It is equal parts arms race, high-stakes poker (we'll see your Shaq and raise you a 'Sheed) and familiar tradition, this practice of top teams selectively plucking an NBA veteran free agent and enticing him with the prospect of a deep playoff run, a final season or two of fun and a few more solid (if not grand) paydays.
In Hollywood terms, it's the leading man or lady who transitions into character roles.
What he doesn't have, though, is the attitude for it. Or the personality, the ego, the inclination or the confidence. Iverson always has been the league's most self-contained offensive player, a dynamic, irrepressible and (pound for pound) generally durable scorer who asks as much of his own team's attack as he forces upon the other team's defense. It worked marvelously in Philadelphia, where
Yet Iverson still blames his "most miserable" season -- that's what he called it in a
Even setting aside all that, would the Lakers bother to plug Iverson into their hallowed triangle offense? Would the Spurs welcome his ball-hoggery? Would Iverson find a way to spell "ubuntu" with an I in Boston, clear out for
Which explains why we hear mostly of the Grizzlies as the team Iverson now might consider and be considered by. That's right, the lowly Grizzlies who won 15 fewer games than the Pistons in Iverson's season of misery. Murmurs about Miami might make sense if he were open to sixth-man status, but Iverson reiterated to the
Iverson says he wants to continue playing in the NBA but apparently only on his terms, with minutes and shots more of a priority than victories or rings. At least you can't say dollars, since the pay cut he'll be facing down to the mid-level exception (about $5.8 million) or some fraction thereof will be staggering wherever he goes. He just sounds incapable of changing, too insecure to handle the "Didn't you used to be 'The Answer'?" looks and questions.
In terms of NBA precedents, Iverson is way ahead of
Don't forget, though, that even
• Not sure why Toronto would bother doing a sign-and-trade involving Marion, since the Raptors would be forced to take back salary obligations they rather would avoid.
• So was it Toronto's international culture that changed
• If this was the Year of the Point Guard in the NBA draft, will it stack up to the NFL's famous Year of the Quarterback of 1983?
• Trail Blazers assistant
• Wizards coach
In the interest of accuracy, it wasn't how well Miller shot that was the issue; it was how often (just 7.5 field goal attempts per game, compared to a career average of 11.5 before '08-09 -- in a Minnesota situation where Miller had a green light nearly as bright as James, Wade and