Morning Shootaround: Iverson Broke, Billups surgery successful, McGrady's evolution, and more

The Detroit Pistons haven't changed much over the years, but there are a handful of players that have moved on to (sometimes) greener pastures. Here's a look at some of your favorite former Pistons.

Bill Lyon: Iverson on the rocks - Philly.com

The man who is the best small scorer in the history of the NBA, who lit up Philadelphia nights with his pyrotechnic play, is said to have worked his way through the better part of - big inhale here - $150 million.

And now, Iverson says he is willing to play literally anywhere that could possibly lead him back to the NBA.

Allen Iverson willing to play in minors for NBA shot, source says - ESPN

With hopes of getting one last shot in the NBA, former All-Star and league MVP Allen Iverson is contemplating playing minor league basketball, according to a person close to the situation.

Iverson is willing to play in the Caribbean, in South America or even in the D-League if it gives him a chance to return to the NBA, the source said.

More on Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, Mehmet Okur, Tracy McGrady and William Davidson after the jump.

Former second-round steal Mehmet Okur has been battling injuries all season and looks like he is getting closer to game action in New Jersey. He recently had an epidural on his aching back.

Speaking of injuries, Chauncey Billups recent season-ending ACL achilles tear is one of the saddest in recent memory. I still love watching that guy play. The good news is, surgery went well.

Billups' backcourt mate Richard Hamilton has been battling his own injuries recently, missing the last couple weeks. Well, it appears he is about a week away from returning.

Sadly, Hamilton's grandmother passed away recently, but Rip is back in Chicago with the team and finishing up treatment. Here is his tweet honoring his grandma:

Twitter / @ripcityhamilton
Rest In Peace to my grandmom Vivian Hamilton the rock of our family. We miss u and u will always be in my heart. Love U........

Condolences to the Hamilton family.

In happier news, I'm sure many have no doubt noticed the positive impact former Piston Chris Wilcox is having on his new team in Boston. He gets a full writeup in the Boston Globe:

Wilcox contributes energy, points - The Boston Globe

With Kevin Garnett a late scratch last night, the Celtics needed their big men to step up, and Chris Wilcox was ready to answer the call. The forward had his best game of the season with 32 minutes and 17 points, both season highs, in the Pistons' 98-88 win over the Celtics at TD Garden.

With the All-Star game approaching, Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register has a nice feature story on the evolution of Tracy McGrady high-flying scorer and one-time fixture of All-Star weekend, to McGrady savvy role-player off the bench for a winning team.

Fallen star McGrady looking for niche | mcgrady, nba, year - Home - The Orange County Register

McGrady came off the bench Tuesday night for the Atlanta Hawks. He did hit a nice 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, but his lane-drives were slow and his jumping was gradual. Most of the time he deferred, passing off to guys who, 10 years ago, would be getting his autograph.

--- snip ---

"I surprise myself sometimes," he said Tuesday, at the Hawks' shootaround at Westchester High. "I'm only 32 years old. It's not like all my athleticism is gone.

"I still have skills and still can play. It's just that your mind tells you can do something, but your body doesn't always let you."

"He's not the blow-by guy anymore, but to his credit he's learned how to play without the athleticism he had," Coach Larry Drew said. "He does a great job, just making plays. We put him a bounce from the basket and he's just as effective. And he has the willingness and the ability to pass it. He's a little grounded, yeah. But he's clever and smart."

U-M basketball facility to be named for late Pistons owner Davidson | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com

The new Player Development Center for University of Michigan basketball teams will be named in honor of the late Pistons owner William Davidson.

Davidson had been a significant donor to the university over the years. The William Davidson Foundation recently provided a gift of $7.5 million in support of U-M athletics.

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