Allen Iverson is trying to make his return to the NBA by playing for the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League affiliate. The Texas Legends, are co-owned by the president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, ramped up their pursuit for the pro basketball player.
Iverson has a chance to resurrect his career, if the Mavericks take him. He last played in the NBA in 2009-10 in brief stays with the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers, but the 37-year-old has resisted opportunities to sign lucrative deals in China because, to date, he’s been reluctant to consider playing anywhere besides the NBA.
An injury-filled stint with Besiktas in Turkey in the 2010-11 season lasted only 10 games.
Iverson has likewise resisted the Legends’ overtures so far this season — as well as a similar offer last season — but sources say that the Legends are trying again now because they’ve moved back to the top of the list in the D-League’s waiver line, meaning they’d have an unobstructed path to signing Iverson if he could be convinced to put his name in the D-League’s player pool.
The Legends’ pitch to Iverson centers around the fact they’ve just convinced NBA veterans Delonte West and Rashad McCants to join their team with similar intentions, after the Legends signed another 37-year-old earlier this month — point guard Mike James — and wound up putting James in position to earn a 10-day call-up to the Mavericks that turned into a guaranteed contract after James completed his second 10-day deal Sunday.
The Legends, now in their third season, have employed 16 former NBA first-round picks since the team’s inception and have already helped big men Sean Williams and Dan Gadzuric, swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts and veteran guard Antonio Daniels make it back to the NBA after stints with the D-League franchise, which plays 25 miles north of the Mavericks in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.
When James officially signs with the Mavericks on Monday for the rest of the season, D-League rules stipulate the Legends will return to the top of the waiver process, which happens when a non-assigned player called up from the D-League spends 21 consecutive days with the NBA team that signed him. The Legends were also at the front of the waiver line Friday to be able to claim West when the 29-year-old, who was released by the Mavericks in November, completed his D-League paperwork.
Only time will tell whether Iverson can resurrect his career in the NBA or not. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting.