Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:19 pm
Allen Iverson tweeted Monday that he hopes to return to his Turkish team in time for the playoffs at the end of March. But according to a statement from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, that could be an optimistic assessment.
Andrews said Tuesday that Iverson requires "prolonged rest" totaling at least 6-8 weeks, along with an injection to treat a calcium deposit in his calf. The mass is in a "very precarious spot" because it is pressuring the main nerve and artery that go down the leg, Andrews said.
"He actually tried to tough it out and continue to play while over in Turkey," Andrews said in a statement released by Iverson's manager, Gary Moore. "However, he got to the point where he could not really run up and down the court because of increased pain. Unfortunately, he did not do himself any good trying to play through his pain."
Iverson, 35, will be evaluated on a bi-weekly basis and will not be able to return to the court for Besiktas for "six to eight weeks or more," Andrews said. After that, Andrews said he expects a "full recovery." Iverson will spend the next few weeks rehabbing in Atlanta.
Iverson signed a two-year, $4 million deal with Besiktas in November after a 14-year NBA career that included 11 All-Star appearances, two All-Star MVPs and a league MVP award. Moore said once Iverson recovers, he expects to return to Turkey for the playoffs and then will begin exploring options for next season -- options he hopes will include the possibility of a return to the NBA in some capacity.
Posted on: March 2, 2010 10:16 am
Edited on: March 2, 2010 10:47 am
As much as I enjoyed Act I of Allen Iverson's career in Philadelphia, Act II never seemed like a good idea. Now, under much different circumstances than the ones that marked A.I.'s first tour in Philly, he's done in the city he owned for so long.
Done for good? That remains to be seen.
The Sixers confirmed Tuesday what has seemed obvious since the All-Star break -- that Iverson's return to Philadelphia is over. Unable to be around the team consistently while he tends to his ill daughter, Iverson and the Sixers are parting ways under amicable terms.
Team president Ed Stefanski had set a deadline of this week for Iverson to determine whether he'd be able to return to the team for good. Things never progressed to that point after the team granted Iverson an indefinite leave of absence after the All-Star break.
Two book-keeping matters related to A.I.'s season being over: He isn't being released, so there's no significance to this event happening after the March 1 deadline by which players must be released in order to be playoff-eligible for another team. (Since Iverson isn't able to play for the Sixers due to what's going on in his life, he wouldn't be able to play for anyone else, either). Also, Iverson gets paid for the whole season, because his one-year contract for the prorated veteran's minimum of $1.3 million became guaranteed on Jan. 10.
As is usually the case with Iverson, his situation is more complex than he or the team has admitted. While it would be in poor taste to criticize Iverson given the undisclosed health issues his daughter is experiencing, Iverson needlessly put himself in the crosshairs of criticism by co-promoting a club party with Jermaine Dupri on Feb. 27 in Charlotte. The promotional poster is here, complete with many dubious tweets confirming Iverson's appearance at the party.
What does all of this mean for Iverson's future? It's foolish to even guess. But given that Iverson already has "retired" once this season, and given that his last three employment arrangements have ended badly, it's hard to imagine another team taking a chance on him next season, when he'll be 35.
Hard to imagine, but not impossible. Iverson was able to charm the Grizzlies and Sixers, so it's wise not to underestimate his ability to unleash his powers of persuasion on another NBA owner this summer.
If, on the other hand, there's no market for a 35-year-old scoring guard with arthritis and a series of bad breakups in his wake, that'll be too bad. If this is the end for Iverson, it's a sad, unfulfilling way for him to go out.
There was never a player even remotely like him, and it's safe to say there never will be.
One more thing, on a nostalgic note. Iverson, one of the most important sports figures in Philadelphia history, goes out on a very significant day. One year ago, I promised to acknowledge the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game every year in this blog on March 2. And here we are on March 2 -- pausing to remember Wilt's historic night in Hershey, Pa., in 1962 and saying good-bye another member of Philly's basketball Mount Rushmore.
In some ways, Iverson was a giant. In other ways, he fell short of what he could have been. But one thing you can't take away from him: He made sure everybody knew he was here.
Posted on: February 23, 2010 12:05 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2010 5:34 pm
If Allen Iverson can't make it back to the Philadelphia 76ers by next week, a parting of ways between the iconic star and the city where he tried to resurrect his career will be inevitable, a person with close ties to the future Hall of Famer told CBSSports.com Tuesday.
"For the team's sake and his own sake, he can't keep trying to go back and forth with this," the person said. "If he can't get back by next week, it's probably not going to work."
Contrary to Iverson's often stormy history with the organization, sources described his indefinite leave of absence as "amicable" and "nothing sinister." Iverson has been in and out of the lineup in recent weeks while he tends to his ill daughter.
The Sixers tried to make it work with Iverson, getting an initial spark in attendance and excitement from his return. But Philly plays Orlando on Monday and Atlanta on Wednesday, and if Iverson can't commit to returning to the team by then, the wheels will be in motion for his release.
News of Iverson's predicament, which could well signal the end of his career, made me think back to comments from one of his friends and former teammates during All-Star weekend. Carmelo Anthony, perhaps the only star player who's ever been able to co-exist productively with Iverson, was asked what A.I.'s legacy will be -- if, in fact, this is the end for one of the greatest athletes ever to appear on an NBA court.
"His legacy is self explanatory," Anthony said. "He came into the NBA and almost changed the whole game of basketball in his own way."
The key words being "in his own way." To the end, Iverson never compromised. He lost the cornrows only briefly, sporting a haircut during All-Star weekend in Phoenix in 2009. He gave up on winning a championship when he accepted money from the Memphis Grizzlies, and then from the Philadelphia 76ers -- choosing his "happiness" over more lofty goals that have eluded him since he turned the NBA on its head as the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft.
Now, Iverson is dealing with something no parent ever wants to even think about -- a sick child who needs him. No one will ever dispute the importance of that. It simply isn't debatable. Neither is the Sixers' right to move forward without Iverson if he can't uphold his commitment to the team.
"He’s always going to go down as one of the greatest players to ever play," Anthony said. "Whether they say 6-feet-or-under or whatever. Regardless of height, he’s going to be one of the greatest. I was fortunate enough to play with him for two years. It seems like a long time ago, but it was only two years ago when I played with him and he averaged 26, 27 points. In the last year and a half was when everything went south for him."
I shared my thoughts about Iverson before he signed with the Sixers, when it appeared that his NBA career was over. Now it seems like that career obituary was only premature by a couple of months.
Anthony called Iverson's stubborn insistence on doing this his way "a positive and a negative. When he came into the league, I don’t think anybody was expecting that type of player, that type of person to come into the league. He made fans embrace him, and they stuck with him all the way until today."
Now, the NBA is more than ready to move past Iverson's "me" generation of stars. Could Iverson have compromised? Could he have changed his game, extended his career, given himself a chance to add a championship to his resume if only he could have accepted coming off the bench for a contender? Sure. But when it comes to A.I., it's pointless to even ask such questions.
What you saw was what you got. Like a comet, Iverson was something to watch until he flamed out in spectacular fashion -- which was the only way this was ever going to end.
One more thing about Iverson: Drama walks in lock step with him wherever he goes. When it comes to The Answer, another plot twist or two isn't out of the question.
Posted on: April 29, 2009 2:08 pm
Sixers GM Ed Stefanski told radio station WIP in Philadelphia Wednesday that Dwight Howard should be suspended and likened his elbow to the head of Samuel Dalembert to a punch.
“I have no idea what the league will do, but to me the rule is black and white, it’s clear," Stefanski said. "What I saw was clear. I felt an elbow above the shoulders made contact on someone’s head and it wasn’t part of the play.”
Here's the transcript and audio link from SportsRadioInterviews.com.
Posted on: April 19, 2009 9:31 pm
I stand by those comments. But the Sixers? I didn't think Orlando had that kind of choke job up its sleeve in Game 1 of a harmless first-round series against a team with an interim coach, interim point guard, interim power forward, and very interim playoff hopes.
The Sixers? Blowing an 18-point lead against the Sixers? Wow.
Maybe Shaq was right. Maybe Stan Van Gundy is the master of panic. He was sweating and hyperventilating so much Sunday night -- at least every time they showed him on TV -- that it's hard to imagine his team drawing any confidence from that.
The Sixers? What do they care? Nobody expected them to do anything in this series -- least of all me, who predicted Orlando would be the only team to sweep in the first round. So much for that. I was right about one thing, though. Andre Iguodala is going to be a problem for Orlando.
I gagged when Iguodala missed those two free throws down the stretch, but when he crossed over and stepped back on Hedo Turkoglu for the game-winning 22-footer, it looked like a move that was perfected years ago in Philadelphia by another guy with the initials A.I. Interesting choice by Van Gundy to go with Turkoglu -- on a bum ankle -- against Iguodala, the Sixers' only scoring threat with enough game-changing ability to worry the Magic. His size and length makes sense, but I wonder if the combination of the ankle and chasing Iguodala contributed to Turkoglu's 2-for-8, six-point performance on the offensive end.
There's nothing to panic about for the Magic. The trend in this year's playoffs seems to be heavy underdogs winning Game 1 on the road. The Sixers have pulled off Game 1 stunners before, only to lose the series. (See their 90-86 victory at Detroit in Game 1 last year, which ultimately resulted in a 4-2 series loss.)
The real test of a playoff team is how it responds after taking one on the chin. The Magic could respond like Mighty Mouse or Minnie Mouse. Based on their body of work to this point in the season, those scenarios are equally likely.
Posted on: March 13, 2009 4:02 pm
The Spectrum hosts its final major league sporting event Friday night when the 76ers host the Bulls and bid farewell to the old arena filled with memories at the corner of Broad and Pattison. I spent a couple of years working in Philly and never had the pleasure of covering a game at the Spectrum. I wish I had. I would've gladly traded the dozens of Eagles and Phillies games I had to endure in the awful Vet.
When the Spectrum is demolished later this year to make room for a new hotel and retail complex, a lot of memories will go with it. The building was blessed with Julius Erving's entire career and hosted all those epic battles between the Celtics and Sixers. Dr. J and other members of the Sixers' '82-'83 championship team will be honored before the game.
I gotta ask: Couldn't the last game at the Spectrum have been Sixers-Celtics? How dumb.
Here are transcripts and audio links from radio interviews with Larry Bird and Dr. J talking Spectrum memories. Good stuff.
Posted on: March 2, 2009 2:51 pm
We need to start a tradition on this blog, so listen up. Every year on this day, we will pause and remember the most dominant force who ever played the game and recognize the most dominant performance in the history of basketball.
Happy anniversary, Wilt Chamberlain -- 47 years to the day after you scored 100 points in a single game. To this day, nobody has come close. (Sorry, Kobe, 81 isn't close enough.)
Here's a page with a bunch of links to stories and opinions about Wilt's 100-point game. For those of you too young to remember (and yes, I count myself among you), imagine an NBA player scoring 100 points in a game that was not televised. The Philadelphia Warriors played the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa., where Wilt's team sometimes ventured to expand its fan base. Nowadays, teams expand their fan base by streaming their games online. What a world.
So there is no video (that I'm aware of) showing Wilt scoring 100 points. There is an audio clip on the National Public Radio site where you can listen to broadcaster Bill Campbell call the last few baskets. And of course, there is the iconic photo of Wilt holding a piece of paper with "100" written on it. Harvey Pollack, then the team's PR director and to this day the Sixers' statistician, came up with the idea and wrote Wilt's point total on the paper -- as if nobody would believe it otherwise.
So here's to you, Big Dipper. See you back here next year -- or when somebody else scores 100 points in a game. So again, see you here next year.
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:48 pm
But if I'm Ed Stefanski and Tony DiLeo, I'd be relieved.
The Sixers never adapted to playing with a true post scorer, and Elton clearly never fully recovered from last season's Achilles injury.
Better to pack it in, play the rest of the season with the athletic, up-and-down style that has been successful, and take a long, hard look at how Brand fits in over the summer.
I mean no disrespect to Elton. He's a hell of a guy and a great, great player. But this wasn't working out, and he'll be better off getting healthy and regrouping for next season.
So will the Sixers.