The Detroit Pistons announced today that Allen Iverson is done for the season with a bad back. This comes just days after Iverson returned to the Pistons’ lineup, but in an unfamiliar role: as a reserve. Playing 21, 17, and 16 minutes in his three games back, Iverson complained about his playing time and even spoke about retirement. From Philadelphia to Denver to Detroit, the only thing we’ve learned about Allen Iverson is that he is a cancer.
The greatest players of all-time all have one thing: a championship ring. As great a player as Iverson is, he has had only one real chance to capture the crown and even that chance wasn’t that great. He took the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals, but they were easily defeated by the Lakers in five games. Except for that one season, Iverson’s record in the playoffs with the 76ers is 17-23, nothing to brag about. He may have been a superstar during his time with the 76ers, but he never was a winner.
Then he was traded to Denver to team up with Carmelo Anthony with what was deemed the best 1-2 punch in the NBA. Iverson was even more unsuccessful with the Nuggets as he won only one out of nine playoff games in his two seasons there. The tandem of him and Anthony should have done better. They should have been nearly unstoppable. All Anthony and Iverson had to do was to play unselfishly and to give the ball up for them to win. For whatever reason, neither really did that and the Nuggets never threatened for the Western Conference crown.
Iverson averaged 23.6 points, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 rebounds per game while Anthony averaged 24.9 points, 1.6 assists, and 9.0 rebounds per game during those two playoff “runs”. The difference between Iverson and Anthony though is that Anthony was 22 and 23 years old during those seasons while A.I. was 31 and 32. If someone is to blame for the Nuggets’ lackluster playoff performances, it’s Iverson. He had the experience to lead that team, but instead he let Denver down.
Finally, Iverson was trade to Detroit for Chauncey Billups in hopes of rejuvenating the aging Pistons. After being injured in February, Iverson was forced to sit for 16 games and the Pistons immediately picked up their level of play. The Pistons were in the midst of an eight-game losing streak when Iverson hurt his back. As soon as A.I. came off the court, the Pistons won four in a row including back-to-back games in Boston and Orlando.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Now he is complaining about playing time and talking about retirement. After playing only 17 minutes in a loss to the Nets, Iverson said, “I’m in a position now that I’ve never been in my whole life. It’s harder than I thought it would be” Well Allen, your team is better off playing you those 17 minutes then having you start and lead them to an early exit from the playoffs. He continued on to say, “I’d rather retire before I do this again”
Not a bad idea.
He’s been a warrior on the court and a lighting rod off it, but as his skill declines, Iverson’santics are no longer acceptable. When he only averages 17 points in 54 games for the Pistons, he can’t be complaining about playing time. When the team gets better when he is injured, he can’t be complaining about playing time. I can’t tell you if Iverson’s back is really so bad that he can’t play anymore this year, but I can tell you that he is giving up on his team. The Pistons currently sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference and are fighting for a playoff bid. Is Iverson’s back really so bad that he can’t play through it and propel this team to the playoffs?
If Iverson can’t adjust to not being a star, than he needs to take his own advice and retire. These most recent comments reveal Iverson to be the clown he really is. How many people would turn down the chance to come off the bench and play 20 minutes a game for a contending team? There are dozens of scrubs in the NBA who would love to be in the position Iverson is in, but being a 6th man isn’t good enough for the godly Allen Iverson. In his entire career, Allen Iverson has never been a winner, but people over looked that characteristic, because he was so good. Well now that his talent has decreased, people are seeing him for the player he is and his relegation to the bench is a just action for a player who simply can’t help a team win.