Allen Iverson, 37, last played in the NBA in 2009-10. (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Ben Eagle
Could The Answer be D-League bound?
According to a report from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Texas Legends, the Mavericks' D-League affiliate, are in hot pursuit of Allen Iverson, who last played in the NBA in 2009-10. The Legends, who have employed 16 former NBA first-round picks, sit atop the D-League's waiver priority list, giving them the first shot at signing Iverson if he chooses to enter his name into the D-League player pool.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Legends, who are co-owned by Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their seasonlong pursuit of Iverson on Monday, offering him the chance to resurrect his career."
The Legends' pitch to Iverson centers around the fact they've just convinced NBA veterans Delonte West and Rashad McCants to join their team with similar intentions, after the Legends signed another 37-year-old earlier this month -- point guard Mike James -- and wound up putting James in position to earn a 10-day callup to the Mavericks that turned into a guaranteed contract after James completed his second 10-day deal Sunday.
The report notes that Iverson has turned down opportunities overseas with the intention of one day returning to the NBA. A four-time scoring champion, Iverson averaged 13.9 points on 41.7 percent shooting in 25 games for the Sixers in 2009-10. Since then, Iverson has played for Besiktas in Turkey and also with the U.S. All-Stars in China.
A retired Iverson expressed interest in returning to the NBA last summer. "I want to play basketball so bad," Iverson said.
"I've accepted the fact that that might not happen, but I still want to play basketball, and if I can get an opportunity where it's going to make me happy at the end of my career, I'll take that opportunity." The 11-time All-Star fell out of favor in Memphis in 2009-10 when he was unwilling to take on a lesser role, and it's that reluctance that has kept him out of the NBA since. If he's willing to put in the work and come off the bench, Iverson could follow James from the D-League to the NBA.