HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Happy Birthday, Allen Iverson!
The Answer is 36 today and he wants to play ball.
What a surprise. Birds want to fly. Fish want to swim.
It was 10 years ago this month that Iverson was probably at the peak of his powers, having hoisted an undermanned Sixers squad onto his skinny shoulders and carried them to The Finals against the Lakers and even pulled off that shocking upset in Game 1.
Of course, it’s been a full 1 1/2 years since Iverson left the NBA, just a few weeks after being voted a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2010 All-Star Game. He did not play.
In an interview with Tzvi Twersky in SLAM Magazine, The Answer says he’s ready to deal with the questions:
SLAM: You feel like you’ve got a lot of ball left in you?
AI: I think the sky’s the limit for me. That’s my whole personal thing that’s going to go on, just trying to get back and let the fans know I belong and am capable of exciting them like I’ve been doing for all of these years.
SLAM: You think anyone is going to give you the chance?
AI: [Deep breath] I don’t know. We’re going to work hard at it, but like I said, if it doesn’t happen, I promise you I won’t sit home on my ass. I won’t do that. I’ll play for somebody.
Surely, at 36, Iverson doesn’t think he can be the same dominant player he was at 26 when he was named MVP? Or does he? Wasn’t his own perception of himself the problem when he signed on with the Grizzlies in 2009 and then quit after playing just three games? Wasn’t that still the case when he returned to the Sixers before walking away from the league?
Is there a place on a roster somewhere in the league for an aging Iverson to work his old magic? More important, is there a way Iverson will allow himself to fit into a subordinate role for one more chance?
Those are the questions. What do you think about The Answer?