Too many questions for Allen Iverson

Getty Images/DayLifeThere was a time when you never thought it would come to this. He was too electrifying. Too dynamic. Too potent of a scorer. Like Kobe Bryant, he always found a way to redefine his game and make up for his aging.

Something changed and he was discarded to the top of the NBA’s black list or career “do not resuscitate” pile.

Allen Iverson will probably remain one of the most enigmatic players in NBA history. A supremely gifted scorer likely pushed out of the league before he was ready to leave it. Caught between two eras — the me-first early 2000s and the youth renaissance led by the 2003 Draft class.

Iverson though has not accepted that the NBA simply does not want him. Just like he never accepted the fact he was too small to be an NBA shooting guard or that he dominated the ball too much to be an NBA point guard. Iverson defied a lot of odds throughout his career.

Age and perception might be the last thing on his list.

At 36 years old, Iverson, who has been out of the NBA since 2010 after strange and frustrating stints with Memphis and Philadelphia, is still trying desperately to get back in and show he can still play at the elite level that made him a perennial MVP candidate earlier in the decade.

Iverson continues to be a curiosity.

With the Lakers still searching for a point guard to bolster an aging and under-performing backcourt, apparently reached out to Iverson. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported the Lakers offered Iverson a chance to play with the Lakers provided he would be willing to play in the D-League for a few weeks. That is surely not something Iverson wants. He was upset in his last stint in Memphis and Philadelphia because he was coming off the bench.


Iverson has always been a high-usage player who dominates the ball. That is part of the way he plays and what made him successful. For better or worse, at least for his perception, Iverson’s ball-dominating ways are in his DNA.


Iverson’s career usage rate is 31.8 percent and he led the league in that metric for a six out of seven year stretch from 1999-2005. Even playing beside Carmelo Anthony in Denver, Iverson was still a ball dominator — although he never had a usage rate above 30 percent in the Mile High City.

Iverson’s career really took downturn south when he was traded from Denver to Detroit and asked to come off the bench. There the pouting Iverson showed up again and he became untouchable.

Allen Iverson may still be useful to a lot of teams. But it does not seem anybody believes he is “the Answer” to winning a championship right now. His style of play could certainly upset a rebuilding project since Iverson requires the ball to be so effective.

The problem for Iverson, who clearly still wants to play, has his heart set on the NBA. Contract offers from Puerto Rico and Venezuela do not entice him the same way.

It seems Iverson’s exile will continue.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily