August 22, 2009
It's a rumor we've heard all summer long, so take it with a celery salt-rimmed glass of vodka, clamato, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, but Dime Magazine's Aron Phillips reports that Allen Iverson has reached an agreement with the Charlotte Bobcats and the deal will become official next week.
Generally speaking, the marriage makes sense. Charlotte would add a scorer to a team that was last in the NBA in scoring, as well as popular personality still capable of selling tickets and merchandise for the cash-strapped franchise. Moreover, Iverson would be reunited with ex-Sixers coach Larry Brown. Both men have showered each other with praise since their much-publicized divorce in Philadelphia years ago. Live, learn and love, I guess.
However, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer says not so fast, pointing out that the team's payroll and roster both stand in the way of an easy deal.
With the Bobcats inching toward the luxury-tax threshold, it's problematic to make Iverson a fair offer, even in a depressed economy. Minutes are another issue: With Raja Bell(notes), D.J. Augustin(notes) and restricted free agent Raymond Felton(notes) on the roster, where would Brown find sufficient playing time for a nine-time All-Star who averaged nearly 42 minutes his first 12 NBA seasons?
On Wednesday, the 34-year-old guard tweeted, rather mysteriously, "that we," whoever that is, "are getting close to a deal." He added: "I have been blessed to make plenty of money in this league. Now it's not about the money, its about [...] getting back on the court [and] playing every game like its my last! Stay tuned."
Yes, stay tuned, indeed.