NBA

Question The Answer: What Can Iverson Bring To The 76ers?

Allen Iverson Sixers I watched the 76ers lose a hard fought 2 point game to the Dallas Mavericks Monday night on a shot by Jason Terry with just 1.4 seconds left to play. I had that feeling, and it’s one I get alot with this team that no matter how well they play that something will always come up short. Watching Andre Igudola hit the game tying 3-pointer with just 5 seconds left made me also think, “Does this team of youngsters, learning as they go, really need a potential painful journey back in time?”Are the Philadelphia 76ers really that hard up to put folks in seats and add another player to the roster that they would entertain this circus? Welcome to the possible return of the one and only Allen “We talkin ’bout practice” Iverson.

Ok where do I begin with all of this? Yes let me get to the obvious. Iverson is in fact a former league MVP, a 4-time scoring champion, a 10-time NBA All-Star, a 5-time 30+ point per game scorer, and so on and so forth. Is this the guy we are getting? Will this Iverson be a guy who comes back in and scores points, drives the lane, and holds his hand up to his ear to hear the crowds at the Wachovia Center go crazy? Or are we about to see a wash-out trying to cling to hopes that he can still play, and hopes that he can steal the show from some very hard working young guys? Let’s face it, for every positive you see in a player like Iverson, you can find just as many negatives.

Iverson single-handedly led commisioner David Stern to enforce a, “dress code” amongst its players and how they conduct themselves while doing NBA work. The do-rags, the over-sized football jerseys, big baggy sweat suits, etc., looking more like a homeless guy than a player making 20 million dollars a year. Iverson has that tendency to thug his way around instead of appreciating the good fortune he has received. Seen urinating publicly in a trash can outside Bally’s casino, fighting with a dealer who had overpaid him at the Taj Mahal, countless bar fights between Iverson’s “people” and others outside of bars and clubs, rumors of spousal abuse, rude, and obscene gestures at people. This is what Philly wants to welcome back?

Everyone wants to remember what once was. The city is burning for Iverson to come back and save the day, be the old number 3, and put people in the seats. What they don’t see is an angry old Iverson, who could care as much about this city as any other city in the league. My sentiments are that we are just a place for him to draw a check and give it another go, so he won’t have to retire and go out as the player no one wanted. Iverson won’t be bringing any heart-felt moments or being a good role model for any kid or person in this community. I quite frankly feel he will be here to con the 76ers into thinking he is someone else.

Truth of the matter is this: The 76ers are not winning an NBA title anytime soon. They have some good young guys, are working on some chemistry and have a coach who seems to be a no-nonsense type of guy. Yes if Iverson has any skill left it can help in the immediate numbers seen on the court per game, but overall it helps no one. Is he really here to help Igudola, Thaddeus Young, J’Rue Holiday and the rest progress, or learn anything? Not likely. I still see the guy who will shake his head in the, “no” position every time someone else takes a shot and misses. I see the guy who will cry at refs after every drive down the lane where he has the ball taken from him. Of course let’s not forget about the career 42 percent shooter from the field. Let’s not forget about the guy who rater die then pass. A point guard wih a career average of 6.2 assit per game and 3.6 turnovers. He’d rather miss or cough up the ball then to dare share any spot light. Does anyone else recall how Jerry Stackhouse and Larry Hughes faired with Iverson here?

We all remember the phrase, “we aren’t talking about a game, we are talking about practice” (yes I cleaned up the grammar). We as Philly fans will also remember how the little giant would let it all hang out every night. In times like this, when a franchise is desperate for a following and people who turn to sports would do anything at all for a feel good story, it is my belief that this is one of those deals that will make us more bitter then cheerful. If he drops 20 points on a team and the 76ers lose, and this trend goes on and on, what did this team gain? A nice pat on the back for one of the biggest ego-maniacs of this era? The fans of this city would never dream of seeing Eric Lindros back on the ice, or Pat Burrell back in left field. Sometimes, no matter what an athlete gives to you, it does’nt mean you owe it back to him. We make these guys more then wealthy, and we cheer them constantly. One mans opinion for sure, but I don’t owe Allen Iverson my home again.

If they bring him back, yes I will still watch. It is still the team I grew up with in the city I call home. At the same time if or when he comes back in, I don’t think I will be running to get my championship series tickets either. I’m not talking about games, im talking about a team! Somewhere out there, Terrell Owens is laughing at the entire city, for this has become a sports town of “we will trash you when you leave, and embrace you when you return”. Someone get Bobby Abreau’s agent on the phone, quickly!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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