With 24,020 points, nine All-Star Game apperances and an MVP award, a career like Iverson's shouldn't end with a dismal Grizzlies organization. A career like Iverson's, built on grit and breathtaking skill, should end on a playoff contender, with his chipping in key minutes of production on the court and crucial moments of tutoring in the locker room.
Instead, Iverson finds himself a man without a team, a victim of his ego, one that won't let him take a less prominent role as his game and physical skills slowly erode. In the days after the Grizzlies released Iverson from his one-year deal, the 34-year-old guard has maintained his desire to play. But after a summer in which no team but the woebegone Grizzlies showed enough interest, will any team bite on second glance? We asked an NBA scout to speculate about some potential contenders:
"If there's any type of system in which Iverson could score effectively, it would be a wide-open system like New York's. He would be allowed to do whatever he wants. He could play at a fast pace. Playing in that open style would give him more opportunities to create and flow in transition, where he is most effective."
"Truth be told, you're going to have a hard time finding anywhere he is going to fit well without a team making considerable sacrifices for him to do what he wants. What the Heat have, with their management and the way they have played over the years, is a strong organization. He certainly can't walk in and think that he can be the Man ahead of
"As bad as these last few years have been, they're not going to leave scars that cannot be repaired. He just needs to get out of the news."
Getting back into a locker room may not swing the balance of power in either conference, but it might finally provide Iverson an appropriate stage from which to exit.
"He's slowly becoming a better and better professional. He looks like he's stronger, he looks like he's in better shape and he's playing as aggressively as I've ever seen. He can go and get a foul anytime he wants; he's always the aggressor with the ball. The unique thing about him is that he has the skill level of someone 6-3 and he's 6-8. He seems to have a better understanding of what he has to do to attack a certain matchup.
"It's the little things: confidence, winning, making the game more important. When you get players of his caliber in a situation where they get a taste of the conference finals, you're usually going to get the best out of them.
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• "I wish twitter was around wen I was takin my sat I would asked yall for answers"
• "It wasn't a bad night for me. It was a bad night for everybody else."
What does dysfunction look like? We saw a fine display from the Warriors during our visit to Madison Square Garden for their game with the Knicks last week.