Allen Iverson told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that he hopes to return to the NBA next season before retiring. Iverson, who turns 36 this week, is hoping for one last hurrah after spending this past season playing in Turkey.
The one-time Generation X poster boy, who was as known as much for his cornrows and defiance for authority as he was for his sick crossover, believes he still has something to offer the NBA if given the chance.
The man once known as “The Answer” is hoping some NBA general manager will answer his plea.
"Just give me a training camp," he said in a telephone interview with ESPN. "Maybe I've rubbed people the wrong way as far as saying the things I've said in my life and in my career. But if any team needs me to help try and win a championship in any capacity, I'm waiting."
But the reality is it’s a longshot that Iverson will land with another NBA team at this point in his career. All of the teams passed on him last year after a dreadful reunion in Philadelphia, which left him with no choice but to sign a two-year contract worth $4 million with Besiktas. And even that didn’t go all that well because Iverson just played in 10 games due to injury.
Couple his unreliability with the fact that the NBA is about to head into a labor lockout that could shorten or possibly cancel the 2011-12 season, and the prospects just don’t look good for the man who was once the quickest player in basketball.
Iverson, who has played for Philadelphia, Denver, Detroit and Memphis, could always return to Turkey for the final year of his contract. That seems more realistic.
Iverson is still an NBA talent, but his mindset is what will turn off most contending teams. He still thinks of himself as a starter instead of a Jason Terry-type guard who can come off the bench and provide instant offense in spurts.
"If that doesn't happen, I just want to play basketball, so I've got to weigh my options and do what's best for me and my career," Iverson said during the interview. "If that doesn't happen, I don't want to not play basketball. I don't have any more years to be wasting."
(Photo: AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, File)