Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson isn’t ready to walk away from his basketball career just yet, even if the NBA’s teams are ready to walk away from him.
According to the Associated Press, 35-year-old Iverson is considering signing with a basketball team in China as he hasn’t been contacted by a NBA team during this offseason.
Iverson, a former league MVP and once considered one of the best players in the game, has seen his production drastically decline in recent years. The Hampton, Va. native spent the first 10 years of his 14-year career with the Philadelphia 76ers and was one of the most dominant scorers in the NBA.
But during the last four years, he played only short stints with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies, averaging nearly half the points he did during the prime of his career. Iverson played just three games for Memphis last season before returning to Philadelphia, but left the team for the season in February due to family issues.
Now, he wants back in the NBA, but no team appears to be interested.
“We’re very astonished, to say the least, that not one team has contacted us with any interest,” said Gary Moore, Iverson’s personal manager, according to the AP. “I just don’t understand it.”
Moore said that while his client’s on-court production has dipped, his fame hasn’t. Iverson is still one of the most popular sporting athletes in the world, triggering interest from international leagues.
Moore told the AP that a Chinese team he can’t name first reached out to Iverson with interest last month. If the veteran guard does head for China, he won’t be the first. Fellow former NBA star Stephon Marbury signed with Shanxi Zhongyu in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) last season after all NBA teams passed up on signing him.
If the CBA gets its hands on Iverson, the former 1996 No. 1 draft pick will become the biggest star to ever join the league. Iverson is currently 17th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with more than 24,000 points.
“What has Allen Iverson done to not warrant interest in him?” said Moore, who claims Iverson is fully healthy and has been preparing for a comeback this season. “I don’t think he’s done.”