In Slam Magazine’s 150th issue they decided to dedicate the cover to Allen Iverson, and because of that, AI agreed to sit down with Tzvi Twersky for a Q/A. During the Q/A Iverson expressed a great desire to make a return to the NBA in any way possible. He also expressed that his surgery was very successful and that he is 100% healthy for the first time in years.
Now before you go and take up arms, hear me out. I would not be opposed to seeing Allen Iverson in Celtics green this upcoming season. I also think that Danny and Doc need to take a serious look at Iverson and sit down and talk to him about the possibility of signing him. Although 36, I truly think that Allen Iverson can be a short-term answer to the Celtics’ problems or at least help. The Celtics need to get younger and obviously Iverson doesn’t solve that problem, but with the Celtics’ salary cap and with a new CBA approaching, handing out a one year veteran’s minimum contract to Iverson wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.
If the Celtics fail to sign or trade for a young scorer this offseason, why not throw Allen a bone? The Celtics desperately need a player who can come off the bench and just flat out score. They need a player who knows how to create his own shot and a player who can take a game over offensively. Iverson can fill that role for this upcoming season and might even be able to make a run at the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
To counter act the argument that you’re already thinking, I think Iverson would definitely be willing to come off the bench. He has been greatly humbled this past year and a half and would absolutely be willing to come off the bench. It’s not like Mike Conley or Louis Williams is starting over him. It’s Rajon Rondo! He’d be more than willing to come off the pine behind Rondo because Rondo is a proven all-star. And let’s be honest, if Iverson thinks he should start of Rondo then yes, the man actually is insane.
And to answer the possible locker room problems I don’t think that will be an issue either. That is because this is a veteran team with a veteran’s agenda. One goal: win a championship. There’s no time for BS. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo, and especially Kevin Garnett will not put up with any of Iverson’s antics. If Iverson ever stepped out of line, those guys would be there to stop him and steer him in the right direction. This is a team full of all-stars and past superstars and Iverson would find no grounds to disrespect them. Personally, I don’t think there will be any antics because Iverson has been greatly humbled this past year and a half, and with this veteran team, I expect him to rise to the occasion and give the Celtics a huge spark off the pine.
I don’t think practice would be a problem for Iverson either. As a matter of fact, I think he will practice more this upcoming season than he has in his entire career. He will be so determined to prove that he belongs not only with the Celtics, but in the NBA itself. However, before a player can prove that to the NBA and the world, a player has to prove that to his teammates and coach first. And how does a player do that? Practice? Practice? Yeah, I’m talking about practice. Iverson respects the Big 3 and he will want to prove those guys that he belongs to play alongside them. That will involve AI following in their footsteps and treating practice extremely seriously day in and day out.
Not only could this help the Celtics but it could also rejuvenate Allen Iverson’s career to an extent. It’s not like he’d be signing on to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s signing on to play with the Boston Celtics: a title contender. That is an astronomical difference. A chance to play with a franchise like the Celtics is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I think Iverson will embrace it. This would be Iverson’s greatest chance throughout his entire career to finally win a championship, and I think he will finally sacrifice for the greater cause. After all, that is the Celtic way.
Let’s take the worst-case scenario into perspective. The Celtics ink The Answer and he simply doesn’t perform at a respectable level. I really think that is the worst-case scenario. Doc, the Big 3, and Danny will hold numerous conversations with AI before signing him and will only bring him in if he agrees with the role they want him to fill, which is to produce off the bench. Locker room problems will not exist because the Boston veterans will simply not let them exist. I think that within the contract there will be some sort of extermination clause, which is completely necessary. If AI does end up causing problems and distractions, tear his contract up, and it’ll be like it never happened. Kind of like Stephon Marbury.
Speaking of Marbury the Celtics have a history of being able to deal with players like Allen Iverson. They currently employ one in Delonte West. But what about Antoine Walker, Stephon Marbury, and Nate Robinson? All of those guys were distractions during their time with the team. Nate Robinson wasn’t a destructive distraction, but a distraction nonetheless because of how he always fooled around. All I’m trying to say is that the Celtics can handle Iverson better than any other team in the NBA and that this is a huge low risk very high reward situation.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Iverson in Celtics green though? Yes, I am a huge Allen Iverson fan and I think it would be great. If AI could play 15 minutes per game and come off the bench and be the Allen Iverson of old in the second unit it would be incredible for the Celtics. It will give Iverson a chance to rejuvenate his career and help turn the tide in his retracting legacy. It would also make banner 18 that much sweeter.
Let’s not forget Allen Iverson’s ability either. He won the MVP award in the 2000-2001 NBA season and led a terrible team to the finals and even stole a game against a near unstoppable Laker team in Game 1. That was actually the only game those Lakers lost the entire playoffs. Iverson is 6th all-time in ppg and is 17th all-time in points scored. He’s one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the NBA and I think he can still put numbers up. No he’s not going to score 30 ppg but I think 12-15 ppg is very realistic, and that is just what the Celtics need.. He’s a great passer and can make great steals on the defensive end (Note that I’m not saying he’s a great defender because he’s not). The one thing that separates Iverson though is his will to win and overall toughness. He goes as hard as he can every time he’s on the floor and that is a very desirable aspect. To this day, nobody has ever played with more fearlessness and heart than Allen Iverson and I think that merits him a chance to play for the Boston Celtics.
In the end, signing Iverson should at least be taken into consideration. There isn’t much out there in free agency this offseason unless a team wants to spend big money, and big money is something the Celtics don’t have, at least not until next year. A veteran’s minimum deal to bring in Iverson would be a cheap deal that could have huge pay off in the end. If this is indeed going to be the last season of the Big 3 era, shouldn’t the Celtics gain any tools possible? They don’t have enough money to sign a great player and they lack essential trade bait to bring in someone who can have a huge impact on the team right away. That leaves the door open to sign a veteran player, and Iverson fits the job description.
Let The Answer at least have a chance to be the answer for the Boston Celtics for the 2011-2012 NBA season.