Five days later, and teams around the league are still waiting for an Answer.
The eventual destination of Philadelphia guard Allen Iverson remains unknown, with the developments in the last two days including the Kings' stance that they went from in the mix to out of the mix. And today, while reading ESPN's Marc Stein, I found his note interesting regarding Iverson having some say in the team to which he's traded.
Like Ron Artest a year ago, Iverson does not have a no-trade clause. Yet also like Artest a year ago, it appears the sheer threat of future unhappiness is enough to dissuade certain teams from taking part or the parent team from certain deals. While at the Kings-Warriors game last night, I heard the same rumor Stein reported regarding Iverson putting the kibosh on any prospect of him landing with either Northern California team. It reminded me of, once again, a year ago, when Artest's agent issued a statement detailing his supposed lack of desire to play in Sacramento. Soon thereafter, Artest was professing his happiness for landing here.
Artest's self-appointed control began with the trade demand itself. And a year later, he said on Tuesday night that he wouldn't have created problems for Indiana if they didn't respond to his trade demand.
"Just go out and play the game," Artest said when asked what he would have done if Indiana refused to trade him. "That's pretty much it. In my case, I just wanted to play. I wanted to get traded, but at the same time I was going to play and play to win."
If the story about Iverson's recent influence is true, it makes one wonder: if Philly exec Billy King doesn't find a deal he likes in the coming days, does he revisit this part of the country against Iverson's 'wishes? And if pressure is applied to Iverson like it was applied to Artest - when certain powers-that-be stepped in to remind the player that obstructing a trade just isn't allowed - could things change dramatically and quickly like they did last time? And is Iverson still wanted in these parts, or might Kings exec Geoff Petrie look for ways to be the benefactor in ways other than AI by way of a three-plus team deal?
For now, we should be calling him the Question, because the mystery remains.
-- Sam Amick