Posted Aug 20 2010 7:23AM
With Shaquille O'Neal now planted in the middle of Boston's shamrock patch and Tracy McGrady opting for a bailout in Detroit to continue his comeback, there is only one former NBA scoring champion still looking for a home this season.
With a tip of the cat in the hat to the late Dr. Seuss: Oh! The places you could go, Allen Iverson!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
New York Knicks -- Break a leg! The show must go on! Has there ever been a more perfect setting for a gutty, gritty actor like Iverson to take his final bow than Broadway? No little guy has ever been slapped and hammered down to the floor like A.I., but kept getting back up and never forgetting his lines. He's been a star of the highest magnitude and could live in the spotlight of Madison Square Garden. After losing out in the LeBron James Sweepstakes, the Knicks got an OK consolation prize in Amar'e Stoudemire. But he's not enough to turn things around by himself and put N.Y. into the Eastern Conference race with Miami, Orlando and Boston. Raymond Felton and Roger Mason Jr. don't do the trick. It's still a long wait for Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to make another super team next summer. In the meantime, could The Answer be the answer?
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Charlotte Bobcats -- For all of his reticence last season to bring Iverson to Tobacco Road, Larry Brown knows that he can't resist a challenge and that he is the one coach who has been able to battle through the idiosyncrasies and get the most out of Iverson. The Bobcats may have made the playoffs for the first time last season, but haven't done much of anything since to help them move up in the increasingly-powerful Eastern Conference. Brown could sell him on coming off the bench, but it surely wouldn't be long before he's on the floor ahead of D.J. Augustin and Shaun Livingston. How'd you like to try to guard a backcourt with A.I. and Stephen Jackson?
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And you are the guy who'll decide where to go.
New Jersey Nets -- Does the Russian billionaire Mikail Prokhorov with all of those rubles to burn in his deep pockets really want to make his NBA debut with Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw and Troy Murphy as his headline acquisitions out of the great 2010 Free Agentpalooza? The Nets are putting together a solid young core around Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors and Devin Harris. But they really aren't going anywhere until they make the move to the new arena in Brooklyn in two more years. So why not give the fans a reason to drive a few extra exits down the turnpike to Newark to watch Iverson try to turn back the clock and work his old magic?
You'll look up and down streets.
Look'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
Miami Heat -- Four Kings? Four Horsemen? Four-midable? Would there ever have been a team put together with so much offensive firepower in one locker room? You couldn't say the Heat would ever run out of options late in a close game, if they ever had one. Of course, the fact that Iverson would be, at best, the third and more like the fourth option in the offense could provide enough crackling tension on the bench to power all of the clubs on South Beach straight through to sunrise. Right now, point guard is being held down by the likes of Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo, which means the position is in capable hands, but still has room for improvement. It would be a long, long, long shot all around for such a pairing of player and team. But it really could be Iverson's last chance to rehabilitate his damaged image and go out with a big winner, even in a small role.
And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along. You'll start happening too.
Cleveland Cavaliers -- OK, we know that adding Iverson is not going to get the Cavaliers any closer to fulfilling Dan Gilbert's pledge to win a championship before LeBron James. But after the classless way they were kicked by "The Decision" on national TV and misery of their summer, nobody needs a show to watch right now more than Cleveland fans. Are they really going to fill up the Q every night to watch new coach Byron Scott have his team play solid defensive fundamentals and run their offensive sets with the precision of a drill team? They've got Mo Williams and Ramon Sessions at the point and that could leave A.I. free to do his thing as a shooting, shooting, shooting and shooting guard. From Iverson's standpoint, he's not going to a contender and there are no rings in sight for the twilight of his career. But let's face it, he's not going to be truly happy playing anywhere in a backup role. In Cleveland, he could be The Answer to their sadness and woes. To follow in the footsteps of a superstar who might have given less than his all in his final playoff series in a Cavs uniform, here is a little guy who never stops charging, never quits. Let him go for 50 every night. Let him shoot for the scoring title. Just a freewheeling carnival ride to put a smile back on their faces and help everyone to forget whatshisname.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.
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