Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson finally willing to come off-the-bench?

“I just want to do whatever an organization wants me to do,” Iverson said. “Everybody made a big thing about me not wanting to come off the bench, but I said that at that point because it never happened to me in my life and it was something new to me, and obviously I didn’t know how to handle it. But to be back on the biggest stage is my whole thing and I feel like I have a couple more years left in my career and I want to play. I sat through and watched the whole season and it was tough for me. Now I just try to do what I have to do to be physically and mentally able to get back on the stage.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s hard to take Allen Iverson at his word. It’s hard to believe he’d play a role.

Iverson refused to come off the bench and play behind Rip Hamilton, a long-time cog for some strong Detroit Pistons teams. Motown quickly became a fiasco.

Iverson, despite missing training camp with leg ailments, threw a fit when Memphis Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins didn’t start him. The club released him one week into the 2009-10 season.

Iverson had an up-and-down second-stint with the Philadelphia 76ers. His run in Turkey was cut short by injuries. In both stops, there were reports of personal issues that have not been resolved.

So there’s little or no evidence to suggest Iverson could handle being a reserve, could handle fluctuating minutes, could handle getting a few shots per night. Then there’s his baggage.

Of course, one of the NBA’s greatest little men deserved better. Iverson refused to transition gracefully. He refused to sign with a contender, say San Antonio or Boston, and become a second unit game-changer.

Instead, it was all about Iverson –even when his career was fading. His stubbornness, that intangible that once made him great, will likely cost Iverson a chance to show us he has changed.

–Oly Sandor.

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