Allen Iverson Belongs in New York

Stephen RosenbergContributor IAugust 21, 2010

First off, let me begin this article by stating that I am not an Allen Iverson fan. I wouldn't call myself a hater, and I certainly respect the man's scoring ability. However, throughout the years I've become more and more fed up with listening to his stubborn remarks and "me-first" attitude toward his place on teams. With that being said, let me explain why I think he should be picked up this season.

It just doesn't make sense. If there is one thing I haven't been able to agree with over the past couple of years, it is the statements being brainwashed into the viewers' heads that Iverson is washed up and incapable of playing up to the standards of his best years.

Sure, I'll agree that he may not be as fast at 34 years old as he was at 26, but where is the evidence that he cannot play as well as before? In 2008, A.I. was scoring 26.4 points. He was scoring the same per game when he was 27. Let's take a look at what he's done since then.

In Detroit, he was traded in as a starter, but was quickly replaced by Rodney Stuckey, and being a bench player and not the No. 1 scoring option, Iverson still averaged 17.4 points per game.

In the small amount of time in Memphis and Philly last year, he put in 13.9 points as a second and sometimes third scoring option, and still had very close to the same field goal percentage as he did when he went to the finals in 2001.

I'm not saying Iverson is a good defender, I'm not even saying he's a good team player.

What I am saying is that is doesn't make sense for a man that is a four-time scoring champion and NBA MVP to still be able to produce points and not one team in the entire NBA wants him. Not even the offensively struggling teams. Not even the teams that have starting shooting guards that can't make a shot to save their lives (Cleveland, Indiana...etc).

If there isn't something fishy going on behind the scenes, then his Memphis/Philly stunt must have been more detrimental than I thought possible.

I don't think it's right for someone so obviously loved by the majority of NBA fans to go out with a whimper.

New York needs Allen Iverson. They need that popular face, they need that offensive fire-power that he can provide when starting or given adequate minutes. They need his still abnormally quick step and up-tempo, minimal defensive play to fit right in with D'antoni's system. Put him in that spot and prove to me he's done. Prove to me that he has lost a step as a franchise player, and isn't able to score 25-plus points a game.

New York needs another scorer in their starting lineup. Amare Stoudemire and his $100 million contract is only going to get them so far. How much risk is there to bring in a veteran all-star at veteran minimum to a team that hasn't made the playoffs in six years?

Prove to the world that Allen Iverson isn't being blackballed and let him comeback and show his doubters (including me) that he can help a team in the playoffs.

This isn't the Celtics, who are trying to keep their core without too many major changes. This isn't the Heat, who are already bringing together egos, superstars, and new role players like they're picking their team in a middle school game. This isn't the Raptors, a team rebuilding from rock bottom to try and have a bright future.

This is the Knicks. This is a team that is one of the faces of the NBA. This is a team that can do it, they just need more parts. They just need more options.

I don't like Allen Iverson. But I'd sure as hell put him on my team if I needed him.