The AP reports:
With no apparent interest from NBA teams, Allen Iverson is set to retire, according to an online report.
Commentator Stephen A. Smith published a statement on his Web site Wednesday attributed to Iverson. It said Iverson plans to retire but also that “I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level.”
The statement also said Iverson has tremendous love for the game and the desire to play, adding there is “a whole lot left in my tank.”
“His legacy would be huge,” Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James said. “He’s one of the best when you talk about guys 6-foot and under in the game of basketball. He played injured and he played hard every single night. I don’t think it should end this way, but if it does, he’s left a lot of great things behind.”
The 10-time All-Star played three games this season with Memphis before taking a leave of absence to attend to personal matters. He was waived after the two sides agreed to part ways.
Iverson is a free agent and therefore can say he’s retiring, but there is nothing to stop him from changing his mind and remaining available, should a job offer come his way.
It would be a real shame if Iverson’s career went out on such a sour note, though considering it’s mainly his own doing, perhaps it’s fitting.
Iverson has made it clear that he only wants to join a team that will make him their star. He should instead focus on how to help a team win, hoping that the two goals are one and the same. But he’s always been primarily a scorer and one who doesn’t necessarily make teammates better.
Taking his advanced age and very specific skill set into consideration, he’s better suited as scoring punch, not a team’s primary star.
But apparently it’s all or nothing in Iverson’s eyes, and for now, he’ll stick with nothing and focus on enjoying life off the court.
However, don’t be shocked if he does wind up latching on with a team sometime in the coming weeks or months. This thing may not be over.
If this is the last we’ve seen of Iverson, he’ll be missed. He was a joy to watch.