PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson is talking about a comeback. And the Philadelphia 76ers are at least discussing the idea of bringing back their former franchise superstar.
A person with knowledge of the talks says the Sixers have been approached about signing the recently retired guard, and team management has held internal discussions about bringing Iverson back. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because talks have not been made public, says Iverson is among the free-agent candidates the Sixers are considering to replace injured point guard Lou Williams, who’s expected to miss eight weeks after jaw surgery.
“I think we would look at all the options for sure, but nothing has really happened,” Peter Luukko, COO of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the 76ers and Flyers, told The Associated Press. “We have had no formal discussions.”
With no apparent interest from NBA teams, Iverson announced his plan to retire this week. His statement read more like a job pitch for a playoff contender rather than a final farewell.
Iverson said he planned to retire, but also stated that “I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level.” He also said Iverson has tremendous love for the game and the desire to play, adding there is “a whole lot left in my tank.”
He could find out how much in Philadelphia, where he spent the first 10-plus seasons of his career.
The 10-time All-Star was NBA MVP in 2001 when he led the Sixers to the NBA Finals. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1996 draft and became a global star with his all-out play — and a major headache with his rants about practice and run-ins with former coach Larry Brown.
Fed up with losing and his relationship with former coach Maurice Cheeks irrevocably broken, Iverson wanted out in 2006 and he was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played for Denver until early last season when he was traded to Detroit.
Brown, now coaching the Charlotte Bobcats, said it would be great to see Iverson reunited with the Sixers.
“I just want to see him back in the league. He’s loved in Philly,” Brown said before the Bobcats played at Washington. “He did a phenomenal job for that franchise.”
The 6-foot Iverson played three games this season with Memphis before taking a leave of absence to attend to personal matters. He was waived after the two sides agreed to part ways.
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Bobcats 92, Wizards 76
WASHINGTON — Gerald Wallace had 14 points and 14 rebounds as Charlotte beat Washington for its fourth straight victory.
Jazz 108, Trail Blazers 92
SALT LAKE CITY — Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Utah over Portland, its fifth win in six games. The Blazers missed 15 of their 18 attempts from 3-point range.
Magic 100, Bucks 98
MILWAUKEE — Vince Carter scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half after getting four stitches and Dwight Howard added 25 points and 20 rebounds to rally Orlando over Milwaukee.
Lakers 130, Warriors 97
OAKLAND, Calif. — Pau Gasol scored 22 points to lead seven players in double figures and also had 12 rebounds as Los Angeles beat Golden State.