right situation, especially when you’ve had two’ max’ contracts.
  • Unfortunately, playing time and money are scarce for this year’s free agent crop. Coaches don’t have to guarantee minutes or roles and GMs don’t have to back-up the brinks trucks or give out extended terms. Iverson’s demands are unrealistic in the current market.
  • Last year in Detroit was a disaster. When healthy, he struggled. His tendency to dominate the ball didn’t jive with the collectivist Pistons and led to GM Joe Dumars giving him the golden handshake to stay on the injured list. Other teams are leery of adding such a situation.
  • When convenient, the NBA has used hip hop as a marketing tool. When inconvenient, the NBA has shamefully distanced itself from anything hip hop. Right now, is one of those distancing times, so Iverson, the original face of Slam Mag’, isn’t a marketing draw.


Why do you think Iverson is without an NBA team? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe for more NBA team. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.