Allen Iverson has played just 25 games this year -- three for the Grizzlies and 22 for the Sixers. By just about every measure, he has had the worst performance of his 14 years in the League.
How much of that is the effects of age, and how much is a stressful family trauma?
It's not hard to believe that a lot of it could be related to ongoing health problems of his daughter Messiah.
In a statement, the Sixers say Allen Iverson will be away from the team, tending to his ill daughter, "indefinitely."
Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News says a source close to the situation tells him Iverson could well be sidelined for the rest of the season. In a poll on Philly.com, the vast majority of readers have expressed that they do not expect to see Iverson on the court again this season.
A week ago, Iverson spoke about his four-year-old daughter, whose health problems, at least at that time, remained undiagnosed. Jasner quoted Iverson saying that doctors thought pneumonia was one possible explanation, but that tests for many conditions had come back negative. She has been in and out of the hospital. I think any parent can understand the heart-wrenching situation he's in:
"I have five kids," he said. "None of them have ever been this sick. It's a first-time thing for me. I like to look at myself as a strong person, especially dealing with everything in my life. But this is a totally different situation; you find out you're not as tough as you thought you were when it's one of your kids. All I do is just pray on it; everyone that cares anything about me and my family, I wish them to do the same, 'cause that's all that can be done right now, 'cause they don't know exactly what's wrong with her." ...
"The strongest man in the world," Allen Iverson said, "I don't think they could deal with it if something happened to one of their kids. I just love my kids."