Hey, Allen Iverson: Hang Up Your Sneakers!
Sometimes, I wish the “wrap-it-up” button from Chappelle’s Show really existed. Because there are a few people that I think could really benefit from it right now.
Person 3: Allen Iverson. That’s right. I just mentioned AI in the same sentence as LL Cool J and Canibus. And you already know that can’t be a good thing.
I’m bringing him up today because AI’s manager just came out and said the former NBA MVP is “very close” to signing with a new team. And that lucky NBA team is….Well, it’s not an NBA team. It’s some team out in Turkey that I’ve never heard of before. Yes, that Turkey. Allen Iverson is headed overseas to finish up his career playing ball in another country.
This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Namely, it’s a bad idea because—with all due respect, which is, of course, what everyone says right before they make a disrespectful statement—Allen Iverson is finished as a basketball player. Done. Over. Washed Up. Finished!
I say that not as a matter of opinion but as a matter of fact. If I was giving you my opinion, I’d say that he’s been done for a few seasons now. But the truth is that he’s shown he can still play from time to time. However, at this point in his career, AI is finished. He can still shoot, still pass and still contribute to a team. But AI doesn’t want to contribute. He wants to lead. And he can no longer lead a basketball team.
So, why does he keep trying to do it in spite of that fact? Because he’s a competitor. Because he thinks—better yet, he believes—that he can join a basketball team and make a real difference. Because Allen Iverson think he’s the Allen Iverson of 2000, not the Allen Iverson of 2010.
And he needs to be stopped. It’s time for Iverson to leave the game the way he came into it—as a great basketball player. When he first entered the NBA, he was known as an NBA player with a ton of heart who would do anything to succeed. As I sit here writing this today, I remember AI as that same player—the guy who would hustle and scrap and put his own health on the line to help his team win. But if he continues to play in Turkey? I have a feeling I’ll start to remember him as a guy who couldn’t let go, who didn’t know how to say goodbye to the game he’s loved for years now, who couldn’t handle life without basketball.
AI should not be playing basketball next season. He should be figuring out what he’s going to do with the next phase of his life. He should start to think about what he wants to be remembered for next. He should not be shacking up in some hotel in Turkey, earning a paycheck by living off of his reputation as a basketball player.
I’ve enjoyed watching you play for years now, AI. But enough is enough. It’s time to wrap it up.