John Ireland, the Lakers radio play-by-play person and long-time Los Angeles sports radio and television personality, told an interesting story on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles today:
The Lakers had interest in giving Allen Iverson a shot before the season started and offered him a contract — but he had to start with the D-Fenders, the Lakers D-League team. He would get a call up to the Lakers when he proved ready.
That killed the deal, Ireland reported.
But beggars can’t be choosers and apparently Iverson’s attitude has changed, reports Chris Broussard at ESPN.
Iverson is willing to play in the Caribbean, in South America or even in the D-League if it gives him a chance to return to the NBA, the source said.
“Allen only wants to play if there’s a possibility that it leads to the NBA,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “That’s the only way he would go to one of these lower leagues. He wants to get back to the NBA and leave the game on his terms.”
While there was talk of Iverson playing in Puerto Rico, there is nothing imminent, according to the report.
It’s hard not to wonder if this is tied to Iverson’s reported financial troubles. If he really would accept a D-League assignment it seems like that could be the path he wants to get back to the NBA. But there will be no guarantees from teams of an NBA spot — after Iverson’s last year in Memphis and Philly teams are leery. They think the off-the-court distraction and media circus would not be worth what they get on the court from him at this point.