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Allen Iverson Back To Denver? Karl Says It Could Happen

Nov 17, 2009 – 2:18 PM
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Chris Tomasson

Chris Tomasson %BloggerTitle%

DENVER -- Allen Iverson back in Denver?

Don't completely rule it out. At least that's the word from Nuggets coach George Karl, who said Tuesday the team would consider bringing back the guard if there were to be an injury on his team.

"A.I. for us is an injury discussion,'' Karl said. "I don't think it's a discussion right now for us... But just say somehow (guard) Ty Lawson is out for the season, I think speed and quickness is what Ty gives us. A.I. would be on the list of speed and quickness.'

For now, though, Karl said the Nuggets aren't eyeing Iverson, who played for them from 2006-08, when he had his last two impressive NBA seasons.

"I think that I like my team right now,'' Karl said. "I don't think I want that type of, what would the phrase be, energy to be figuring out how to handle that energy.''

Iverson, 34, is on the verge of being waived by Memphis after he and team officials mutually agreed to terminate his contract. He will end up only getting a small portion of his $3 million seasonal salary.

Before the Grizzlies signed Iverson, Karl said the Nuggets had some discussions about bringing him back.

"I can't deny that we did have a conversation on A.I. this summer,'' Karl said.

Iverson's career has gone downhill since he was traded by the Nuggets to Detroit in November 2008. He complained about coming off the bench with the Pistons. Then, after signing with Memphis, he continued to complain about his role as a reserve, which resulted in his exit.

"I think he will,'' Karl said about whether Iverson again will play in the NBA. "A.I. is a smart player and he still has talent. Can he find a piece or a team that fits their puzzle and fits his puzzle?''

Karl, who was surprised at how short Iverson's tenure was in Memphis, believes Iverson would be most effective coming off the bench at this stage of his career.

"If you're playing from the bench, you get 15 to 20 minutes against second-tier players,'' Karl said. "It can sometimes make it easier... That man, if you give him situations where he can score, I think when he's 50 he's going to be able to score.''

Follow NBA FanHouse Iverson averaged 26.4 points for the Nuggets in 2007-08. But he came down with some nagging injuries in training camp in the fall of 2008 and soon was traded to Detroit. He never again has been the same player.

"Maybe he slowed,'' Karl said of why Iverson has fallen off since leaving the Nuggets. "I don't know. We were playing in an offensive mode and an offensive system that maybe catered to him... It's true for every player that is probably over the age of 34. You got so many opinions. When he you have a bad game is it because you've slowed?... That's a case for a shooter when you're all of sudden not making shots. It all comes. When you get older and you don't maybe have a good game, you get scrutinized higher because maybe he's lost it.''

Also, Karl said Nuggets star forward Carmelo Anthony missed the morning shootaround due to a migraine headache. But he expects Anthony to play in Tuesday's home game against Toronto.

Chris Tomasson can be reached at and on Twitter @christomasson.
Filed under: Sports