A.I.: Give Me a Starting Role or Give Me Retirement

by April 02, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

Recently, Allen Iverson let the world know his true feelings about being a sixth man for the Pistons, and in case you thought he was through with the venting, you clearly don’t know him well enough.

A.I. was at it again last night, more bitter than ever, following a 17 minute, four-point performance in yet another losing effort for Detroit.

The Sporting News and the AP bring us Iverson’s feelings (and not-so-subtle warnings) to whatever team decides to bring him into the fold next season:

“I’m in a position now that I’ve never been in my whole life,” Iverson said. “It’s harder than I thought it would be. With the back injury, I have to sit out at the start, then go in, then sit again. It’s tough to really get going. I take my hat off to the guys who can come off the bench and be effective. It’s tough for me. I’m struggling with it.”

“I’d rather retire before I do this again,” Iverson said. “I can’t be effective playing this way. I’m not used to it. It’s tough for me both mentally and physically. If I’m able to go out there, I should be able to get it done and I can’t right now. It’s my fault. I have to be able to overcome the adversity and do what I have to do. I just have to find a way to get it done. Not being 100 percent makes it harder and you can see that I’m not 100 percent.”

“I’m happy with my career and the things I’ve done in my career,” Iverson said. “I feel blessed that I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish the things that I’ve accomplished, to do the things that I’ve done. I would feel fine if I had to (retire).”

Retirement talk aside, it sounds as though Iverson wants to have it both ways. He says he’s not 100% healthy, and yet feels entitled to starters’ minutes.

I’d love to know which contender Iverson imagines will be willing to not only sign him next season, but also make him a cornerstone of their quest for a ring – something he has maintained is his number one priority, and a claim that is getting harder and harder to believe.