Allen Iverson is a sure fire Hall of Fame player. Allen Iverson is the most prolific point guard of his generation. Allen Iverson is one of the most rugged Warriors ever to play the game. He has hit the floor more than anyone playing the game, but he keeps getting back up.
But he is not quite what he used to be.
But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
What is a bad thing is Iverson’s refusal to acknowledge that he can’t dominate for 40-48 minutes a game like he used to.
After last seasons inglorious benching Iverson has stated publicly that he would rather retire than come off the bench for another team. I am writing this in the hopes that he reads this and takes my advice.
Iverson at 34 is still better than many starting guards in the NBA today. But his style of play requires high energy at all times. If Iverson could put his ego aside and look at things objectively he would see that coming off the bench would prolong his career and significantly help whatever team he chooses to play for.
As a starter his prospects are slim, but as a sixth man or role player he would be sought after by every contender in the league.
Many teams’ biggest weakness is generating consistent offensive production during the second quarter and late third quarter when they need to rest their starters for the stretch run.
The teams that have the guys who can carry them through these situations gain a great advantage. Look no further than the champion Lakers. Lamar Odom is good enough to start, but is crucial as a second team scoring option when Kobe needs rest.
Look at it this way. What team has a second string point guard that could match up with Iverson? He would be instant offense. If he only had to produce for 15-20 minutes a game he could go full speed without worrying about tiring.
Plus, who is to say that he couldn’t sign as a backup and end up starting due to injury? I’m sure Rafer Alston wasn’t Orlando’s first choice at point guard, but he played well when Nelson got hurt and helped guide the Magic to the Finals.
And Allen Iverson could juke Alston in his sleep!
Many great guards have extended their career without compromising their legacy, and many have been rewarded with championships for their efforts.
Gary Payton won a title with the Heat and played for a title with the Lakers in a reserve role. Sam Cassell also has benefited by playing limited minutes late in his career by playing a backup role for the Celtics two seasons ago.
Robert Horry isn’t a guard, but he can’t fit all his championship trophies in his car at the same time. Two of them came as a starter. Five of them came as a key role player.
If Iverson went on record tomorrow and stated that he would accept being a role player and do whatever it takes to win a championship every contender would come calling.
Is Iverson better than Starbury in Boston? Of course. And Boston could get Sheed to talk to him about trading minutes for glory.
Look at any contender’s backup point guard. Orlando, San Antonio, L.A., Cleveland, Denver. Well scratch Denver, but he certainly would benefit any of these teams as a role player who can create instant offense.
Allen Iverson needs to stop looking at coming off the bench as a slap in the face, but a golden opportunity.
What is better Allen, being a starter in Memphis, or being a key reserve for Boston?
If you don’t know the answer just call Rasheed Wallace. He’ll be glad to tell you.