HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Donnie Nelson offered Allen Iverson a potential lifeline back to the NBA. The Answer has answered: No thanks.
As first reported Monday by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Nelson, co-owner of the D-League Texas Legends and president of basketball operations for the Legends’ NBA affiliate Dallas Mavericks, offered Iverson a chance to get back in the game.
Iverson, 37, has been seeking a path back to the NBA, but through his Twitter account on Tuesday, he made it known that he doesn’t want that path to go through the NBA Development League as some other veteran players have done successfully.
Iverson doesn’t say which route he would prefer to get back in the NBA. He’s had opportunities to make good money in China but has passed. A direct route seems preferred, but it’s one that has not materialized.
He last played in the league in 2009-10 for the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers. After making his intentions clear not to join the Legends — they play in Frisco, located about 30 minutes north of Dallas — Iverson offered a series of tweets:
The Legends just helped veteran guard Mike James get back to the NBA. After signing a pair of 10-day contracts with the Mavericks, the club opted to sign him for the remainder of the season. The D-League team is also on the verge of suiting up Delonte West as he hopes to play his way back into the league after being released by Dallas for poor behavior prior to the season.
Iverson sits at No. 19 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, having just been passed at No. 18 by Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki. A.I. has 24,368 points over 14 seasons. He spent his first 10-plus seasons with Philadelphia before being traded to Denver during the 2006-07 season.
He averaged 26.4 points for the Nuggets in 2007-08 and was moved to Detroit the following season.
If Iverson truly hopes to add to his career point total, he’s going to have to swallow his pride and take whichever circuitous rout is offered, even it means being a marketing tool for a D-League operation.
Otherwise, he seems out of options.