The Allen Iverson to Turkey rumor saddens me. Whatever Iverson personally wants to do in the twilight of his career is his business. I cannot fault a basketball player for desiring to play basketball. However, the fact that Iverson is willing to travel to Turkey boggles my mind.
Is it true that not a single team in the NBA can use the services of shooting guard as previously prolific as AI? C’mon, he’s in his 30’s, not his 60’s! He is a lock Hall of Famer. Most of the kids in the NBA at present dreamed of being #3, now it seems as though the teams they play for don’t give him an ounce of respect. Could it be that finally he has reached the threshold where it is no longer reasonable for a team to put up with his off the court antics based off his on the court production? Is Allen demanding to be a starter thereby putting him out of the running for a spot on most NBA rosters? There has to be some reasonable explanation. If an alpha-dog personality like Shaquille O’neal can be reduced to twenty minutes per game; If a mouthy technical foul magnet like Rasheed Wallace can still be coveted; If an old school point guard like Andre Miller can sign a three year contract…Why can’t Iverson get a gig?
AI was and still always will be one of my most favorite NBA players of all time. The way he flew up and down the court fearlessly challenging the trees in the paint was remarkable and unprecedented. He changed the landscape of the NBA with his game, his heart, his attitude, his cornrows and his tattoos. Post-Jordan era, he was arguably the biggest star of his generation’s NBA. If he is still healthy, if he still wants to play, why aren’t teams knocking down his door? Unfortunately, I know the answer (no pun intended). My questions have been more hypothetical than anything. It is a shame that someone as talented as Iverson could have essentially kicked himself out of the NBA.
Which begs the question, why is Iverson going to Turkey anyway? If he is too prideful to be a role player in the NBA, why would he reduce himself to a B-league in Europe? Why would he, by NBA standards, play for peanuts ($2 million)? In my heart I refuse to believe the rumors that he is in desperate need of cash. How can anyone, with the exception of MC Hammer and Mike Tyson, blow through that much money? For his sake I hope that has nothing to do with his decision. If he does need the capital however, more power to him…go get paid!
It is sad to see Allen Iverson, such a fantastic basketball player, not saying goodbye on his terms. He deserves a championship, a jersey retirement or at least a job.