What I’ve seen recently, in regards to the treatment of Allen Iverson, has disgusted me to the core. It’s one thing to call the man selfish, but it’s another thing to question his integrity, get mad at him for his feelings about coming off the bench (which I’ll touch on more in a minute), or question his effort. Those particular things bother the hell out of me, as well as anyone else who’s ever sat down and watched this man play basketball during his career.
I remember when this trade first went down, and telling numerous people that it was a bad move, basketball-wise. Financially, it was brilliant, and I’ll admit that much. Anyway, Detroit has a way of playing ball that’s worked for them for the past 7-8 years, and I figured it would be impossible for them and Iverson to find a way to co-exist. The only way it would work is if there were people in place that can make everyone see the big picture. With that being said, let’s look at Detroit’s past three post-seasons:
2006: Lost in East Finals to Miami (pre-Iverson)
2007: Lost in East Finals to Cleveland (pre-Iverson)
2008: Lost in East Finals to Boston (pre-Iverson)
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Detroit made the East Finals those three seasons. Anyone who watched those games knew each of them were over after Game Five, especially in 2007, when Detroit pretty much rolled over and played dead, after LeBron busted their thang open at The Palace.
So now The Answer comes to Detroit, and the adjustment isn’t as smooth as people thought, which doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, because people should have seen this coming a mile away. Iverson gets hurt, and Detroit plays better, and people have the audacity to suggest that Iverson was hurting the team when he was out there. Lets get this straight right now: Detroit was already a deteriorating team anyway, even when Mr. Big Shot was there, so all the talk about Iverson being the problem is bullsh*t. On top of that, they played better, because they’ve played together forever, but anyone with half a brain knows it wasn’t going to last. I’m not going to go as far to say they don’t respect their head coach, but just look at the team, look at the sideline, and tell me what the problem is. Face it, Detroit just isn’t that good; they weren’t that good when he was out there, and they damn sure weren’t that good when he got hurt and had to sit.
Allen Iverson is my favorite player, and has been ever since his days at Georgetown. He is way too good a player to be coming off the bench, but now that he is, don’t expect him to be the same Iverson we’ve come to know. It’s going to take time for that to work, and if he gets frustrated, he’s earned the right to be that way. He gave props to the players who can come off the bench and do their thing, but, of course, that goes unnoticed. I, along with other Iverson fans, will be glad once this is over, so this nightmare of a season can finally end.