Wednesday , Nov , 25 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Is Allen Iverson taking a sabbatical or being forced to retire?

Iverson’s statement shows he’s open to resuming his professional career in the future. The 10 time All-Star, former MVP, and, perhaps, the greatest little man ever believes he can still play at ‘the highest level’. Here’s the problem: Iverson, by refusing to compromise on his role, could well have ended his own career. After all, the combo guard still wants to start, play heavy minutes, and treat his coach’s sets like an all you can shoot smorgasbord.


Is Allen Iverson taking a sabbatical or being forced to retire?Breaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: "I always thought that when I left the game, it would be because I couldn’t help my team the way that I was accustomed to," Iverson said in a statement on Smith’s official website. "However, that is not the case. I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play and a whole lot left in my tank." (TSN.ca)

My Quick Analysis: There will be no nursing home, 501K Plan, or shuffleboard because Allen Iverson isn’t planning on retiring from the NBA. He is, however, planning on taking an indefinite break or sabbatical.

For many reasons, stepping away is the right move. In the past thirteen months, Iverson has had on-court disappointment with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Memphis Grizzlies, while also managing an off-court personal issue.

‘The Answer’ needs some time. Key word: some.

Iverson’s statement shows he’s open to resuming his professional career in the future. The 10 time All-Star, former MVP, and, perhaps, the greatest little man ever believes he can still play at ‘the highest level’.

And here’s the problem: Iverson, by refusing to compromise on his role, could well have ended his own career. After all, the combo guard still wants to start, play heavy minutes, and treat his coach’s sets like an all you can shoot smorgasbord.

Fair or not, no team – not even the lowly New York Knicks or Memphis Grizzlies -were willing to meet Iverson’s demands and hand him the keys to offence. And the longer he sits, the more he’s out of sight-out-of-mind, the less likely a team comes close to fulfilling his lengthy wish list.

For Iverson to ever grace an NBA court, he must accept a lesser role. And this could be a blessing. For instance, imagine the future Hall of Famer coming off the bench as the second-unit game-changer for,say, the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers? 

But Iverson won’t back off his demand to start. His pride won’t allow it. So his sabbatical will turn into a forced retirement.

Is Iverson taking a sabbatical or retiring? Get at us in the comment box below and follow Oly’s work on HoopsVibe The Blog and Twitter. Photo courtesy of thedanger23.