Chalk it up to a breakdown in communication.
Last Saturday in a small high school gym in Ohio, around 1,500 people turned out to watch the ABA's Lima Explosion take on a Streetball team, but the majority of fans came to see the main attraction: Allen Iverson.
Yet much like on the NBA courts since his departure from the league in 2010 after playing sparingly with the Philadelphia 76ers, Iverson was nowhere to be seen.
Iverson said — via his Twitter account at least — that he never agreed to show for the event.
The event promotor, Quincey Simpson, says otherwise.
“He didn’t give me his word. He gave me a contract,” Simpson said of Iverson. “This wasn’t a handshake agreement. This was an actual contract that he was going to be here.
"I never had a conversation with Allen Iverson myself, I didn’t need to. I talked to his people and they assured me he was coming. They told me (Saturday night) he was in the Dayton airport. They assured me he was on the road (to here), but I’m starting to think that that was basically a lie. It was very embarrassing."
Now with the attention of Iverson interested in playing in China for the upcoming 2012-13 season, people will start to wonder if "The Answer" will no-show there too?
“I definitely want to return to the NBA, but if I can’t get back there, I’m hoping to play ball here (China)," Iverson said in an interview with NetEase, a website based in China.
“I’m not leaning towards any one team, and there’s no ‘first choice’ like what the others say….China is still one of my choices, but the team that wants me to join has got to show me that they really mean it, like ‘hey we really need you’.”
Stephon Marbury certainly felt needed.
And he went from the guy eating vaseline online and hitting rock bottom around the NBA to a cultural icon in two seasons playing in China. He won a championship and had a statue of Starbury erected in his honor.
You could say Marbury went to China to rebuild his mental mindstate and reclaim his on-court glory. The last part holds true for Iverson as well, especially after a failed attempt to do so in Turkey during the 2010-11 season. But Iverson — who was recruited by Marbury to play in China back in May — has another pressing concern motivating him finish out his career on a positive note — the financial gain from signing and playing in China.
Iverson has reportedly has lost nearly $200 million in earnings over his storied Hall of Fame worthy career.
There is no word yet how much Iverson would be playing for if a team in China decided to bring him on.
But one thing is for certain: A.I wouldn't no-show that payday.
Image: ShezhenParty.com, Getty Images