Allen Iverson wants to make an NBA return, and he’s interested in the Boston Celtics. (Boston Globe)
Now, after a year off, Iverson said he is ready to end his career in a more heartening fashion. Knowing that the Celtics will be seeking help, Iverson’s manager, Gary Moore, told the Globe his client would love to come to Boston.
“I have already spoken to Allen about that and many other opportunities, and of course he would be interested in anywhere in the NBA but Boston is particularly attractive to him,’’ Moore said, “because of Danny Ainge, the organization, and one of the most respected coaches he knows in the business in Doc Rivers.
“He has the utmost respect for Doc Rivers and the current roster of players. Allen would relish the opportunity to play in that organization.’’
In his prime, guarding Iverson was like trying to stop a cheetah with your bare hands. He was going to get by you, the only question was how much damage he would do.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Iverson’s now 36 years old. He was last seen playing halfway decent hoops, though not dominant hoops, in Turkey. He had already lost a few steps by then. He presumably still doesn’t have the world’s best jump shot. He’s still 6’1, 165 pounds while wearing five layers of clothes. He may or may not be able to defend a soul these days. He was never known for his team play; in fact, he was known for quite the opposite. He famously doesn’t enjoy practices. He has a track record of becoming discontent with a smaller role. And on top of that, he reportedly has alcohol and gambling issues.
But hell, the Celtics’ bench desperately needs some contributors. Danny Ainge needs to sign between four and seven players when free agency begins, and he needs to do it without any cap space whatsoever, in a new collective bargaining agreement that could be — this year, at least — one of Boston’s biggest enemies (along with father time, the Miami Heat and Jermaine O’Neal’s next injury). And this is Allen Iverson. If the Celtics can get him for the veteran’s minimum, why not see first-hand if he can still play? Why not see if he old age has taught him the virtue of unselfishness? At that price, the reward outweighs the risk.
I just wouldn’t expect much from Iverson. We not talkin’ bout a superstar. We talkin’ bout a washed-up veteran.