Sports Guy: Iverson's Still a Franchise Guy

Third, the best situation for Iverson should have been Minnesota, but the Timberwolves' own candidate for "Worst GM of the Decade" screwed up their roster to the point that they don't have enough appealing contracts/assets to make a respectable offer. Imagine Iverson and KG together? What a shame. Plus, King and McHale collaborating on a deal would have been practically historic, like seeing Frankie Muniz trying to post up Haley Joel Osment in a celebrity game or something. We were cheated here.

And fourth, the teams that match up best happen to be the teams I know best: the Celtics and Clippers. For three years, Boston has been stockpiling assets and waiting for someone like Iverson to become available. Now they could probably get him for Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green (that part would kill me), their 2007 No. 1 and Theo Ratlif's corpse, er, contract (which expires in 2008) and make immediate noise in an awful conference. Remember, in a league where only a few teams have more than one good perimeter defender, the Celtics could exploit matchups every night by playing Iverson and Pierce at the same time. I also believe those guys would refine their games to make room for the other, because that's what stars do when they hit their 30s -- they sacrifice shots for a chance to win, whether you're talking about Shaq in Miami, Aguirre in Detroit, Monroe on the Knicks, Stackhouse on the Mavs, etc.). This could work.

On the other hand, they won't compete for a title with Doc Rivers at the helm for the same reasons that "Bobby" won't get an Oscar nomination with Emilio Estevez as director. But the struggling Clippers could compete with Iverson AND have the assets to acquire him (some combination of Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Cuttino Mobley, expiring contracts, their own No. 1 pick and/or Minnesota's No. 1 pick, even the rights to the Greek center who looked great in the World Championships last summer). They need him and he needs them. It's the logical destination.

For the Celtics, Iverson provides instant credibility, some headlines and maybe even some playoff wins. For the Clippers, Iverson provides a legitimate chance at the 2007 championship. For me, he becomes a bigger part of my life -- a chance to follow a once-a-year treat on a nightly basis, either on television with my favorite team or in person with the team that plays 20 minutes from my house. Either way, I can't lose. Well, unless he goes somewhere else. And that's when I FedEx a turd sandwich to Billy King.

In the meantime, we should be celebrating this moment: A truly great player getting ready to plug himself into the Juvenation Machine. Maybe it doesn't matter where Allen Iverson ends up, just that he's going somewhere at all.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His book "Now I Can Die In Peace" is available in paperback.

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