Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Unspoken Factor

OK, so now we have a little more insight into the Iverson saga -- and not just over the past few months, but ever since he left Denver, really.

Marital strife has been an unseen killer of a lot of athletic careers. How many, and how much? Well, that is pretty much impossible to quantify. I'm a sportswriter, not Dr. Phil.

I'm not doubting that Iverson's daughter was ill. Not in the least. But when you combine that with a houseful of kids and a wife who, let's face it, didn't go from hopelessly devoted to filing for a divorce over the weekend ... well, Allen's personal problems didn't just crop up after the holidays.

The funny thing is that I think the divorce filing bumps Iverson's odds of playing another NBA game from absolutely zero to extremely improbable. How? Well, let's say that actual proceeding with the dissolution of his marriage lifts a weight off his back -- the one that clearly helped end his stints in Memphis and Philly, and quite possibly were involved in his being traded by Denver and being a disaster in Detroit.

Maybe (well, not even maybe -- theoretically) this will let him focus on his true love -- basketball. That doesn't change the fact that he isn't a superstar any longer. But theoretically, he might love basketball enough to change the way he approaches his court existence to make a final, more focused attempt to play somewhere (Europe?) next year.

The NBA? It's most likely too late for that.


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