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Allen Iverson returns to Sixers, but will his voice be heard again?

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Nothing But Net-Logo by Matt Schetter After almost three years, three NBA teams and a one year non-guaranteed contact later, Allen Iverson  is officially a 76er again. Whether you like it or not, the second all-time scorer in franchise history and 4-time NBA scoring champ could possibly make his debut against his former team, the Denver Nuggets, on Monday night at the Wachovia Center.

Now, if you’ve been following my thoughts on Iverson lately you will quickly realize that he has always left a bitter taste in my mouth. Putting my personal opinions aside, the reality is that A.I. will wear a Sixers uniform again. There are some major questions that need to be addressed and that is 1. What does this mean for the team? And 2. How will the fans ultimately react?

As an organization, the Sixers will benefit from this deal in a few ways. Bringing an iconic figure like Iverson back to Philly will definitely put some fans back on the seats. It has been one of the worst seasons for attendance since the early 90’s. I mean, lets face it, the terrible Mark Zumoff commercials weren’t selling tickets. It has literally been a ghost town since the opening tip off back in October. Bringing Iverson back will definitely bring both die hard Sixers and Iverson fans back to games.

"In light of the recent injury to Lou Williams, which will sideline him for close to eight weeks, we felt that Allen was the best available free agent guard to help us at this time,” said Sixers GM Ed Stefanski  during this morning’s announcement. I would have to say that there is some definite truth to that statement. Allen will bring the experience that is needed back to the lineup for the time being. Jrue Holiday is still way too young to handle a starting role right now, and guys like Willie Green are most effective coming off of the bench.

The Sixers are also in a 7-game loosing slump right now. Allen might actually be the only thing that can spark their offense and get a win or two under their belts. Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala have been making an effort to step up their game but they have still fallen short of a victory. We all know A.I. can score and do some exciting things on the floor. It may seem like a desperate move for the Sixers, but he will definitely fill a void at the point guard position.

Now from the stand point of the fans, I believe that the overall reaction to Iverson’s return will be a positive one. There are a lot of basketball fans in this town, but you would never know it lately because they really have had NOTHING to be excited about.  I've been bombarded with text messages asking if I’m interested in going to the game on Monday night. There is indeed a buzz in the air. Whether you are or were an Iverson fan, his return is something that the fans have been craving for a long time. This will get people talking basketball again in Philly. Will the talking last? Will Iverson regain the support of Philly once more? The only thing I can say to that is what Adrian says to Rocky before his rematch with Apollo Creed: WIN!

If you WIN, the people will come. It’s that simple here in Philly. So get your popcorn ready folks, its gonna be one hell of a show next week.

 

Photos: http://accel9http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/10/1014_recession_cities/image/philadelphia.jpg6.mettre-put-idata.over-blog.com/0/07/28/97/allen-iverson.jpg