Guys who are 36 years old, are coming off an injury and played last season overseas don’t usually get another shot at the NBA.
But Allen Iverson has never fit the mold.
Iverson has said for a while that he wants another shot at ending his career in the NBA. He reiterated that to Marc Spears of Yahoo. That may be hard to come by not only due to age and injury, but also because during his last season in the league he did not play well and was a big distraction in the Memphis and Philadelphia locker rooms.
What is different now is Iverson admits his family issues were a distraction then that are behind him now.
“That wasn’t me at all,” Iverson said. “Obviously, I was dealing with the situation with my daughter and going through a divorce, and I wasn’t there mentally. In my career those last couple years were so hard for me because I wasn’t there. Mentally, I wasn’t there.
“During those 48 minutes on the basketball court, all I [ever] cared about was that time right there. Nothing else distracted me. But at times, I felt myself standing on the court just thinking about my daughter, thinking about the situation with me and my wife. I wasn’t giving [the teams] everything I had mentally.”
Iverson did not have an offer he liked to play in Europe this season (he played in Turkey last season, until he was injured). It’s hard to know what might await him on the NBA side.
Iverson is saying all the right things — that he is willing to come off the bench and play for any team, contender or bottom dweller. He just wants back in the league again. The rumors of drinking and gambling problems — true or not — will not help that cause, but Iverson says that is all in the past. He’s back and ready to ball.
In what will be an odd, lockout-shortened season, some team might be willing to give him that shot. Maybe. Although it still would feel different to fans.