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April 24, 2009

Allen Iverson in town? Why?

Three readers emailed me overnight and this morning, to say they'd seen Allen Iverson in uptown Charlotte Thursday. Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins was adamant Friday morning that has nothing to do with the local NBA team.

"I've never seen him here,'' Higgins told me. "If he's here, it has nothing to do with us.''

One alternative explanation: 50 Cent is performing in Charlotte Friday night, and Iverson is a reportedly a big fan. But still, all this begs the question about Iverson becoming a free agent in July.

Iverson is an intriguing name because he potentially brings two things: Scoring (the Bobcats were 29th among 30 teams) and some star power to sell tickets (the Bobcats were 26th in home attendance).

But consider the complications: Iverson made it clear he wouldn't accept a complementary role with the Detroit Pistons. He expects to be a starter, with a high volume of shots. This was his 14th NBA season; does he still have the skills to justify all that?

The best thing about the Bobcats is their selfless ball-movement. They're all vested in each other's success. Would adding Iverson to that mix disrupt their greatest strength?

Posted by Observer staff on April 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM | Permalink


He must be here to see a back doctor, since he is to hurt to play.

"I'll Do what ever it takes to win" - A.I
(as long as it get the ball and can take all the shots)

Posted by: Steve | Apr 24, 2009 12:15:24 PM

AI was a great player...when he was with the Sixers. It's hard to classify his time in Denver as being great, and it was obvious that the Pistons experience was a flame-out. If Charlotte is going to pursue a free agent that can help them go to the next level, they need someone rugged and smart his can bang the boards. Someone like Carlos Boozer.

Posted by: Robert Tate | Apr 24, 2009 12:20:10 PM

Let's not forget that Iverson is from 5-6 hours away in Southeastern Virginia. Maybe he has normal connections here.

If we got Iverson, we'd need to overhaul our backcourt with other changes. He wouldn't work next to Augustin, Felton, or Bell.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Apr 24, 2009 12:23:28 PM

AI has the means to see a 50 Cent concert in any city. He may go to the one in Charlotte, but I am pretty sure he is tending to other business here. I think signing Iverson is a relatively good idea. However, the Cats should start the off-season by pursuing younger players that fill holes in the roster.

Posted by: Token | Apr 24, 2009 12:52:26 PM

BEN Gordon is the answer!

Posted by: B. Harris | Apr 24, 2009 12:57:56 PM

Iverson will never win a Championship. He would help sell tickets, make the Bobcats a legit team in the East, but I think he would do more hurt to the franchise over the long run than it would help. Iverson leaves Denver for Detroit. The Pistons were never as good as they were before and Denver had a great season without A.I.

Posted by: Panthers Super Fan | Apr 24, 2009 12:58:00 PM

As an avid Pistons fan...I can assure you AI brings absolutely nothing to the table...

and for the record, the Bobcats may have made some poor choices in the past, but AI is not here to have a look at the team...rather he was in town to visit a friend...he even attened a little league game in support...Go back to Philly!

Posted by: AI Hater | Apr 24, 2009 2:03:57 PM

I was 1 of the people who saw AI last night. I saw him at the Epicentre around 7pm during Alive After Five coming from the arena. About 10 mins. later, I saw Fred Whitfield coming from the same direction, accompanied by a Bobcats staffer. It is a little too coincidental to me. Maybe the Bobcats are staying silent since Iverson's team is still playing. I don't know if free agents are allowed to talk with other teams if their teams are still playing or not. Why would he come all the way to Charlotte to see 50 Cent at Bojangles? Doesn't 50 live in Detroit?

Posted by: Rob | Apr 24, 2009 2:06:09 PM

Let AI, do his damage somewhere else. Dude was a legit player pre 2000, but after that he never was the same. His bad shoots, and poor defense doom every team he is on. When he gets adversity he just quits like he did in Detroit. Denver is laughing at Detroit, and DEtroit is laughing at AI.

Posted by: J | Apr 24, 2009 2:06:32 PM

Don't forget though that he had his best years under Larry Brown. Maybe he's wanting a reunion...

Posted by: Drew | Apr 24, 2009 2:30:41 PM

He was in town last Friday also. I saw him @ the Jennifer Hudson concert.

Posted by: divastyle | Apr 24, 2009 2:36:24 PM

so since Iverson has been here all week, then how is it that he's only here for the 50 cent concert? hmmmm??? come on, who cares that much about 50?

Posted by: Tiffany | Apr 24, 2009 2:44:48 PM

i saw ai at concord mills last week signing autographs! then a few days later, i saw him on a yacht on lake wylie. i saw him the other day and asked him what was he doing in town? he said looking for a "new home". then he rushed off and said "peace". then i said, "good luck anthony innes".......

Posted by: gomez! | Apr 24, 2009 4:19:40 PM

Bobcats need to retool with youth. Not players like Allen Inverson.

Posted by: par404 | Apr 24, 2009 10:40:16 PM


He won the MVP in 01...there goes that pre-2000 talk...

Posted by: dougie | Apr 24, 2009 10:51:45 PM

he likes charlotte...and he really would love to play for the bobcats. he has been in the city for over a week.

Posted by: sosa | Apr 24, 2009 11:15:23 PM

"we talking 'bout practice!"

Posted by: ME | Apr 24, 2009 11:19:31 PM


Posted by: Greg S | Apr 24, 2009 11:39:54 PM

Don't need this guy... we need to pick up somebody that can play defense, smart offense, and gels with the team. He would sell tickets, but I wouldn't want to see him as a Bobcat.

Posted by: Shane | Apr 25, 2009 12:05:48 AM

Please refrain, Charlotte. A.I. is past his prime, but his ego won't allow him to accept a support role on a team. D.J. already fills our "need" for a undersized guard. Let's draft Gerald Henderson or sign Gordon in free agency (or both!), and call it a day.

Posted by: Newsinz | Apr 25, 2009 12:35:41 AM

hey, what if we somehow got another AI. Igudala (spelling)?

Posted by: reggie Gallant | Apr 25, 2009 12:58:10 AM

Though he is in trouble now I think he will recover soon.He is a man

Posted by: louiszhu | Apr 25, 2009 3:18:05 AM

trade felton, may & 1st rd pick to golden state for crawford, randolph & bilinelli. also send nazr to indiana for tinsley. those two moves take care of the present and the future.

Posted by: larry | Apr 25, 2009 3:46:03 AM

larry, those moves make no sense. Glad you're not the real Larry lol.

Posted by: SCOOTER | Apr 25, 2009 4:16:23 AM

AI makes total sense in Charlotte. RB's forgetting the fact that at the end of games all of these "selfless" players are looking around at each other to figure out who is going to take the shot. The Pistons had Chauncey. The Bobcats? Felton (ugh). None of the 'Cats top guys need plays called for them to score. AI sells tickets and scores baskets. The ABSOLUTE PERFECT fit.

Posted by: ASChin | Apr 25, 2009 5:22:06 AM

ALL YOU IVERSON HATERS: The Pistons suck b/c Stuckey averages 13ppg and 4 assists. HE IS THE ONE WHO REPLACED BILLUPS AT THE POINT...NOT AI!!! Remember when Detroit started AI at the point, ALONGSIDE RIP, they beat Cleveland and the Lakers in the same week... But then they decided that they wanted to develop Stuckey at the point...b/c they knew AI was just there for this season and Stuckey was NOT getting enough minutes playing behing AI... IN TERMS OF DENVER: AI started next to Anthony Carter and won 50 games and averaged 25 and 7. So, BILLUPS REALLY REPLACED ANTHONY CARTER. That also opened up way more playing time for a more mature JR Smith, which combined with Billups, more than compensates for the loss of AI. JR Smith wasn't ready for big minutes consistently last year. AI did his job. Billups is underrated. George Karl is overrated. Carmelo Anthony appears to be the next Glenn Robinson...

Posted by: StuckeySucks | Apr 25, 2009 8:23:29 AM

No way I'd want to sign Gordon, he's wanting to be overpaid in Chicago, he isn't coming here unless we overpay. Gordon is no star.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 25, 2009 8:48:33 AM

I am a big A.I. fan but I do think Gorden or Crawford would be a much better fit. They might not sell tickets like A.I. but they will help us win those close games that we let slip away this season and that will sell just as many tickets ... or more!

Posted by: T-Bro | Apr 25, 2009 11:26:42 AM

The Bobcats would be lucky if A.I. would even consider coming to charlotte. He's even more popular than the whole franchise itself. In short, he is bigger than this team has ever been or ever will be in the NBA. I bet LB and the whole team is drewling right now and hoping that A.I. would come.

Posted by: wil | Apr 25, 2009 9:10:38 PM

BEN GORDON!!! I just hope he has not ante up his cost a bit more by his recent performance againgst the champs. GET him and draft Jordan Hill!

Posted by: BobcatFan D | Apr 25, 2009 9:20:05 PM

BEN GORDON!!! I just hope he has not ante up his cost a bit more by his recent performance againgst the champs. GET him and draft Jordan Hill!

Posted by: BobcatFan D | Apr 25, 2009 9:21:44 PM

I also saw AI at the Pink Flamingo with Michael Jordan, two bodyguards, and two beautiful women.

Posted by: Rick | Apr 25, 2009 10:41:51 PM

If you can recall about 2 years ago, AI was here working out when Bernie was coach. AI and Felton are cool, so what the Bobcats is trying to do they know we need a scorer and a name like AI to bring the money into the Bobcats, why it wouldn't be a good choice to bring AI+ three draft picks with the possibilty bringing BJ Mullens with the 1st round pick, Robert Dozier with the first second round pick and someone else with the other second round pick with what the Bobcats has already. It's a playoff team. If Bernie wouldn't had open his mouth 2 years ago stating Bobcats don't need AI, AI would have been a Bobcat, and all you'll that's talking that junk you would have been trying to get his autograph. So kill. AI come to Charlotte. Let's sale tickets, jerseys, and get you at the clubs. Revenue for the city.

Posted by: ncdip22 | Apr 26, 2009 9:07:31 AM

"AI makes total sense in Charlotte. RB's forgetting the fact that at the end of games all of these "selfless" players are looking around at each other to figure out who is going to take the shot." Scooter

Scooter, take it from me, a Pistons fan: with AI hogging the ball for the first 40 minutes, at the end of the game you'll be down by 20 and it won't really matter who shoots at that point.

Posted by: AJB | Apr 26, 2009 10:05:20 AM


Felton has been a very good fourth quarter player this season.

Don't know what you've been watching ...

Posted by: RP | Apr 26, 2009 1:51:56 PM

Just imagine if Raymond Felton was paired with A.I. though. Fast break basketball and imagine how much better Felton would get defending A.I. in practice. A.I. could help a handfull of players, sell tickets, and with Larry Brown we would get to hear the ever famous phrase "Practice?". But no championship ring with A.I...

Posted by: tarpanthercats | Apr 26, 2009 2:21:30 PM

Might as well just try to get Steph Curry...

Posted by: TTerry | Apr 26, 2009 4:00:35 PM

As an Iverson fan, I just don't see him fitting in with the current roster. The Pistons debacle is the fault of management if anyone's. At this point, you know what you get when you acquire Allen Iverson, if that's what you need and what, get him. I didn't think Detroit was a good fit and I don't think the Bobcats would be either. But good luck to Iverson.

Posted by: David | Apr 26, 2009 4:28:33 PM

The guy is nearing 40 years old, and his glory days are over. I'm a fan of his, but he can not come here and start jacking up shots like it is 2001 all over again. Thanks but no thanks. Ben Gordon on the other hand just might be a welcome addition though......

Posted by: Smitty | Apr 26, 2009 6:36:55 PM

I agree with Scooter. It's amazing how tunneled vision fans can be. Iverson could bring so much to the team. He is a proven leader, scorer and one of the top in assist, so why is it no one thinks he shares the ball. "NO" other player selected to the all star team would have been asked to play a 6th man in the same season. The Pistons were a bust with or without Iverson. And because their management didn't tell those brats to shut up and play ball, they will be swept. Get over the tatoos and look at the skill.

Posted by: She's Over 50 | Apr 26, 2009 7:23:14 PM

If there is a quality veteran that is willing/wanting to play in charlotte and able to teach the younger players a lot about the game, it would be stupid to pass this up. Plus, it's not like the guy plays with crutches or sucks, he is on a playoff team more often than not, no matter whether he is healthy, mixes well with the team, etc. So instead of once again ripping players for their endless negatives on these posts, look at the good things he could bring. Charlotte isn't a championship team with him, or without him so I don't see the hurt in him possibly getting signed.

Posted by: Brett Johnson | Apr 26, 2009 8:25:55 PM

You guys are so silly, Allen Iverson has not been in Charlotte recently. It's my cousin Antwan, everyone thinks he looks like AI and he doesn't mind the attention. He even signs autographs as AI. I always get a kick out of it when we go out.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 26, 2009 9:26:40 PM

So true. We don't have a go-to guy since the Jrich trade. I'm liking the idea of A.I. here for one season.

Posted by: apauldds | Apr 27, 2009 8:52:26 AM

Please dont bring AI to Charlotte. First of all we don't want him or his attitude here. While he was visiting all he did was hit up strip clubs (the ones he isn't banned from already) and party. But I guess thats the life of an NBA player.

Posted by: smandy | Apr 28, 2009 7:23:20 AM

A.I. Needs to come back to philly where his skills as a guard is respected as one of the best ever! And leave all those other bum ass teams alone, and their stupid ass fans!!!!

Posted by: philly | Apr 28, 2009 9:12:20 AM

I love Charlotte, but i don't think Iverson would make a trip to Charlotte just to watch 50 cent. Charlotte isn't really the type of city people go out of town to come see rap shows. He is probably entertaining whatever offers the Bobcats are throwing at him, which were probably nowhere near what Iverson expects. I'm sure that discussions went nowhere and the Bobcats don't want it to be public because their negotiations and tactics were laughable.

Posted by: haha | Apr 28, 2009 9:15:26 AM

AI basically has to reinvent himself. He's a way "above average" player in terms of basketball experience unfortunately there isn't much room for game performance players in the free agency market. He'll have a tough time making a contribution in a starting capacity. Maybe ought to start thinking about accepting a team management role...your average less salary

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28, 2009 11:41:05 AM

AI has too basically reinvent himself. A seasoned veteran and well above average team player. Unfortunately high caliber individual performers do not farewell in the closed free agency marketplace. Allen maybe ought to accept a contributionary team management petition. Open market capitolism vs. your average less annual salary incentive deal contract! "Yeah, signing along the dotted line feel just like Santa Clause finally came into town"-Anonymous

Posted by: mmi | Apr 28, 2009 12:36:25 PM

Iverson will never be signed by Charlotte. Larry Brown would have a heart attack if Jordan was dumb enough to sign Iverson.

Posted by: by | Apr 28, 2009 1:58:42 PM

Allen Iverson will be a charlotte bobcat next year... mark it down. It just makes too much sense for it not to happen. As others have mentioned, a reunion with his former coach, and a team that is literally built perfectly for a player like iverson. A group of solid, mostly young players that arent quite ready to be the one to carry themselves into the playoffs. Its almost as if larry brown built this team with the understanding that AI would land there.

Posted by: James Sapp | Apr 28, 2009 2:45:44 PM

not to mention his backcourt mate, raja bell is excellent defensively and can guard the opposing two. let felton go, and continue to develop DJ coming off the bench. PERFECT.

Posted by: James Sapp | Apr 28, 2009 2:47:11 PM

We already have a quick guard who takes a high volume of shots and shoots horribly..it's Raymond Felton. We don't need another. I would rather have Iverson running our team than Felton though. The shot selection would be about the same. It's a moot point though, it would never happen.

Posted by: Mike G | Apr 29, 2009 5:41:45 PM

I saw Iverson in the club two weeks ago chilling. He can't just be down here this long for no reason. I know he has family in Charlotte but something's going on...my spidey senses are telling me!

Posted by: Reggie | Apr 30, 2009 10:02:27 AM

NO! NO! NO!.....DON'T BRING A.I. TO CHARLOTTE. We are very close to gitting this team in the play offs. Bring A.I. in here, and we will take 3 STEPS BACKWARDS!!! We don't need another "J Richards"!!!! We need a BIG POWER FORWARD.

Posted by: Howling Wolf | May 6, 2009 11:47:41 AM

I love his article talks about how Allen Iverson was hanging out in Charlotte... so it must mean that he wants to play for Charlotte! That's so stupid, I don't even know where to begin!!! Maybe the guy has family here? Maybe he was lost on his way to Atlanta? I dunno!!! Hey -- Labron James was seen taking a dump at a rest stop in Boston... maybe he's gonna play for the Celtics? I dunno. FACT IS THIS ARTICLE IGNORES THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES... Larry Brown being our coach and his issues with Iverson. Do you really think these two will EVER work again? Really??? Plus, Iverson was at his best when he was playing HARD day in and day out, driving for loose balls, etc. As he gets older, moments like that fade and the guy he once was, is lost.

Posted by: Brad Baker | May 8, 2009 10:46:07 PM

Look, guys leave the man alone. Let him take care of his buisness. If he's going there to see if he can work out a deal with the team than thats his buisness, not yours. As for me I beleive he can fit anywhere he wants to the key word is wants. You see if he wants to play defense he can. Let me remind you of who won defensive player of the year in college, the mans got the potentiol to play D but he has to see the need and he has to want to.

Posted by: Alex | May 12, 2009 12:01:52 PM

I love allen Iverson

Posted by: Scott Jenkins | May 12, 2009 1:36:05 PM

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