Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/7/12

The Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson (3) beats the New Orleans Hornets' Marcus Thornton on a scoring drive during the second half. The Sixers defeated the Hornets, 96-92, at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Monday, January 11, 2010. (Ron Cortes/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT) Photo via Newscom

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 Not many years ago the debate was Allen Iverson’s future basketball Hall of Fame credentials based on his outstanding career with the  Philadelphia 76ers that included NBA MVP honors in 2001 and 11 trips to the NBA All-Star game throughout his storied career.

 Now the talk is, will Iverson join the likes of Rashard McCants, Ike Diogu and Michael Sweetney to play in Puerto Rico this season?

 According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Iverson and Puerto Rico’s professional basketball league are in discussions about  Iverson playing in the 10-team “Baloncesto Superior Nacional” league, which begins its 30-game season in March.

 The report goes on to say the BSN and Iverson’s representatives – namely Gary Moore – are attempting to arrange a trip to the islands that  would hopefully sell the iconic point guard on the idea of using Puerto Rico has a spring board during his desired NBA comeback plan.

 Iverson may not have any other choice.

Knowing Iverson’s current financial troubles, passing up $20,000 a month and living expenses may be too good of a deal to pass up these days. Last week it was reported by a number of media outlets that a judge in Georgia ordered Iverson to repay an $859,896.46 debt after he failed to reimburse the Atlanta-based Alydin & Company Jewelers, who sued Iverson in 2010.

As the judge seized Iverson’s bank account, the 39-year old Iverson essentially finds himself having to take a deal to play in Puerto Rico to dig out of debt. Should BSN land Iverson they would certainly draw well at the gate based on his name recognition alone and the chance for fans to see an all-star, albeit in his waning years. But for Iverson, this just might be his last chance at a payday, as NBA teams in the league and even D-League aren’t exactly knocking down Iverson’s door to sign him to a deal.

If Iverson signs in Puerto Rico for the season, he will be one of a few players in the BSN with an NBA history. Last week, Caciques de Humacao team signed both Rashad McCants and Ike Diogu for the upcoming season and in mid-January, Vaqueros de Bayamon signed Michael Sweetney, who was previously in training camp with the Boston Celtics and spent time with Santurce in the BSN last season.

It’s still hard to fathom this is what Iverson’s career has come to: hanging on for one last go-around and the chance to cut a check, only to turn around and fork it over based upon on a court order for outstanding debts.

Playing for the love of the game is one thing. But that seems like such a very distant backdrop to Iverson's story. Certainly the love for the game is there, but now it's become Iverson in full survival mode.

When he last played in the NBA in 2010, some thought the Iverson who dominated the league for the Sixers and Denver Nuggets would fend off the criticism he received during his days in Detroit and Memphis and perhaps even return to an all-star level. He just needed one last chance. Others professed Iverson would never be the same. No more killer crossover or the toughest little man in the league taking to the rack. After jumping overseas, a lackluster career move in Turkey with Besiktas and failing to land back in the league this season, closing the chapter on Iverson’s memorable career in the NBA is nothing short of painful.

The question is, is Iverson still considered Hall of Fame worthy?

We just might be able to look to Puerto Rico for “The Answer”.


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