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The Answer is done, what was the question?

04.03.09 at 8:00 pm ET

The Pistons announced today that Allen Iverson would miss the rest of the season because of his ailing back. Left unsaid was that Iverson complained about his role coming off the bench.

This is what Iverson told reporters after playing 18 minutes in a dispiriting loss to the Cavs the other night:

“How many minutes did I play? It seemed way, way, way less than that. Eighteen minutes? Come on, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed and with a 100-pound truck on my back. It’s a bad feeling, man. I’m wondering what they rushed me back for? For that?

“It’s a bad time for me mentally.”

As a connoisseur of Iverson rants that one rates far below practice, we talkin’ bout practice, but ultimately sealed his legacy in Detroit. Iverson will be a free agent at the end of the year and while it’s hard to see him having a future in Detroit, it’s been something of an open question around the league if this is the last we will see of Iverson. As in ever.

The theory goes like this: As teams look to shed salary in uncertain economic times, it’s doubtful anyone will pay an inefficient shooting guard like Iverson the kind of money he has made in the past, and conversely, would Iverson even want to play for the veteran minimum?

Regardless, the Iverson move has some ramifications for the Celtics. The C’s entered play tonight as the No. 2 seed in the East and the Pistons entered at No.7, although obviously both spots could change in the final weeks. This was Doc Rivers‘ reaction to the news:

“I’ll leave that up to them,” he said. “We’ll try to keep our room clean. They’re different (as a team) because Iverson has the ball more, and without him, the ball moves more. But he scares you too.”

Credit Rivers with the correct diplomatic response, but the Pistons were 24-30 with Iverson in the lineup and 8-9 without him. It’s not like they morphed into the ’86 Celtics, in other words, but the Detroit of Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace is one that the current C’s certainly respect.

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