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Allen Iverson Returns to Philadelphia 76ers - Only to Retire
Many are wishing Allen Iverson well as it becomes official he will not be returning to the Philadelphia Sixers to finish the 2010 Season.
His daughter's health has preoccupied this father for quite some time, as the family seeks answers to her medical problems. Messiah, who is only 4 years old has an undisclosed medical problem.
For some, his return did not come a moment too soon.
The basketball franchise was suffering financially, with the second lowest attendance in all the league. They are hoping Iverson will be able to fill all the empty seats with those who remember the Iverson of old.
While excitement was initially very positive and invigorating to the fans and for the Sixers when Iverson returned Monday, December 7, it didn't take long before the thrill of having Iverson back quickly began to fade.
It is no secret the Sixers are a bad team this year. 3 headcoach changes has done little to improve the team's record.
Some speculated that if he was 60-70 percent of the player he was when he left Philly in 2006, it will be a good deal. With a young 76er team enduring the loss of a key player to injury, it was hoped that the veteran might indeed live up to his nickname, The Answer.
He had been given an non guarantee 1 year contract. He can be "let go" if he fails to meet expectations. His free agent salary of 1 million plus is the lowest paid to a player with his 10 years of experience. He unceremoniously retired with the Memphis Grizzlies after he was slotted to come off the bench, and not start as he is accustomed to doing.
An Old Man at 34?
By basketball standards, AI is considered an old man in the league. Imagine, being told you are a has been at only 34 years of age. Such is the life of a professional athlete. Iverson wishes to start with the team, he wasn't granted that wish when he played with the Memphis Grizzlies, the team he recently retired with. He could not swallow coming off the bench after being a starter for 10 years. So he decided to quit the game he loves so much.
Starting on Monday, Iverson will once again be reunited with fellow team mate, Andre Iquodala. How they will mesh after all this time is a question begging for an answer. But the hole in the Sixers offense is also begging for an answer, perhaps THE ANSWER will be ready to pump up the team, score some points and show he hasn't lost his touch, even if he is 34 years old.
Will Philly Fans Still Love Iverson?
If he produces and helps the Sixers begin winning again, the fans will come! They will be taken back to Iverson's earlier days when he was the league VIP on more than one occasion.
The small man, known for his scrappiness, who could get knocked down by the tall buildings from rival teams, and still get up and put up amazing numbers, will be the favorite child once again.
And if he has shown he has matured, he will be embraced all the more so.
Presently, the debate continues about whether or not this is a big mistake but the Sixers President feels it is a win/win for his team.
Some of Iverson's Amazing Stats
In his first go-round with Philadelphia, Iverson posted some amazing stats:
The 10-time All-Star was NBA MVP in 2001 when he led the Sixers to the NBA finals. Iverson has played in 71 career playoff games and owns the second-highest postseason scoring average (29.7 ppg) in NBA history, trailing only Michael Jordan (33.4 ppg).
In 10 seasons with the Sixers, Iverson posted the highest scoring average in team history (28.1), was second on the points list (19,583) and holds the record for 3-pointers (877). He was a seven-time All-Star, won four scoring titles and two All-Star game MVPs, has career averages of 27 points and 6.2 points in 889 career games in 14 seasons. He is tied for the fifth-highest scoring average in NBA history and ranks third among active players.
It is easy to see why fans would be happy with 60 percent of the above!
A Chance To Retire With Style
If nothing else is accomplished with this free agent deal, at least Iverson will have the opportunity to end his basketball career with the team that began it all.
#3 will retire with pomp and not unceremoniously as was his first retirement with the Grizzlies of Memphis. The fans in Philly recognize the talent of this future Hall of Famer and will reward it accordingly when he retires. Fan appreciation will be high, especially if he does well in the next 8 weeks and shows he is a wiser more mature player.
Philly is a buzz with the possibilities and potential hazards. Monday night will be the big reveal and as they keep saying here in Philly . . . "We'll See"