SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Allen Iverson in Decline

The one-time MVP of the NBA is done for the year, and his contract will expire at the season's end. Because of a bad back, Allen Iverson's season is over.

Since hurting his back, Iverson was coming off the bench in Detroit. He disliked it so much that he said he'd rather retire than come off the bench.

Iverson will be 34 in June. Many NBA teams are in financial trouble, and it's hard to see any team ponying up for anything close to a max contract for a somewhat spent guard who didn't grasp the team game during his career and is a poster kid for playing hard but not playing smart. He's hurting, he's difficult to coach, and, yes, for an NBA player he's old.

Watching any league's free agent market in the middle of this awful recession will be interesting, especially the market for one-time marquis names. The only way Iverson gets big money is if there's a team out there who is bad, devoid of gate attractions, and believes that AI can help put people in the seats. But if that's the case, all we'll see is an old player taking too many shots to get his 25 points per game. And what's the point in that?

I've wondered over the years about Iverson after basketball, and I've worried for him. I just don't see what he'd do after he either no longer can play at the level he did or if he's no longer wanted. Allen Iverson is getting closer to that point in his life. He's played the game in an uncompromising fashion, but we're now living in a period where owners have to make hard choices and where difficult people decide whether to go along or to exit.

Even people who think that they're artists at what they do and that the rules for everyone else shouldn't apply to them.

In June AI will be 34 and looking for a new deal.

That's not an enviable position to be in.

2 Comments:

Blogger W. Henry said...

Thats a good question... What will his life be like post bball? Hmmm...I'm seriously trying to think!

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