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Iverson in/out deadline next week

Feb 23, 2010, 6:25 PM EDT

iverson.jpgAllen Iverson is off dealing with a sick child, excused from being with the team on its three-game West Coast road swing. With good reason, family should matter more than basketball.

Still, there is a deadline for his return — next week, according to Ken Berger at CBS.

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.”

A lot of people have made this entire situation out to be Iverson vs. Sixers management with plenty of anger and hatred to go around, but that has not been the case so far. Philadelphia brass has not only said and done the right things publicly, they’ve meant it. They are fine with Iverson taking care of family first.

But Iverson changes the dynamic of the Sixers team. He takes a lot of shots and becomes a team focal point when there, but he also sells more tickets (which is why he was brought back in the first place). When he is gone, they are a young team with a young backcourt (Willie Green and Jrue Holiday) that is learning to play together, building for the future.

Philadelphia would come off as evil and heartless for cutting Iverson loose while he deals with a sick child. But they have to be Iverson’s team or a young building team, not just jumping back and forth over the fence every few games. And that may mean if he is not back in a week, the team will release him.

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