Allen Iverson is attempting to make an NBA comeback—again—but has turned down an opportunity to play in the D-League, saying that it isn’t the place he would like to launch his return to professional basketball.
Iverson, who has been trying to break back into the NBA for several years, was fielding an offer to play for the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League. The team is affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks, and would have been a good way to get on the radar of NBA scouts. Alas, Iverson couldn’t bring himself to play in anything other than the NBA.
Iverson said over Twitter: "I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration and while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me…I realize my actions contributed to my early departure from the NBA, should God provide me another opportunity I will give it my all. ... My dream has always been to complete my legacy in the NBA.”
He added: "To my fans, I love y’all! Not a day goes by that I am not asked when am I coming back, we all must accept that my return is not up to just me."
Gary Moore, Iverson’s manager, spoke with the Associated Press and confirmed his client’s decision.
"Hopefully, one day, he'll get an opportunity to possibly join a team and help a team – come off the bench and maybe give a team some very valuable minutes in this playoff stretch," Moore said. "I'm not a guessing man, but if I had to bet, I would surely feel like Allen is going to try and get himself in shape to return sometime this year."
The Dallas Legends had been at the front of the waiver line, meaning that they would have had first dibs on Iverson if he chose to become a free agent in the D-League. The team has a history of sending players up to the NBA, as happened this season with 37-year-old point guard Mike James, who now plays on the Dallas Mavericks.
Iverson, an 11-time all-star and one-time MVP, has also turned down opportunities to play in China in the past.
Iverson played in the NBA as recently as the 2009-10 season, when he experienced brief stints with both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Philadelphia 76’ers. He left the NBA after taking a leave of absence, only playing in 28 games.