Sixers legend Allen Iverson isn't afraid to speak his mind, and in a new interview this week with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, Iverson was extremely open and vulnerable about his post-playing career and a dream that he has yet to fulfill.
Rooks was taking contributed questions during her hour-long chat with Iverson and fellow ex-NBAer Al Harrington, when she posed a question to Iverson about whether he would be interested in getting into player-specific training. Iverson said he would rather help an entire NBA organization get better.
And after flexing his basketball knowledge for 60 seconds - "I've forgotten more basketball than some people know," he riffed - Rooks kind of nudged Iverson towards being more specific with which organization in particular he'd like to be helping:
"IVERSON: Everybody knows who I would rather help.
"ROOKS: You don't care to be specific?
"IVERSON: I'm a Sixer for life. I got Sixer blood pumping through me. Everybody knows that I want to help that organization. I've been retired, what, 11 years? I don't know how I'm not a part of that staff, some kind of way.
"ROOKS: Almost like a consultant, that'd be really nice if you were -
"IVERSON: That's all. Even if it was that. I would be the happiest in the world. And the money thing? Ain't got nothing to do with it. It's just me being me, and me being a Sixer and wanting to help. I don't know why nothing's been put in place.
"And I still love y'all. Don't get it twisted. It's all love, and it ain't going nowhere, but I just... it's something that I don't understand."
Iverson went on to say he knows he would have to show up on time and dress differently, and wondered aloud if the Sixers hadn't brought him into the fold because of hesitations about the way he conducts himself.
It's really an interesting relationship, the one the Sixers have had with Iverson since the trade, his return in 2009, and his retirement.
Iverson, who is now 46 years old, is often seen around the Wells Fargo Center for games. He is a regular in the mainstream Philadelphia sports culture, and he is revered by basically every sports fan in the city. He's treated like a legend, as he should be.
But his relationship with the game of basketball since his retirement has largely been peripheral, rather than having an actual hand in the future of the game and the NBA - no coaching, no front office-track roles, nothing of the sort.
Some might think about the words "Iverson" and "coaching" next to each other and laugh because of his reputation from his playing days, but Iverson has clearly mellowed out post-playing career and seems legitimately interested in being a part of an NBA organization. I think he could bring a certain "been there, done that, know what it takes"-type of knowledge to a team.
In the increasingly analytics-minded NBA front offices, there's still room for a guy who gets the intangibles of the game, particularly someone like Iverson whose game often defied logic (and, unfortunately, analytics).
It would be really neat to see him involved in the Sixers' front office, even if it was just as a consultant on basketball operations and a liaison with players. The guy gave everything he had to the city for a decade. If he wants it to happen, both sides should at least see if they can make it happen.