Could Iverson be ‘The Answer’ for Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio, Charlotte, or Los Angeles?
I do think there would be some sort of market for Iverson. And that market would fall into two very different categories. On one end of the spectrum, a contender may have interest if they can get him to accept a role. On the other end of the spectrum, an also-ran might pick him to sell tickets. Of course, whatever scenario evolves, the team and Iverson would need to set clear expectations about his role …
Unlike the Michael Jackson bio flick, This isn’t it for Allen Iverson.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, the tiny combo guard won’t retire two weeks into the season after falling out with the sad-sack Memphis Grizzlies. Iverson has too much pride and too much to prove, especially following the debacle in Detroit.
So, suppose the future Hall of Famer and Memphis cut ties and go their separate ways. Well, what then?
I do think there would be some sort of market for Iverson. And that market would fall into two very distinct categories. On one end of the spectrum, a contender may have interest if they can get him to accept a role. On the other end of the spectrum, an also-ran might sign him to sell tickets.
Of course, whatever scenario evolves, the team and Iverson would need to set clear expectations about his role. Hypothetically speaking, where might Iverson land if his time ends in ‘The River City’?
Cleveland Cavaliers …
Why: The Cavaliers, even with Shaquille O’Neal, still need another player to create scoring opportunities and mismatches. And the Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon believes Iverson would do exactly that for Cleveland.
"He needs a team where his ability to create his own shot will help a superstar, where he can also work the end of the game as a closer, a team where his reckless abandon and pedal-to-the-medal aggression in smaller doses will be an asset, not a liability. I’m talking about the Cleveland Cavaliers." (Wilbon, Washington Post)
Why not: Only so many shots are available in Coach Mike Brown’s scheme. After all, LeBron James and Shaq have to get theirs, so where would Iverson fit?
Boston Celtics …
Why: This summer, several publications thought the green-and-white might sign Iverson – if, and it’s a big if, he agreed to come off the bench. They reasoned Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce could get Iverson to agree to a supporting role.
Why not: All risk, little reward. After reloading this summer, the Celtics have depth and bench scoring, so there is little, if any, upside signing Iverson.
San Antonio …
Why: Their coach, Gregg Popovich, is friends with Larry Brown, Iverson’s biggest supporter and former coach with the Philadelphia 76ers. If injuries become an issue for the Spurs, Popovich could conceivably roll the dice and consider the tiny combo guard as a stop-gap fill-in.
Why not: Ginobili is healthy and seems intent on reestablishing himself as the NBA’s best tempo-changer off-the-bench, which wouldn’t leave anything for Iverson to do except pout.
Best of the rest:
Charlotte Bobcats …
Why: Coach Brown (Charlotte’s sideline boss) and Iverson have a history. And even though their relationship had more ups and downs than a roller coaster at Six Flags, they still respect each other. On-court, the Bobcats are in desperate need of a perimeter scorer. Off-court, they are in desperate need of a gate draw and Iverson, love him or hate him, sells tickets and generates headlines.
Why not: Bob Johnson, Charlotte’s owner, is looking to sell the team and may have reservations about adding the controversial Iverson while seeking a buyer.
Los Angeles Clippers …
Why: The Don, Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, and The Answer, Iverson, nearly had a deal this off-season. If L.A.’s other team continues to struggle, Sterling may try to steal a little of the Lakers’ thunder by acquiring Iverson.
Why not: On paper, the Clippers look good. And they might not need or want the distractions that come with Iverson.