Please, please, please let this rumor straight from the Blackberry of Stephen A. Smith be false. Smith says:
Numerous team sources confirmed on Friday that the 76ers' brass has already talked -- and talks will only escalate this weekend -- about bringing Iverson back to Philadelphia. Possibly as early as next week.
I'm going to keep this as simple as possible.
Will bringing Allen Iverson back to Philadelphia make them a viable contender? No.
Will bringing Allen Iverson back get the Sixers to the playoffs? Not unless they were headed there anyway.
Could bringing Allen Iverson back completely crush the confidence of the young players on the roster, players who they desperately need to develop quickly if they're ever going contend? Yes, that could absolutely happen.
If Iverson comes back and finds new life, could he make the Sixers just good enough to move from say the #5 pick to the #12 pick? Yes, absolutely.
I loved Iverson when he was here, absolutely loved the guy. The heart he showed on the floor, it made me argue against logic so many times it's not even funny. I still have those arguments to this day and I will continue to do so. But I don't want to see him back in Philly. I don't want to see this franchise take a giant step backwards in what is really a pivotal season in this team's development.
If you really want to bring him back to Philly, sign him to a 10-day contract, let him put on the Sixers' jersey one more time and let him retire as a Sixer. That's it. Come into the Wach, tip your cap to the fans that loved you for so long, then ride into the sunset a Sixer forever. Please, for the love of God, don't bring him back as a legitimate player.
If this happens, and I take everything SAS says with a grain of salt, the motivation behind it is so blatantly short-term financial it's almost laughable. I'm not sure how many butts he'd put in the seats, but I do believe it simply would not be worth it.
If you can stomach Smith's entire column, the bit about signing Iverson really isn't the most alarming thing in there. Apparently, Eddie Jordan is unhappy with Brand's work ethic, which would be a first for Brand's career. He doesn't think Iguodala makes enough plays off the dribble and "He was planning on starting Lou Williams with Jrue Holiday in the back court." Meaning, Jordan is already planning on abandoning Iguodala/Thad at the 2/3 and the injuries are the only thing that stopped him.
I have to say, if Smith really does have well-placed sources telling him these things, and they aren't just fucking with him because he's, you know, Stephen A. Smith, then I couldn't be more disappointed in this franchise. I'm sick to my stomach just thinking about it.