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Report: Allen Iverson linked to the Hornets and Magic

Aug 20, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT

iverson_sixers.jpgUPDATE 1:10 PM: Marc Stein of ESPN.com refuted part of the initial report via Twitter. Stein says he has “been assured Hornets have not/will not express interest in Iverson.” No confirmation if the same is true for the Magic as of yet.

10:59 AM: According to Sam Amico of NBA.com, the New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic may be bringing in living icon, possible NBA blacklistee, and revered thespian Allen Iverson in for a free agent workout. Iverson’s NBA future has spiraled into the unknown over the last two seasons, and while staring his own basketball mortality in the fase, AI seems to be doing his part to attempt to latch onto the underside of a roster.

Both New Orleans and Orlando would be, well, interesting landing spots. Say what you will about Iverson, but it’s almost always interesting.

In New Orleans, Iverson could potentially slide in as Chris Paul’s back-up at the point. Trading Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers not only surrendered the team’s top young talent, but also their only reserve PG. As of now, the team’s ball-handling duties sans Paul would be designated to either Marco Belinelli or Marcus Thornton, neither of which is a particularly appealing option. Plugging Iverson into that role comes with its own problems, but the Hornets likely see Iverson as a point guard option rather than a shooting guard one. 

With the Magic, the opposite is true. Orlando already has Jameer Nelson, Chris Duhon, and Jason Williams at the point, so Iverson would likely play off the ball. In a matter of speaking, anyway; Iverson would likely still be the same high-usage, ball-dominating player he always has been, just slated as Orlando’s shooting guard rather than a point guard.

Not that Orlando’s wings are much more vacant. J.J. Redick, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Quentin Richardson eat, sleep, live, play, and shoot on the perimeter for the Magic, leaving Iverson to scrape up minutes at the bottom of the barrel.

It’s required that we all question Iverson’s ability to function (mentally, mostly) in that role, and imperative that the Magic really wrestle with that same topic. When the Memphis Grizzlies (and later the Philadelphia 76ers) brought in Iverson prior to last season, there were some risks. But the Orlando Magic are one of the league’s truly elite teams, and picking up Iverson just for the hell of it isn’t something Orlando is really in a position to do. The Magic already have to contend with the Heat, so there’s really no reason to play with fire.

  1. Joe - Aug 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    To Iverson’s credit, he repaired his basketball image in Philadelphia last year. He didn’t ballhog and got along with everyone. Iverson says he’s fine with coming off the bench and he can still score in bunches so he’s intriguing. Didn’t he score 17 pts in one quarter against Kobe a few months ago?

  2. NOLA_77 - Aug 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    I agree with Joe. Sure Iverson had issues outside of basketball, but I’ve never seen it affect the way the man plays. He is a beast out there on the court, always giving it 110% He has the drive and loves the game.
    All he wants is championship …. I think he’s capable of doing just that. That’s exactly what we want too in New Orleans…a championship. If the Hornets gets him, I know a lot more people will be buying tickets, myself included. I went to one game last year. Bring Iverson to NOLA!

  3. JAY - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    I agree, he has made it known he has no problem coming off the bench, that was not the case two years ago. So if he is finally accepting his diminished role, he can be a nice 10-15ppg backup, that can play Point and Off-guard. Once he embraces that role – LOOKOUT – I feel he’s still plenty capable of a 30+ point game once-in-a while. whoever signs him will be a threat.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    What are you kidding? Iverson was nothing but a cancer on the Sixers. He took minutes away from Holiday. Then he took a “leave of absence, a nice way of saying he quit on the Sixers. He has lost a step and defensively, he was too slow and too small to guard anyone.

  5. Sixers83 - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    No matter who they signed that person was going to take minutes from Jrue Holiday. That’s what Ed Stefanski wanted. Iverson was signed to replace injured Lou Williams (the starting PG). He was asked to be a third or fourth option and he handled that way better than he did in Detroit or Memphis. Eddie Jordan and Elton Brand called Iverson the best lockerroom influence they had all year and your beloved Jrue Holiday said it was an honor to be mentored by him for a season.
    The guy said he’s willing to come off the bench which would make him extremely valuable on whoever takes a chance on him.

  6. in FLORIDA - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I started out hating Iverson. Thought he was nothing but a punk from the ghetto. I grew to absolutely love this guy. I can’t imagine anybody in the NBA played with the physical commitment this undersized superstar had to make. Some of the stories about what he put his body through are legendary. Hope he catches on somewhere just so we can watch him a little longer.

  7. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    does nash gards or parker or jason kidd? and nobodys complaining. or u whant iverson to gard lebron or kobe. think first before u talk. looks like u dont know bball. hahahaha

  8. vortex - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    why does every body thinks kobes the best? i wish iverson played with gasol or artest,shaq,odom,fisher,ariza,bynum,payton,malone etc. look at all the superstars that played with him.did kobe made it to the playoffs when shaq left NOOOOOOO. iverson took the sixers to the finals with what team Mutombo…..enyone else? oh right lynch and t.hill and snow. im not saying that kobe sucks but everybodys brain washed. kobe was taking like 30 shots a game because he was alone now with this almost olympic team the lakers have hes still taking the 30 shots. and when he losses he blames his teamates and they win…ITS KOBE TIME. Iverson is way better than 70% of the gards in the nba. chek the stats from last year. something else why would eny coach in the nba would wanna bench a superstar that came frome a 26 ppg and 7 apg season? for suckey…jesus christ…conley. I smell conspiracy.

  9. Drew - Aug 20, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    One thing I respect about Iverson is that he stuck it out through the tough times in Philly and never wanted to leave. Today, I see spoiled athletes complaining and demanding trades when things aren’t peachy. Obviously, there are things that go on behind the scenes we don’t hear about, but let’s not forget it was only 3-4 years ago Kobe was sulking and pouting and demanding out of LA. Melo wants out of Denver. Paul wants out of N.O. KG gave it everything he had in Minnesota and was nothing but loyal and respectful.

  10. want to see AI with a ring - Aug 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    it would be great to see AI in Orlando teamed up with VC and Dwight. In Orlando Allen would have a chance to win a championship. Orlando would get a guard out of his prime, but the guard who really want to prove that he still has a fuel in a tank. But what role would he play in Orlando? fourth PG or backup for backup SG ? It’s obvious that there is no room on Magic’s roster. Maybe he could start a season like a veteran who gets only 2 mins on the court, and wait for a chance, work to get a chance, be a most hardworking guy in a team, and trying to be a coaches right hand a guy with expirience who motivate a team, leader off the court. and than he maybe become a starter . I hope he will. sry. for my bad english

  11. no he didn't.. - Aug 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    1. There’s a conspiracy behind all this AI hating -> DAVID STERN
    2. DAVID STERN is black balling AI.
    3. AI is secretly being pushed out by DAVID STERN
    4. DAVID STERN hates AI (always has) so he’s telling every team in the NBA to pass on a deal with AI.
    5. I’m boycotting if AI is not sign to an NBA team come season opener.

  12. No he didn't.. again. - Aug 21, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Let’s just start a petition to get DAVID STERN out of the NBA.
    1..

  13. LL Cool James - Aug 21, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    HAHA Cool! Great idea..
    ah count me and in along with my boys herre with me :)
    so that’ll be
    4..

  14. AUS Down under - Aug 22, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    local basket ball team here in sydney, australia, would like to join this petition!
    + 9 please!
    david stern suck! and all the ai haters, you suck too!
    all the best allen!

  15. Damon (AI fan) - Sep 2, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Sports are brutal……so much that a guy who has always been a superstar is asked to take a much smaller piece of the pie, with NO gratification whatsoever. Who said he couldn’t hoop anymore?? Face it, in the NBA, you’re only as good as the system allows you to be. In Detroit, he had a sorry, stupid coach who knew NOTHING about how to run a team, Memphis?? I would have been pissed off too backing up Michael Conley after being an elite superstar for my whole career. AI got blamed for Denver not winning it all when clearly, they don’t have the talent as a TEAM to beat the elite teams. What difference did Chauncy Billups make?? They still got kicked out first round in both of the seasons he’s played there. Nobody can point out when AI’s game has fallen off because………….it hasn’t!! OK, last year he went through alot, but we’re all human, right? You try getting out there playing with 20 year old guys at 34 and see if you don’t seem a little slower..AI still has plenty in his tank, and i hope somebody gives him another chance to shine…he’s been black-balled just like Marbury…..the only difference is AI is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than Marbury…Were they not watching basketball from 97 to 2007?? Who was running it?? AI!! Right in the same breath with Kobe, D Wade, and LeBron…..Now it’s all of the sudden different?? Why??

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