National Basketball Association
Iverson's suitors aren't chasing a prize
National Basketball Association

Iverson's suitors aren't chasing a prize

Published Jul. 16, 2009 5:06 p.m. ET

As an undersized and unemployed 34-year-old shooting guard, it's easy to co-opt Allen Iverson's nickname and attach some tired whimsy to his current job search.

But even when he was lighting up entire teams as the whirling dervish of Philly, even when being referenced as "The Answer" wasn't accompanied by sarcasm, it was always difficult to ascertain just what in the heck the question had been.

Sure, it was pretty amazing to see this grasshopper-sized kid knifing through NBA defenses and into a Hall-of-Fame career, but — with the exception of Larry Brown's temporarily successful kowtow to Iverson's selfishness — the guy has been a relative train wreck in a sport that at least pays lip service to the team concept.

So, now that he's become to a free-agent contract what a booby-trapped explosive is to a diamond, we're here to figure out just what any team willing to sign him will be getting.

Well, they'll be getting desperate.

So, into this spotlight step the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat, three teams with enough self-loathing to claim at least partial interest in hiring a player who was paid more than $21 million while getting credited with wrecking the Detroit Pistons last season.

Detroit seems like a fine starting point for this examination.

OK, we're all aware the team that had reached the Eastern Conference finals six years in a row turned into a catastrophe after trading point guard Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets for Iverson early last season. And we know Billups turned the Nuggets into a contender while the Pistons staggered toward the extinction of Iverson's contract.


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