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The Iverson Thing Won't Go Away

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Hi. My name is David. I'm a Bobcats fan. And I really don't want my team to sign Allen Iverson, thinking they're making a run at the playoffs with him on board. Don't get me wrong, I think there's considerable appeal to pulling him off the trash heap, and the Cats are, potentially, an excellent fit for him, but that doesn't mean he's the best fit for us.

Here's the upside, best-case scenario: Iverson comes on board. With a glut of guards, Charlotte trades Raymond Felton in late December for whatever they can get. AI is the unquestioned starter at the nominal point guard spot, and often brings the ball up the floor, but Stephen Jackson, Flip Murray, and Boris Diaw also share creator/facilitator responsibilities, and D.J. Augustin plays a more true PG spot off the bench. It's a position-less paradigm... and amazingly, it works.

With true scorers in the back court at all times, Diaw and Wallace providing just enough post presence to keep teams honest, Wallace and Tyson Chandler cleaning up boards, and all five guys providing ball-hawking defense, that's the kind of team that can make noise in the playoffs without a true superstar. The defense stays elite, but Iverson's offensive potential, as much as his individual production, opens up the floor for everyone else and pushes the Cats' offensive production firmly into the middle of the league.

Play an unconventional style, play a tight rotation, and don't skip any beats when the reserves play. There's your formula.

Of course, that's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario? Iverson and Jackson get openly frustrated that the team isn't better than it is and that they have to share minutes with guys like Felton and Augustin, let alone Gerald Henderson. That, in turn, poisons the well and starts some infighting that spills out onto the floor. AI and Jackson start gunning. Flip starts gunning. Felton reverts to Bad Felton and starts gunning. The individuals on the team aren't good enough to create successful offense by shooting and shooting alone. They start losing interest in defense when the team stumbles, choosing, instead, to try to create more offense. Thirty wins looks out of reach. Iverson threatens to retire again, and the Cats make up an injury in order to bench him and give minutes to Augustin.

The most likely scenario should they sign Iverson is something in between those two extremes. He probably won't be as helpful to the team as Good Felton, but he wouldn't be as detrimental as Bad Felton. It would be intriguing to see how the team balanced offensive responsibilities without a true point guard in the first unit, but that doesn't mean it would be more productive. Remember, Iverson's never been the most efficient offensive player, and this is the twilight of his career.

Ultimately, I'm guessing it would be a lateral move, but the team would instantly become the most fascinating in the league, given that they'd be starting four onetime castoffs/reclamations in Wallace, Jackson, Diaw, and Iverson. But if it's a lateral move, there's no point to it, and it only serves to marginalize younger players who should be getting NBA minutes.


Also, Alexis Ajinca was sent to the D-League. Free Freedom Fries?