Wednesday's question: Where will Allen Iverson end up, or has he run out of chances?
Where will Allen Iverson end up or has he run out of chances? Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times
Allen Iverson’s next stop? There’s 30 NBA teams — and only a handful are likely to roll the dice and sign him.
AI’s pluses? He can still score (he averaged 17.5 points last season), he’s a big name and he’ll come cheap — probably for $1 million.
His negatives? AI plays by himself on the court, and he’s less of a team player than even the troubled Stephon Marbury. AI is also seen as a coach-killer and a team-killer, because he has a rep for partying hard, particularly with young players.
So where’s his next stop?
The Knicks haven’t flat out refused the idea of taking Iverson, and with a 1-9 record, what do lose they lose by signing him? Not much. Actually, he’d fit into the up-tempo, no-defense Mike D’Antoni style.
Or maybe the Miami Heat, because Pat Riley thinks he can work with troubled players. Remember the Heat won the title in 2006 with Jason Williams as their point guard.
But there aren’t many other obvious destinations for AI.
And recent NBA history is rich with players who faded into retirement when they were still young enough to play because they had too much baggage. Remember Latrell Sprewell? He played his last NBA game at 34, the same age Iverson is now.
Nick Mathews, Newport News
Randy Moss, as electrifying and enigmatic as any player in the NFL, was down to his last opportunity. Who took a chance on the Oakland wide receiver? The team that COULD take a chance — powerhouse New England. That worked out well for the Patriots.
Allen Iverson is past his prime compared to Moss, but almost as electrifying and every bit as enigmatic. And down to his final opportunity. Who will take a chance on Iverson after his doomed-from-the-start relationship with Memphis? How about a team that CAN take a chance — the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Iverson is a scoring improvement at point guard over Derek Fisher, who averages less than six points a game. With Kobe Bryant at the helm, Iverson will never be under the delusion that the Lakers are his team. And Phil Jackson has had success with troublesome players (see, Dennis Rodman). So why not L.A.?
George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel
Memo to Allen Iverson: Don’t blow this chance.
You’re not going to get another.
You’ve got one shot at redemption, a chance to prove to the world that you are not a selfish, disruptive, petulant jerk.
It really doesn’t matter where you end up _ Charlotte, New York, New Jersey and Orlando _ are all in the mix. You just have to get it right wherever you go.
That said, why not Orlando?
It’s your best shot to win an NBA title, something that’s not on your resume. The Magic need you to fill in for point guard Jameer Nelson, who is expected to miss four to six. Get it right, and you will stay longer.
You will ratchet up this team’s defensive intensity. You will force teams into making tough decisions on the break. You will shake things up in the locker room.
All of this is good.
You need need each other. You both need redemptive makeovers. You need to be softer. The Magic need to be tougher.