Iverson eyeing NBA comeback
Allen Iverson wants to keep his passport at home.
Ten years after he ruled the NBA as the cornrow-wearing, ink-stained MVP who led the Philadelphia 76ers to the finals, Iverson has his eyes on a comeback. He is determined to end a career possibly destined for the Hall of Fame in the NBA, not in some faraway country where brief YouTube clips are the only way to stay updated on the four-time scoring champion.
He turned 36 this week. He played only 10 games in an injury-filled stint in Turkey after a lack of NBA interest forced him to seek employment elsewhere. In his most recent NBA season in 2009-10, Iverson left the Sixers in February.
That's not a lot of basketball for an aging veteran.
So what gives Iverson confidence he can still play anywhere near his former elite level next season?
"It's me," he said, laughing. "That's what gives me confidence. I know what I can do. Everybody in the world knows what I can do. Everybody knows what I can do on the basketball court."
"Just give me a training camp," he said. "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."
He might have a long wait. Throw in a possible work stoppage with NBA owners and players far apart on a new labor deal, and Iverson might again be forced to look outside the NBA for a team. He signed a $4 million, two-year contract with Besiktas. But Iverson made it clear in a phone interview late Wednesday night, his first priority is the NBA.
"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," he said. "If that doesn't happen, I don't want to not play basketball. I don't have any more years to be wasting."
Iverson insisted he enjoyed his stay in Turkey.
"It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had in my life," he said. "They were great to me. They embraced me like I would never think. Everything was great as far as that experiment."