x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Iverson is taking too long to face up to reality

Allen Iverson is 36 and a long way from the player who was once the MVP and led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA finals.

Allen Iverson wants to make a comeback.

Iverson could not find an NBA team interested in him last year, which explains why he played in Turkey. Or rather, attempted to play in Turkey.

Injuries restricted him to 10 games. He calls it "that experiment". Now he wants to end his career back in the NBA. Teams are not likely to line up.

He is 36 and a long way from the player who was once the MVP and led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA finals. He was always something of the petulant player, something Philadelphia were willing to put up when he was winning scoring titles.

Not so much now. Not so much when he still thinks of himself as "a franchise player" but is unable to perform like one. He was never shy about speaking his mind. Yet he still considers himself that lightning-quick guard who once dazzled the NBA. So what makes him think he could play at his former elite level next season?

"It's me," he said. "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.'"

Right, everybody knows what he used to be able to do on a basketball court. In five different seasons he averaged over 30 points per game.

In his last season with the Sixers in 2009, he averaged 13.9 points and shot .417 from the field.

The glory days have past. Reality setting in can take a tad longer.

 

sports@thenational.ae