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Iverson rules out basketball return in D-League

Iverson rules out basketball return in D-League

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Allen Iverson is taking a pass on the D-League.

Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, has turned down an opportunity to return to basketball with the Dallas Mavericks' Development League affiliate. He posted a series of tweets on Tuesday explaining his decision to decline an offer from Texas Legends' co-owner Donnie Nelson to join the team.

``I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration,'' Iverson wrote, ``And while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me.''

Gary Moore, Iverson's manager, confirmed the decision with The Associated Press. Iverson was not available for an interview.

Moore was in Philadelphia visiting with Sixers owner Josh Harris and CEO Adam Aron about reconnecting Iverson with the 76ers. Iverson led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA finals and is firmly cemented as one of the franchise's all-time great players. He is the franchise leader in 40-point games (76), 3-pointers (885), and is second behind Hal Greer in points (19,931). He had two stints with the Sixers and last played for them in 2009-10.

Moore said there are no immediate plans for the 37-year-old Iverson to retire.

``Once he does do that, I want to ensure that Josh Harris and Adam Aron know how much Allen appreciates what Philadelphia has meant to him, what the NBA has meant to him,'' Moore said, ``And to someday, come back and be a consultant to them, to help them do certain things.''

Aron and the Texas Legends did not immediately return messages for comment.

Under Harris' ownership, the Sixers have made increased efforts to bring back their past stars, like Hall of Fame standout Julius Erving. Erving returned to the Sixers as a strategic adviser in May and is available to the franchise on an as-needed basis.

Iverson earned a roaring standing ovation when he presented the game ball before Philadelphia's Game 6 win over Boston in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals. He watched the game from a suite and his eyes watered up when he was shown later in the game on the big screen as the crowd, thousands wearing No. 3 jerseys, went wild and chanted, ``MVP!'' Iverson later posted on Twitter, ``You can always come home again!!!''

Iverson has not played in the NBA since abruptly leaving the Sixers in March 2010 to deal with a sick daughter. He had a brief stop with a professional team in Turkey and has played exhibition games in China.

Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki recently passed Iverson for 18th on the NBA's career scoring list.

Iverson believed it was more than the three years of NBA inactivity that has kept him from making a comeback. He blamed his behavior, which has included everything from coaching clashes to his infamous ``Practice!'' rant, for making teams shy about offering him a final chance.

``I realize my actions contributed to my early departure from the NBA,'' he wrote on Twitter. ``Should God provide me another opportunity I will give it my all. My dream has always been to complete my legacy in the NBA.''

Moore, who knew Iverson as an 8-year-old boy, said Iverson was focused on staying in shape in case an NBA team made an offer.

``Allen is not so naive of a man that he doesn't understand full well why he's not in the NBA,'' Moore said. ``It not, poor Allen. Allen has done things that have really landed him outside of the NBA. He understands that. He understands the mistakes he's made.''

Iverson spent 10 seasons in Philadelphia before bouncing through Denver, Detroit, and Memphis. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft, a four-time scoring champion, and averaged 26.7 points yet never won a championship.

Moore denied Iverson has financial problems. Iverson recently struck a reported $3 million financial settlement to help finalize his divorce with his wife, Tawanna.

``He's going through probably the most difficult of challenge he's ever faced in his life,'' Moore said. ``There's no doubt he will get past that.''

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Follow Dan Gelston on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APgelston

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Bullets/Wizards legend, Hall of Famer Wes Unseld passes away at 74

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Bullets/Wizards legend, Hall of Famer Wes Unseld passes away at 74

Wes Unseld passed away at the age of 74 Tuesday. 

The Bullets/Wizards legend and basketball Hall of Famer was surrounded by his family and died peacefully in the hospital, according to a statement released by the Unseld family. 

"It is with profound sadness that we share that our adored husband, father and grandfather Wes Unseld passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by family following lengthy health battles, most recently with pneumonia," the family wrote. "He was the rock of our family, an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates. He was our hero and loved playing and working around the game of basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., he proudly wore on his chest for so many years."

Unseld spent the entirety of his basketball career with the Bullets/Wizards franchise. He played from 1968-81, made five All-Star games, won the MVP award as a rookie and helped bring Washington its only NBA championship in 1978. He remains the franchise's all-time leader in minutes, games and rebounds and is top five in franchise history in field goals, assists and points.

After his playing career, he coached the Bullets from 1988-94 and then took over as general manager from 1996-2001 and then again from 2001-03.

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One analyst gives a very dispiriting take on what the 2020 Redskins have at quarterback

One analyst gives a very dispiriting take on what the 2020 Redskins have at quarterback

No one will look at the Redskins' quarterback situation and call it superb or even settled, but with a slimmer and more experienced Dwayne Haskins positioned as starter and ex-Panthers signal caller Kyle Allen reuniting with his old staff as depth, fans can at least reasonably hope that things will work out under center in 2020.

NBC Sports analyst Josh Norris, though, doesn't envision a positive outcome for Washington's passers this year. During an interview on the Redskins Talk podcast, he explained why.

First, Norris gave his opinion on Allen. When the Burgundy and Gold initially acquired the former Carolina QB, some asserted that Allen would actually beat out Haskins for the top job. Norris, however, flat out doesn't believe Allen has that kind of talent.

"My lowest moment of 2019 was that two-month span where people tried to make Kyle Allen a starter in the NFL," Norris told Redskins Talk. "It was bogus. It was so ridiculous."

"I understand the production was there and he went on some starting streaks and they won some games," he continued. "But he's at best an NFL backup."

In the end, Norris compared Allen to Colt McCoy. Yes, most rosters need someone like McCoy — hell, he just left the area after a six-year run with the franchise and he's now a Giant, so he's clearly valued — but those kinds of guys aren't the ones coaches want running their offenses for more than a few quarters or so.

Now, here's the part where it gets dispiriting: While Norris doesn't think much of Allen — in addition to the McCoy comparison, Norris labeled Allen inaccurate and too susceptible to pocket pressure — he still expects him to start for team in 2020. That stems from Norris also doubting what Haskins will be able to do in his second season as a pro.

"We still don't know who he is," Norris said of the 2019 first-round pick.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Yes, Haskins improved as a rookie in a situation that was largely a catastrophe, so it's not crazy to conclude he should continue to ascend now that the organization is more settled. Norris himself acknowledged the growth Haskins made.

However, even with that maturation, as well as Norris' positive feelings about Ron Rivera, Scott Turner and many other aspects of Washington's potential turnaround, the analyst still sees a glaring weakness that'll directly affect Haskins and could contribute to a less-than-stellar campaign for No. 7.

"What is possibly the most important part of quarterback success is offensive line play, and I think it's fair to question the Washington Redskins' offensive line right now, especially the left tackle spot," Norris said.

In the end, Norris anticipates Haskins having issues for a certain number of weeks, Allen stepping in after and the Redskins overall being unhappy with their collective output at QB. 

"We've seen NFL storylines repeat themselves," he said. "A [staff] goes to a new organization and brings a quarterback that may not be starting caliber but understands exactly what they want to do and he ultimately ends up starting a handful of games because of that, because they want to stabilize the situation as much as possible."

How stable does that really sound? The answer, of course, is not at all. 

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