Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 9:20 am  |  65 responses

Allen Iverson Willing to Play Any Role on an NBA Team

As we first reported in SLAM 150, an older and humbler Allen Iverson says he’s finally ready to be a role player, should a team take a chance on him again. We broke it, but let’s hear how CSN Philly roles with their own version: “If defiance helped Iverson achieve what he did in his pro career, humility spills from him now, 15 years after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. He believes he can still play at the highest level and he is putting all of his energy into achieving that goal. ‘I just want to do whatever an organization wants me to do,’ Iverson said. ‘Everybody made a big thing about me not wanting to come off the bench, but I said that at that point because it never happened to me in my life and it was something new to me, and obviously I didn’t know how to handle it. But to be back on the biggest stage is my whole thing and I feel like I have a couple more years left in my career and I want to play. I sat through and watched the whole season and it was tough for me. Now I just try to do what I have to do to be physically and mentally able to get back on the stage.’ … As complimentary as Iverson is of the European basketball way, overseas still isn’t where his heart is ultimately. Looking back, plenty of Iverson’s draft peers are still playing – Marcus Camby, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash to name a few. But because Iverson relied solely on his gift of incredible talent and spent little time putting other facets into his game, he finds himself on the outside looking in at a world he probably took for granted. ‘Learning curves. Obviously I have a different work ethic than I did before and, honestly, it’s because I am older,’ he said, imploring of his changed ways. ‘I am not as fast and quick as I was, but I can run with the young boys and I can still do the things that I have always been capable of doing, and that is my whole thing with continuing to play. As long as I can continue to do the things I am accustomed to doing, then I will play until the wheels fall off.’”

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  • Fred

    We tried this before…
    I hope he gets another chance.

  • LandoCommando

    Too little too late. What happened in Detroit and Memphis? So u want a THIRD second chance? NO!!!!! All good things must come to an end. The L has Wall, Rose, Lawson, Felton, Rondo, CP3, westbrook and a ton of other young exciting talent. Go back to VA or overseas and let your NBA legacy live on through highlights and exaggerated stories. If I’m a GM, i don’t mes with dude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I definitely wouldn’t mind him coming to the Lakers. He’s a way better option then Derek Fisher. Only thing Fish has over A.L. is his three-point shooting

  • Onice130

    Man I hope he can come back, He still has enough skills to play with the best out there. All he ever needed to do was to humble himself down and understand what the team was trying to accomplish for him. I wouldnt mind him going to the Heat, if he play the point and run it well and have chalmers come off the bench it wouldnt be bad. I wanna see A.I in the league crossing someone again!

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Sign him after the lockout!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    I’d say Fish also has heart, humility, and general intangibles over AI. I definitely wouldn’t mind him going to the Lakers. But then, I hate the Lakers.

  • Durand Alexander

    I love AI, but I’m afraid the league has passed him by. I didn’t even miss him last season. And looking at the possible contenders, I don’t see any room for him. His best chance may be hooking on with a playoff team but not a contender.


    ^ Fisher means a lot to the Lakers in more ways than stats will show.

  • SikhWitIt

    This is sad. I hope money isn’t the only thing motivating this.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    He should go to the Heat and get that championship ring. Iverson, LeBron, Bosh, Wade and Joel Anthony your starting 5.

  • SikhWitIt

    Also, it strikes me that A.I. wouldn’t be a very effective basketball player if he were “humble.” The essence of his game is rooted in a competitive arrogance–he is not and will never be a role player.

  • Riggs

    AI to the hawks.

  • sam

    Like the idea of him going to the Lakers, or even the Heat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    The Lakers and Heat are the only contenders that Allen could start for, unless you put him on the Bulls as a 2…..but that would seem kinda awkward

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    co-sign sikwittit

  • Eddie1

    Woah is this from 2009? Been there done that. Dude better not get another chance. And where is Eboy at?

  • rikson

    Oh god… not this again!

  • T-Money

    he said all of those things when memphis signed him too.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    You know, he could be the J.J. Barea X-factor coming off the bench…as weird as that sounds.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    good point SikhWitIt. Ain’t no humble man about to crossover Tyronn Lue and then hit a J in his face.


    Brett Favre relates to Allen Iverson. lol

  • robb

    @BlackPhantom AI over Fisher? you’re completely nuts

  • Tread61

    Give him the chance, I can think of at least 3 maybe 4 teams he would be effective on (1) Lakers (as stated before) (2)Hawks (3)Miami (they might have won this past year w/him) (4) OKC (he averaged nearly 7 ASSISTS a game for his career)…let Westbrook run the 2…just an opinion…

  • cramzy

    I refuse to believe that he cant play in this league when Mike Bibby running around, putting up 4 and 1 in the playoffs. I’ve been wanting the Heat to sign dude since 09, they wont don’t it for whatever reason.

  • bull22

    iverson can still contribute, and i would hate to see him end up on miami heat or la lakers…

  • Onice130

    I cant see A.I playing with Kobe on the Lakers, and def A.I over Fisher anyday.. Both bring heart to da game, but A.I got way more skills than him.

  • Onice130

    @cramzy.. Lmao, i completely agree!!

  • jflash


  • jflash

    Knicks Baby!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Yes, Robb. A.I. over Fisher any day of the week. Derek has amazing heart and is a very clutch player….but he’s never even averaged 5 assists a game. He’s….old, man.

  • Ryan D.

    BRING BACK ALLEN!! Let him ride off into the sunset with dignity after all he gave us.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    cosign BlackPhantom. I’d start AI over Fisher…over their whole careers…. and even now.


    I say give A.I. a chance. I hate 2 c him being out of the L when its obvious he can still conribute 2 a team. And I don’t care what team he plays 4. Just as long as he is back n the L

  • AD

    i can see AI in brooklyn with dwill and dwight winning him his long desrved championship ring

  • bike

    How incrediably sad. Must have realized that he would not be a good candidate for a broadcasting job.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @BlackPhantom – Kinda funny, I was just thinking about that the other day. AI on the Bulls. If he was willing to be the backup 1 and 2 that would be dope.
    But I’m not convinced he’d be up to doing that.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    SikhWitIt is right, AI just doesn’t have a game that transitions into becoming a role player. He can’t shoot the 3, he can’t come off screens and shoot, he can’t run your team from the PG position. Unless he’s improved on all those things since he’s been out of the L, how can he contribute?


    Just throwing this out there….A.I EVER being on the Lakers would be some form if twisted poetic justice…But yeah, bring A.I back, he can’t just can’t be kick out of the L, I wanna see him go down swinging, like the fighter we all know he is

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Not this again…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @Enigmatic, if he’s backing up the defending MVP I think he wouldn’t mind coming off the bench…


    I think the Knicks can use him off the bench, because they really dnt have that REAL energy dude yet…Landry is still growing but not quite there…A.I. would keep it exciting when Melo or STAT sits out….Just my opinion…

  • stayweird38

    AI is way better than old man fisher. I could see him on the heat cuss he’s better than scrub mike biby and the knicks would be cool. Hell bring him back to the nuggets! HHah

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Chalmers actually looked good in the playoffs though. He can play D and hit shots. The offense runs through LeBron or D-Wade anyways. I’m not so sure AI would be an upgrade there.

  • robb

    DFish is slow, he’s old, and can’t keep up with younger PG’s, that’s absolutely true, but he’s a team player, he’s clutch, he’s a leader and he’s a great presence within the locker room. AI never has been a team player, he is a locker room cancer, on top he’s old, slow and has many unsolved issues. He can’t be a starter in the NBA, much less be the starting PG for the Lakers. 1 on 1 AI would destroy Fisher, but this is a team sport and the last thing the Lakers need is a troublemaking has-been playing for them.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @niQ – yeah, but AI is a former MVP himself, and in his own words – “I don’t know no MVP that come off the bench”.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    He’s done this twice before, why would we believe him the 3rd time around?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Well they say the third time’s the charm.

  • alphabetaherculis

    He recently overslept and skipped his basketball camp for kids, because he was too drunk from the strip club the night before. This was confirmed and he was put on blast for it. So, I think everyone is done giving you chances. All you want to be is a thug and nothing else. Just retire and hope you get into the hall of fame.

  • add

    if he still has the killer speed someone will pick him up

  • Najee

    If you really want A.I. back send him to the Heat cause they are in need of a hood point guard that knows the ins and outs of the game

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Philly or Milwaukee.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    He’s happy to play any role on an NBA team…as long as that team is playoff bound…and that role is no less than 25 mins a game….??

  • rikson

    Since when is AI a PG?!

  • coggie13

    As an A.I fan it makes sense to go to the heat. He would be further humbled by Lebron and Wade and if he feels he has a chance to contribute at any rate the are he would step his game up.. dude could average 12 assists a game on that team easy. its just a matter of him realising he is not the baddest most sickwickedandnasty dude around anymore. What did you expect him to think playing for the grizzlies he was twice the player of randolph and gay combined.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Twice the player of Randolph and Gay combined? Maybe in his prime, but in 2009? Heck no!

  • luisoti45

    give hem a chance he still can put at least 14 pts a game and tha help every team . i will love to see gem back and win a title in eny way

  • idrees

    chicago bulls.

  • Waggle

    I’ll believe he’s changed when I see it.

  • deadbored

    A.I needs to play streetball or something.

  • John

    Allen iveson was once a great player and his biggest downfall was his attitude and now that he is a much humbler iverson that will make him a nuch better player now. And he would be an asset to any team coming off the bench theres not a team out there that couldnt use him as a player coming off the ive seem him play overseas and his is still a good player.

  • cez

    If he came to NY we wud be ready for a ring!

  • the mike

    Um ill take AI over Mario Chalmers Mike bibby and 4th quarter Lebron James…..for the the Low


    A.I to the KNICKS would be dope no lie he fits in perfect him and melo are cool it will be crazy in the garden son

  • Michael Labrador

    A.I. can still finish…and he still has some of his skills like before… Miami heat is the best team if he will come back… He will give 10ppg 7apg and maybe a steal…

  • Mo Strong

    I think A.I . does deserve another chance. The teams he should choose from is Bulls, Knicks, OKC, Memphis, Boston, or where ever dwight Howard goes.