I wouldn't be remotely interested in the game of basketball if it weren't for him, if it weren't for the coincidence of having switched the channel as a kid that one fateful day and watching Allen Iverson blaze down the court. The WTF, and exhilarating moments just took over my soul and it made me into who I am today: A man who can't live without seeing 76ers basketball. I'm a 76ers fan first, but this man made me a 76ers fan and he embodied the city, the team and what it meant to play the game of basketball.
As a matter of fact, I think Stephen.A.Smith, an analyst I once respected to a great degree should be sued for slander here, because to say Allen Iverson's playing days are done is well, not true. The problem for Allen Iverson is sadly the tattered parts of his past. If he was a willing team-mate instead of the me-first kind of guy he was, then teams would still take him on their roster even as he's in his mid-30's. Now, to A.I's credit he had a strong year here, which is why I sill think he can play at a high level. Obviously he shot the ball well, I didn't think he turned it over and well he wasn't a liability defensively or at least, Jordan made it so that the entire team couldn't defend anyway.
But far more importantly than any of that, A.I did develop the talent somewhat on this ball-club, Jrue probably wouldn't have learned how to get bigs involved if A.I didn't show how that can make a Sam more effective and he to our best knowledge did behave in the clubhouse. A.I did everything he needed to do to earn another job in the NBA, so why hasn't he gotten one? The shadowy parts of his past have overshadowed the greatness of his career.
Allen Iverson was a modern day Nate Archibald, give Iverson a basketball and he was off and running. Iverson was the kind of player who although his FG % wasn't always the prettiest, it wasn't exactly indicative of the man's offensive capabilities. He could hit a shot virtually anywhere on the floor at any possible time, making him more then a simple slasher. He was also one of the best finishers in the game at his time, despite being 6 foot 185 pounds soaken wet(and it's incredible how much time has passed. It seems like only yesterday when he stepped over Tyronn Lue to lead the 76ers to their one and only victory against the evil empire that was the Lakers. And looking back, that victory was so improbable. That Lakers team swept through the Western Conference, which would be no easy feat with the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks of that era and what have you.
He was a League MVP and a 2-time all-star MVP, He wasn't just a scorer although that's the part of his game that was highlighted, He was always amongst the leaders in Steals and it's not like he didn't pass the ball either (6.2 career average). But for all of Iverson's accomplishments, he couldn't get the big one and the real sad part about that: It was possible. If Iverson watched LeBron James's decision and far more importantly, what the big 3 wanted to do, it's what Iverson should've done. No, not leave Philly. But commit himself to the game and commit himself to his team-mates and even sacrificing some of those highlights so that he could win games.
I will always fondly remember Allen Iverson for having been a major reason why I'm a diehard basketball fan and 76ers fan now, and I will always be a fan of the heart and intensity he left out there on the court for his 76ers team. If only he cared for his career, as much as he did winning. He could've been the next Isiah Thomas, and maybe he might even have that elusive ring that would cap a glorious career.