Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Allen Iverson Experiment Officially Gets Plug Pulled
Let me preface this by saying that I'm a Pistons fan...(sigh). It's awesome going from six consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals to on the verge of being knocked out of the playoffs by the Charlotte freaking Bobcats. I was extremely stunned to see the Pistons trade Chauncey Billups away...stunned and heartbroken. Chauncey was my favorite Piston and will always be one of my favorite players. I know Joe Dumars said that no one was safe but jeez...Chauncey? Now at the time I was a little excited about the prospect of one of the best pure scorers in NBA history joining a team that needed..well...scoring. It didn't look good from the start, and Iverson just never really meshed completely with the rest of the team. Michael Curry (read: idiot) was pretty adament about young Rodney Stuckey starting, so he gave AI the start and sent Richard Hamilton to the bench (another one of my faves). This didn't sit too well with Rip, who was already pretty heartbroken that they shipped Chauncey away, but he accepted his new role.
Long story short, Iverson got hurt somewhere along the way and Rip came back to the starting lineup to kick some ass and the Pistons actually started..you know... winning. This was great, except it was inevitable that AI would come back and screw it all up. This past week, Iverson yapped to the press about how hard it was to come off the bench and how he would rather retire..blah blah blah, so he immediately comes out the next game and goes 1-8 from the field. Do you forget how to shoot if you sit on the bench too long? Give me a break. Now he has a "back injury" that's going to keep him out for the rest of the season...I don't know if this is Joe Dumars' doing or Iverson's, but I'm pretty sure he could play if he wanted to...not that I'd want him to. Oh well, now the Pistons clear around $20 million in cap space from him alone, definitely enough to make some big splashes in free agency, which is something they'll need to do if they want to get back to the glory days of losing the Eastern Conference Finals every year. If Chris Bosh doesn't retire, then I'd LOVE to see him in Mo-town. Meanwhile the Nuggets are looking very solid out west, poised to make a deep run into the postseason...good luck Chauncey, you deserve it.
If the question is "How can we make an awesome team completely self-destruct?" then Allen Iverson is definitely The Answer.