Allen Iverson, the NBA “legend,” may get another chance at pro basketball with the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League.
The Legends are the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
ESPN reports that the Legends, a team that has signed other comeback-minded NBA veterans, are actively “courting” Iverson, 37, to join the team:
“Sources told ESPN.com that the Legends, who are co-owned by Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their season-long pursuit of Iverson on Monday, offering him the chance to resurrect his career.
“Iverson has likewise resisted the Legends’ overtures so far this season — as well as a similar offer last season — but sources say that the Legends are trying again now because they’ve moved back to the top of the list in the D-League’s waiver line…
A former NBA Rookie of the Year, MVP, and four-time scoring champion, Iverson spent most of his 14-year career with the Philadelphia 76ers. He also was a member of the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Memphis Grizzlies as well as briefly playing for a team in Turkey. He averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds for his NBA career. Iverson averaged 29.7 points per game in the playoffs, second all time behind Michael Jordan.
Although acknowledging that signing the former star guard would be a savvy marketing ploy by the Legends, NBC Sports Pro Basketball Talk is highly skeptical that Iverson at this stage of his career will make it back to the big show:
“Iverson, however, will not play in the NBA again. Sorry, it is just not happening. Iverson last played in the league in 2010 in a season he was so disruptive in Memphis they traded him to Philadelphia, where he missed a large number of games and eventually left the team. He then went to play for Besiktas in Turkey but was injured and missed much of that season.”
Like many active or retired pro athletes, Iverson has encountered all sorts of financial issues, which may or may not influence his decision to sign with the Texas Legends of the D-League.
Do you think Allen Iverson will find his way back to the NBA?
Update: Allen Iverson’s tweeted that he won’t play for the Legends:
I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration and while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me.
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) January 29, 2013