Jul 28th, 2007 by NBAsians
By Gov Daswani
In the midst of its 2006-2007 campaign, the NBA and its millions of fans took a blistering halt as it witnessed one of its most exciting and breathtaking players demand a trade from his once beloved Philadelphia 76ers. After an entire decade with the celebrated franchise, Allen Iverson could no longer handle General Manager Billy King and his pee-sized brain. No one could really blame the answer as he has never been handed the championship caliber squad that many believe he deserves.
However, does any potential championship caliber squad deserve the great A.I.?
The answer is a resounding NO. Allen Iverson is a poison to any team that intends to play as one.
The point guard has indeed revolutionized the way the game has been played over the past few years. They have been able to capitalize as the NBA has enacted rules that have favoured the vertically challenged. And there isn’t a better example than 2-time MVP Steve Nash, two thriving futures in Chris Paul and the feisty Deron Williams, and the all around happy Frenchman Tony “The Housewife” Parker.
Despite the bullish market for point guards, the “Shoot First” little man has just never been able to click. In the case of Allen Iverson, i’ve become utterly lost with regard to the position he actually plays. One day he’s a one and the next he’s pulling a Kobe Bryant shoot-fest. These midget scoring machines just can’t win. Just in case you need proof, allow me to present the following “Scoring Guards”:
Stephon Marbury. Starbury entered the League the same year as AI but until now, he still has not been able to shake off the perception that his teams just can’t win. From Minnesota, to New Jersey, and Phoenix, his former teams improved so much more the season immediately following his departure from them. He openly clashed with Larry Brown a couple of years back as the Knicks suffered its most embarrassing season in its storied history. To make matters worse, he even made the ridiculously absurd claim a couple of years ago that he is “the best point guard in the NBA”. What a joke. But what the hell, he sells cheap shoes!
Steve Francis. How many of you can still remember 1999 Draft night when Francis was drafted number two overall by the then-Vancouver Grizzlies? Breaking out his best prima donna pout, he demanded a trade and thus landed in Houston. Despite obvious offensive talents, his team just couldn’t get into the playoffs until the arrival of Yao Ming helped bring more balance to their offense. His inclination to dominate the ball, favour flashy plays, and pout when things don’t go his way got him traded to Orlando, where just a season and a half later, he wears out his welcome for exactly the same reasons. Soon after his quick stink, oops I meant stint, with the Knicks (in a backcourt that needed 2 basketballs and a frontcourt that needed an eat-all-you-can buffet), his nickname was changed from Stevie Franchise to Stevie Franchise-KILLER.
Now one might defend Allen Iverson and claim that he is one hell of a competitor. Yes, he is an animal. He drives the lane with no regard. Not giving a **** for elbow swingers like Cheap Shot Rob, flop artists like Manu “Baldspot” Ginobli, or even nut-grabbers like Reggie ‘The Fondler’ Evans. He has been referred to as one of the top 30 players in the history of the sport. That’s what makes A.I. the ANSWER. What do I think? Make way for the my initial attempt at a controversial sweeping statement…
Allen Iverson is the among the most overrated players in the history of the sport.
He stands 6′O, weighs 165 lbs, and has averaged a whopping 28 points per game over his stellar career with Philly. How then, does a diehard Laker fan like myself, have the nerve to mock this midget with the heart of Spartacus?
Over decades as sports fans, we’ve witnessed a number of athletes who’ve worn their heart on their sleeve. However, in the next section, you will notice differences in heart that cannot be noticed by the untrained eye of the lay sports fan…
A). Heart of a Lion - King of the Jungle. Michael Jordan. No explanation needed. Lance Armstrong. None needed. Boris Becker. Nothing. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. Nada. Michael Corleone? Hell no!
They were all masters of their respective domains. Nothing further.
B). Heart of a cripple - When every sentence concludes with ‘for his size’, you know there’s trouble. Iverson’s incredible! For his size. Tough! Strong! Tenacious! For his size.
The other kind of heart applies to undersized, congenitally and physically challenged athletes. This is where special olympians come in. That rare category where will power rises above all obstacles.
Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald. Tyrone ‘Mugsy’ Bogues. Rey Mysterio. The grief-stricken women in A League of Their Own. The Mighty Ducks in Mighty Ducks 3. Wheelchair athletes. One-legged sportsmen. And finally, The Answer, Allen Iverson.
They are the underdogs. The men and women that compete no matter what the odds are. And if I may steal a line from the good people at Converse, they are those that fall seven times, get up eight.
For Category B, winning isn’t everything. And for A, it is the only thing.
This is where Iverson comes short. For Over a decade as a premiere player in the NBA, Allen Iverson has been considered among the best of his generation. What do I think? Iverson had one outstanding season. He’s played 11. He can’t win. But he’s great for his size.