I am not a doctor and I am not AI. I don't know how much pain or discomfort he's feeling. But I know how tough he is. I know his pain threshold is as high as anybody who's ever played. And I also know he wants no part of coming off the Pistons' bench - which will be his role for the rest of the season. He made that clear before, when Michael Curry was trying to decide whether to bench Rip Hamilton or AI.
If Iverson's back is truly injured, then I apologize. But if all that's hurt is his pride, then he should just say so. Say he can't accept it. Say he doesn't want to be a distraction. Say he doesn't want to answer questions about why he's not playing and taking the focus away from the team. Say whatever, and then let the team do whatever it has to do - either send him home or buy him out, whatever.
I have no idea what to think. I don't doubt that Iverson is frustrated, but aside from one missed practice, he's also handled himself like a pro his entire time in Detroit. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.