By Ben Golliver
Honored with a bobblehead and cheered by the crowd in Philadelphia, former Sixers guard Allen Iverson again raised the possibility of a return to professional basketball on Saturday night.
Iverson, 37, last played in the NBA during the 2009-10 season before briefly playing professionally in Turkey. Back in January, a D-League team was reportedly interested in his services.
CSNPhilly.com reported Saturday that Iverson still isn't ready to totally close the door on a possible comeback.
“I put it in God’s hands. He has done so much for me and given me so much,” Iverson said. “The NBA has given me so much obviously, making me a household name, and I have accomplished a lot in the NBA. And if the road ends here, then it does and I am not bitter about it. I don’t feel no type of way because I understand that he helped me accomplish so many things in the NBA and so many things that people thought that I couldn’t do.
“At some point it comes to an end regardless, however it comes, whether it is retirement or injury, at some point it comes to an end,” Iverson continued. “I am happy and content with everything that has gone on in my life and I am just looking for the next phase, and if I get a chance to play again I would love the opportunity, but if not I will continue to just be happy.”
"I'm not using that word [retirement]," he said during an in-game interview televised on ESPN at the time. "I want to play basketball so bad. ... I mean, the way it is right now, I've accepted the fact that [playing in the NBA] might not happen, but I still want to play basketball. If I can get an opportunity to where it's going to make me happy at the end of my career, I'll take that opportunity. But I just love to play and I want to have another opportunity to play on the professional level."
There are currently 11 players on NBA rosters that are older than Iverson: Kurt Thomas, Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Marcus Camby, Derek Fisher, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, Mike James and Ray Allen.
Regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound scorers in NBA history, Iverson averaged 26.7 points per game during a 14-year career that included stops with the Sixers, Nuggets and Grizzlies. Selected No. 1 overall in the 1996 NBA draft, Iverson was the 1997 Rookie of the Year, the 2001 MVP, an 11-time All-Star, a three-time All-NBA first-team selection and a four-time scoring champ.
A surefire Hall of Famer, Iverson told CSNPhilly.com that he is looking forward to that recognition, even as he continues to harbor hoop dreams.
“I think about it all the time,” Iverson said of his Hall of Fame possibilities. “My friends let me know about it. My family let me know about it and me being, I wouldn’t say arrogant or cocky, but confident as I am, I expect that to happen and I am looking forward to it. I think that would be the best as far as putting an exclamation point on my career."Iverson has also made his share of headlines off the court in recent years. Back in December, divorce filings revealed that he is dealing with some fairly serious financial problems.