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Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 12:52 pm  |  43 responses

Stephon Marbury: Allen Iverson Would Be ‘Rejuvenated’ if He Played in China


Allen Iverson is in China for a two-week promotional basketball tour — something billed as the NBA Legends Tour (alongside Iverson will be Dennis Rodman, Clyde Drexler, Shawn Kemp and Stephon Marbury) — but Marbury thinks his former NBA rival would do very well if he stuck around for a while. (After all, Starbury would know.) From Niubball: “Shorty after getting on the ground from the U.S. yesterday morning, he fielded questions from Chinese reporters and when when asked if he’d consider playing in the CBA next season, he replied: ‘Why not?’ Iverson has been out of professional basketball since January 2011, when he left Turkish outfit Besiktas after he injured his right calf muscle. This is not the first time Iverson has been linked with a move to the CBA: He flirted with the idea of playing in China in the summer/fall of 2010 and had several serious offers, including a reported $4 million contract from Foshan. Iverson ended up declining Foshan and all other teams, and signed a two-year deal with Bestikas shortly after in October. At this point, there is no indication as to which teams Iverson would be open towards joining. [...] But maybe more importantly, Iverson has a valuable ally in his Chinese corner this time, Stephon Marbury. Fresh off of leading the Beijing Shougang Ducks to their first ever CBA championship, Marbury has grown into a bonefied superstar in China and has been called a hero of Beijing by the city’s millions of inhabitants. Due to a CBA rule that limits both the regular season and Finals MVP award to Chinese players, popular Chinese basketball website, hoopCHINA, has lead a campaign to build Marbury a bronze statue that will commemorate his season in Beijing, a project that has garnered the support of more than 1 million people in China. [...] Marbury, who will play against Iverson for the Legends Tour’s first thee games, returned to Beijing yesterday after a short trip to the United States and was immediately supportive of Iverson joining up with a Chinese team next season. ‘I think [Iverson] will be rejuvenated if he played in China,’ Marbury said on his Sina Weibo account (Chinese Twitter). ‘He would love the fans here if he played basketball here. I hope he can feel the love when he plays here in the coming games.’”

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  • fruizm

    Shawn Kemp and AI are my two all time favorite players! But its kinda sad that theyre doing this tour…its sad how both of them just disappeared.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    People in China would LOVE to have AI playing there–judging by Marbury’s success, I think AI should at least consider it. Look how sh!tty the fans and beat writers in America treated (and still treat) Marbury, then look at his reception in China. A complete 180.

  • AsadSaleh3

    As a huge fan of AI, at this point, I’d just like to see him playing in a place where he can be happy. The NBA has been scared off. So wherever he can compete and play well, I hope he goes there. I wish he had handled things differently while he was one of the best guards in the NBA along with Kobe and T-Mac.

  • bike

    I doubt he would be rejuvenated. It will give him something to do and bring in some income but…dam. It just seems so sad.

  • D-Funk

    fruizm Posted “But its kinda sad that theyre doing this tour…” smacc! yoself…Allen Iverson is in China for a two-week promotional basketball tour…why is it saaaad? to “promote” the best game EVA??? in CHINA??? u sound like a ni99a that aint left tha blocc

  • D-Funk

    this why I dont log in…((im not D-Funk))

  • Bt

    That Chinese MVP rule is the stupidest rule I’ve ever heard

  • http://www.slamonline.com JaySingh

    Really hope AI go there this could be his nice go away, he would be loved in China the same way Marbury is. I hope he finishes his career happy he truly is one of the greatest to ever play the game.

  • http://slam Daanswer

    His true fans just want to see him play, In the NBA, China or the YMCA……Lace em up, AI!!

  • http://outlaw.com bo outlaw

    that would be ‘bonafide’

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    If a washed up Marbury can flourish in China, so could AI. But can he swallow his pride and accept he’s not NBA material anymore? History says ‘no.’

  • http://bebe310.blogspot.com/ titanic

    @fruizm theres nothing sad about a 2-week promotional tour especially when one considers that is in China. China adores Iverson, absolutely adores him so I think AI would consider playing for the cba but it`s not where he wants to be. His heart and his home is in the US. on the other hand, playing some exhibition games in China over the summer against cba teams would not be a bad idea if he was going to get paid to do so. The most important thing is that AI has not giving up because believe or not he still has millions of fans in the US who want him back in the nba and who knows that hes capable of playing in the nba.

  • http://bebe310.blogspot.com/ titanic

    The saddest part about of all of this is that there are people who have convinced themselves that because AI is not playing in the nba that means hes no longer capable of playing at this level, that hes no longer nba material. As if to say, that every basketball player around the world who has nba potential is playing in the nba while every basketball player who doesnt have nba potential is playing or not playing outside the nba. This is the ultimate ethnocentric belief of the American or nba fan. There are 100s of players outside the nba who are better, yes better than current nba players – Allen Iverson is one of them. The fact that AI is not playing in the nba doesnt in any way diminish his basketball skills or his confidence as we all see because he still hasnt given up on the game as opposed to the nba. AI is basketball, nba material, always has been, and hes better than at least half of the guards, players in the nba right now.

  • Harlem_World

    Playing in China would be a GOOD LOOK for AI. (1) There’s ALOT of money to be made there and (2) the world doesn’t start and finish with the NBA. If they aren’t giving him love, bounce! The only thing to consider though, he will really need to workout properly to prepare. The reason Steph has been so successful (and could still be a heavy contributor on a NBA team) is because he has a superior level of dedication to working out and keeping his body right than AI. AI has never been a fan of working out. All natural ability. When you get older you have to compensate with the gym to stay on point. If he does that and really gets it in over the summer in preparation, he could have a big year there. Then again, if he really went in on the gym over the summer, he could make alot of rosters in the L too. He has a small window left either way now, but there is still a window IF he prepares properly.

  • http://bebe310.blogspot.com/ titanic

    Iverson has been working out diligently since the summer (2011) and this has been well documented and has continued to be documented throughout the entire nba season.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/news-rumors/other-news/2011/10/captains-in-allen-iversons-charity-tournament-announced/ titanic

    10-26-2011
    Posted by Kidd-Kidd
    Pardeep’s right A.I. has been out on football field all over Atlanta since the summer training with the guy that trained Mike Vick before he had that near MVP season in Philly with the Eagles… Vick’s workouts were designed to have his fast twitch muscles firing like they were in the past and he got those back gaining his speed and quickness back it was easy for him he was always a freak of nature so AI should be a lot quicker and explosive than the last year.. AI was there almost every other day and that is just the athletic part he was in Virgina Pro-Am hooping all night as well. He will be able to run with the young cats.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Marbury may have a point. I guess AI would rather be in the NBA but if China is the job that’s open……..NBA can always find him if they need him. (If they need you, they will find you, count on that. LOL.)

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/03/manager-allen-iverson-will-not-play-in-the-dominican-republic/ titanic

    Iverson has been working out since the summer in hopes he would get an opportunity to return to the nba. Unfortunately, facts dont make the headlines like rumors do. AI has gotten himself into better shape and maintained his fitness. Fitness was not the problem in dec 2011 and it isnt the problem now. of course, game shape is slightly different than working out and can only be achieved through real game competition or action. give AI a week of exhibition games, i.e. preseason games, and he would have been ready to go then just like would be ready to go now.

    From Gary Moore: “Iverson is still working out, waiting for another opportunity.” (click on the link)

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

    Its really not a question of ability with AI tho. People know he can still play, its his attitude that’s been the problem. Is he willing to come off the bench, pass the ball around, not be the man etc etc etc. And yeah, that rule about the MVP is stupid. I guess they’re afraid a foreign born player would win it all the time.

  • bobloblaw

    Is MJ still holding a grudge for that crossover?? Get him in Charlotte, what do we have to lose? I cant imagine someone better for Kemba to learn from….not the practice habits tho.

  • markymark

    @berkamore – won’t happen. they’ve decided to get rid off him a long time ago. sad to see it end like this. f*ck stern.

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

    Iverson would probably put up 35-7-11 in China

  • anonymous

    At this point, using the same excuses as to why AI isnt in the nba is overplayed. “He isnt willing to accept a bench role” – yet Hes already said that Hes willing to take any role and there are several teams who could use him as a starter being that AI is better than most if not all of their starters. “Hes too old” – yet there are players who are just as old in age/body, and some who are older. AI hasnt played for about a season and a half, so hasn’t amassed the wear & tear that other players have amassed while playing during the same period. Age is just a number and is not as important as the amount of time spent on the hardwood competing. His absence is like as a recovery period that gives him time to replenish what was loss while playing for 10+ years. “He has a bad attitude” – yet half of the players in the nba have attitudes which translates to an edge on the court and a nuisance off the court: kobe, rondo, stephen Jackson, bynum,… the list could go on forever. with the exception being artest whose mental instability detracts from the game itself yet him and his attitude is still in the nba. “Hes too much of a financial risk” – yet players are signed everyday who dont possess anywhere near the fan attraction/appreciation, talent, skills, or accomplishments AI possesses. eddy curry, bibby, mredd, kdooling, sblake, lwalton, … the list could go on forever. AI should be playing in the nba. I hope I get the opportunity to see him next season 2012-13.

  • mango

    AI will love to 2 practices a day in the CBA

  • dannyb

    Is Clyde Drexler broke???

  • MikeC.

    The NBA is a league that wants gate draws and talent. In that order. Iverson is a name that brings $ to the arena. If Iverson still had it, he’d be on an NBA roster. At some point, our heroes get old, break down and fade away. The kids on this site are seeing their heroes fade and they don’t like it.

  • anonymous

    this has nothing to do with age. this has nothing to do with the inexplicable comparisons of nba players to heroes since athletes are not heros, they are normal people with God-given talent. this is about a man who still possesses God-given talent but is not being given the opportunity to display it on the biggest stage because of the nba`s prejudicial attitude towards him. Iverson possesses enough of this God-given talent to average AT LEAST 15-20 points a game depending on the amount of playing time. that is the only argument here: whether or not Iverson`s basketball skills meet or exceed the job expectations that accompany a professional basketball player. At the end of the day, Iverson is better than most of the guards in the nba and the nba is based on the application of these supreme basketball skills against others at the same skill level. Allen Iverson exceeds these skill requirements, even more so than many of the current nba players (some of which who are competing in the postseason). Thus, he is equipped to compete at this level and should be given an opportunity to return to the nba next season 2012-13.

  • MikeC.

    Anonymous’ hero is fading and he doesn’t like it.

  • anonymous

    sorry little mikey but this aint the avengers this is real life where job sufficiency is based on meeting the requirements regardless of age. talk to me again when you hit puberty.

  • MikeC.

    Part of keeping a job is having a track record of reliability and consistency.

  • MikeC.

    Also, in the “real life” you’re talking about, most businesses have a mandatory retirement age so employees can’t hang around drawing a paycheck after their productivity declines.

  • B.C.

    Yeah that’s why he’s still stuck in China.

  • anonymous

    @B.C. yeah, good comeback. AI is stuck in China for the next 2 weeks living and eating for free while playing in a few exhibition games in front of thousands of fans who love him. such an undesirable situation to be in. you`re a sharp one. harvard grad, right?

  • anonymous

    consistency, no?
    96-97 PHI: 19.8 fpg, 23.5 ppg, 7.5 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 spg
    -
    97-98 PHI: 17.6 fpg, 22.0 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 spg
    -
    98-99 PHI: 22.0 fpg, 26.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 spg
    -
    99-00 PHI: 24.8 fpg, 28.4 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 spg
    -
    00-01 PHI: 25.5 fpg, 31.1 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 spg
    -
    01-02 PHI: 27.8 fpg, 31.4 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.8 spg
    -
    02-03 PHI: 23.7 fpg, 27.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 spg
    -
    03-04 PHI: 23.4 fpg, 26.4 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 spg
    -
    04-05 PHI: 24.2 fpg, 30.7 ppg, 7.9 apg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 spg
    -
    05-06 PHI: 25.3 fpg, 33.0 ppg, 7.4 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg
    -
    06-07 TOT: 20.2 fpg, 26.3 ppg, 7.2 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 spg
    -
    06-07 PHI: 24.4 fpg, 31.2 ppg, 7.3 apg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 spg
    -
    06-07 DEN: 18.9 fpg, 24.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 spg
    -
    07-08 DEN: 19.0 fpg, 26.4 ppg, 7.1 apg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 spg
    -
    08-09 TOT: 14.6 fpg, 17.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 spg
    -
    08-09 DEN: 13.3 fpg, 18.7 ppg, 6.7 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 spg (3 games)
    -
    08-09 DET: 14.7 fpg, 17.4 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 spg
    -
    09-10 TOT: 11.3 fpg, 13.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 spg (28 games)
    -
    09-10 MEM: 8.7 fpg, 12.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 spg (3 games)
    -
    09-10 PHI: 11.6 fpg, 13.9 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.0 rpg, 0.7 spg (25 games)
    -
    career : 21.8 fpg, 26.7 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 spg (914 games)

  • anonymous

    consistency, no?
    96-97 PHI: 19.8 fpg, 23.5 ppg, 7.5 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 spg

    97-98 PHI: 17.6 fpg, 22.0 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 spg

    98-99 PHI: 22.0 fpg, 26.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 spg

    99-00 PHI: 24.8 fpg, 28.4 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 spg

    00-01 PHI: 25.5 fpg, 31.1 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 spg

    01-02 PHI: 27.8 fpg, 31.4 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.8 spg

    02-03 PHI: 23.7 fpg, 27.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 spg

    03-04 PHI: 23.4 fpg, 26.4 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 spg

    04-05 PHI: 24.2 fpg, 30.7 ppg, 7.9 apg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 spg

    05-06 PHI: 25.3 fpg, 33.0 ppg, 7.4 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg

    06-07 TOT: 20.2 fpg, 26.3 ppg, 7.2 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 spg

    06-07 PHI: 24.4 fpg, 31.2 ppg, 7.3 apg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 spg

    06-07 DEN: 18.9 fpg, 24.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 spg

    07-08 DEN: 19.0 fpg, 26.4 ppg, 7.1 apg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 spg

    08-09 TOT: 14.6 fpg, 17.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 spg

    08-09 DEN: 13.3 fpg, 18.7 ppg, 6.7 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 spg (3 games)

    08-09 DET: 14.7 fpg, 17.4 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 spg

    09-10 TOT: 11.3 fpg, 13.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 spg (28 games)

    09-10 MEM: 8.7 fpg, 12.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 spg (3 games)

    09-10 PHI: 11.6 fpg, 13.9 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.0 rpg, 0.7 spg (25 games)

    career : 21.8 fpg, 26.7 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 spg (914 games)

  • anonymous

    most businesses have a mandatory retirement age so employees can’t hang around drawing a paycheck after their productivity declines.
    that was a great story but there is no mandatory retirement in age in sports. Retirement is determined by the individual and whether or not he or she has the necessary skills to contribute. that`s why players like eddy curry, derek fisher, luke walton, juwan howard, etc… are still playing despite their lack of ability to contribute to the sport. but you are the all-knowing one and far too ignorant to understand this simple concept. the conservation is over.

  • MikeC.

    Most of those stats are from a decade ago. As for the players you list as examples of why AI should be in the league, with the exception of Curry, they’re all positive veteran influences who sit at the end of the bench and rarely play. They have accepted their sports mortality, something AI hasn’t demonstrated he’s capable of doing. The potential negatives outweigh the potential positives. I guess I’ll just continue being “far too ignorant to understand” while AI’s continued lack of presence in a professional league of any kind proves me right. You’re right. The conversation is over.

  • Chukaz

    It cracks me up how they play up how many people support the Marbury statue. 1 million people in China’s like a small HS in the US smh There’s BILLIONS of Chinese. I’m not impressed by 1 million supporters.

  • MELO

    at this point you just want the guy to be happy. Yes he’s good enough to be in the NBA but that door has been closed. The guy deserves some applause even if it’s in China.

  • markymark

    @MikeC – Name me an instance in Philly or Denver where AI was a “negative influence.” He got mad love from his teammates. And don’t use Detroit or Memphis as an example since they were pawns to get him out of the league.

  • you crack me up

    @chucaz.. “it cracks you up”???… “you are not impressed” ???…
    I guess you don’t need to be because “you” having numerous statues of yourself in various countries around the world as well as a couple of billion supporters… Don’t you mr ” I am not impressed with 1 million supporters” ????… You sound like an idiot!!!!… YOU ARE A LOSER Mr. CHUCAZ….LOSER!!!!!….,

  • ShaBang

    I’ve been following AI’s performance during this exhibition tour in China, it doesn’t look “good”. His speed and agility is very much gone, his signature cross-over is a thing of the past, he relies on spot-up jumpers 90% of the time and jacking up shots averaging about 20 ppg at the cost of around 30% fg percentage (pretty much his NBA average), very little penetrating and attacking the basket. Everyone who watched those games reported his “notably” slender physique, more obvious than his none-corn-row-hair-do (I almost couldn’t recognize him without the rows, just a regular short ‘fro, who could’ve thought that!). If anyone thinks CBA is a joke or that any NBA has-beens can just swing it anywhere outside of NBA, you need to come back down on earth. Its style mimics that of college ball in terms of physical contact, it would be non-issue if you can blow pass your defenders with ease, but AI’s lost his legs many moons ago. AI was my first bball hero growing up, as much as I love to see him “rejuvenate” like Marbury (otherwise why would I bother to follow an exhibition tour of retired players?), I want to see him finish his career happy, but part of me just wish him hanging it up for good, the risk of him tarnishing his legacy and disappointing the fans who anticipate his “return” is too great (and I think he knows that by now). But I wish him nothing but the best.

  • e peters

    If the lakers had A.I. it would be a different ball game all together. Even when Jordan lost his speed he was still a scorer and offensive threat. Like it or not A.I change the game of basketball. He took Jordan’s cross overdribble and magnified it times 10. Then made to the finals witht eh team on his back. Bad Attitude I agree, but great player you must agree. If Labron had the heart of Iverson he would have won last years match against Dallas and would have never left Cleveland but built a team around him.

    Media nice guy above medium player. I am sure Nike is kicking themselves in the shin right now for throwing all that money in Labron’s hands. One needs to earn their nick name in sports not given one by Marketing companies. Black Momba Earned! Magic Earned, Dr J Earned, The Answer Earned! The mailman Earned! Shaq Diesel Earned! Nick Killer Reggie Miller Earned! Bird and Jordan so good their names are Nick names all earned.

    King James Kin of what

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