Friday night, Dime’s Aron Phillips spoke to an unnamed source who works in the NBA and said that Allen Iverson has worked out the details of a contract with the Charlotte Bobcats, but the deal won’t be official until next week. The general consensus surrounding A.I. is that the 34-year-old is too stubborn to blend into a contender’s system, and at the same time, will stunt the development of any up-and-coming young team. But Iverson in Charlotte could be a win-win for both sides: The ‘Cats need a go-to scorer on the perimeter, and Raja Bell and Gerald Henderson are more than expendable as far as coming off the bench while Iverson starts at two-guard. The cash-strapped franchise also benefits from the merchandise A.I. will help move (haven’t seen too many Boris Diaw jerseys around lately), and assuming this is a one-year deal, Iverson gets to prove himself to the rest of the League and hit the 2010 free agent market when more teams have more money to spend. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more over the weekend … A few days ago in Smack we broke down the realistic championship contenders for 2010, a list that didn’t include the Rockets. Interesting because at this time last summer, you couldn’t have convinced a Houston fan they’d be in this position. When they brought in Ron Artest back then, he was supposed to be the missing piece who would help get T-Mac and Yao not only over the first-round hump, but to a point where they’d challenge the Lakers and Spurs for conference supremacy. Now it’s a completely different story: Artest is gone, Yao is out, and McGrady is a constant question mark who might be traded before the deadline. The faces of the franchise are now Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks and Trevor Ariza. There’s a reason Houston doesn’t have a single national TV game this season. Something about, “It’s KEVIN GARNETT and the Boston Celtics against LUIS SCOLA and the Houston Rockets” just doesn’t make herds of people to cancel their Friday plans to watch the game … Yesterday the Rockets made another move to fill the Yao void, reaching an agreement with Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Physical big man who’s on the shorter side but has crazy hops and is built like Optimus Prime; doesn’t that sound like Joey Dorsey? You know, the kid who pulled down like 15 boards a game in summer league? … When did Charlie Bell turn into the Tiffany “New York” Pollard of the NBA? And somewhere, Shaq is wondering why he didn’t get a chance to jack this idea … Stan Van Gundy thinks the Magic are being dissed by the NBA and the national media because they aren’t part of the showcase Christmas Day game against the Lakers. Apparently SVG hasn’t been watching TV for the last five years. Kobe vs. Shaq has become a holiday staple on-par with It’s a Wonderful Life and sweet potato pie. AND you’re throwing LeBron into the mix now? Orlando can make the Finals all they want — they’re not getting that showcase game unless they talk Michael Jordan and Larry Bird out of retirement … Who would you rather have on your team right now: Shaq or Pau Gasol? We debated it yesterday, and of course the readers determined it to be a hands-down victory for both guys … Last night was the Elite 24 high school game at Rucker Park — or at least it was originally scheduled to be at Rucker Park. Due to rain, the game was moved indoors to Gauchos Gym in the Bronx (site of Vince Carter‘s mythical windmill alley-oop years ago). Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Wilson Chandler, Rajon Rondo and Doc Rivers were some of the NBA personalities in the standing-room-only gym … Doron Lamb was the game’s high scorer with 23 points for the winning White team, alongside co-MVP Tobias Harris‘ 20 points. Roscoe Smith (22 pts), Harrison Barnes (18 pts), Josh Selby (18 pts), Will Barton (18 pts) and Kyrie Irving (16 pts) were some of the other standouts. We’ll have more recaps and photos from the game — which won’t be aired on TV due to the venue change — on Monday … We’re out like Larry Legend coming back …
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