Ok, so the Chauncey Billups deal was a travesty. Truthful.
Ok, Iverson has not improved the Denver Nuggets or Detroit Pistons. Correct.
Ok, choosing not to play rather than let Rip Hamilton rightfully start was selfish and immature. No doubt.
Yet, with everyone from so-called experts to casual sports fan idiots chiming in on how Iverson ruined the Pistons, let's ease back, sleaze stacks.
First of all, it was Joe Dumars who was foolish enough to trade away a Finals MVP who fit perfectly in Detroit and was the key component to their massive success, still in his prime no less.
Unless you're getting LeBron, Kobe, Chris Paul, or Dwight Howard, you don't trade Chauncey Billups. Moronic.
So Iverson was put in a terrible spot from jump street. He didn't fit the Pistons style whatsoever, and it was evident immediately. Just watching them play was uncomfortable.
Inevitably, Iverson's very brief time in Detroit will distort his illustrious career in the eyes of many, which is unjust and short-sighted.
Let's take brief look at Iverson's career, shall we?
After being selected with the first overall pick in the '96 Draft, he went on to win Rookie of the Year. Two years later, Iverson won the NBA scoring title, averaging 27 per game and leading the Sixers into the playoffs, where he averaged 44 minutes per game and catapulted Philly to a first-round upset over Orlando.
At this point, Sixers fans were simply mesmerized by the 6-foot superstar who played with an attitude and style that was unrivaled by anyone in the game.
In 1999, Iverson was named All-NBA First Team after averaging 28 points and was selected to the first of nine straight All-Star games.
An entire article could be written on Iverson's 2000-01 season, in which he won MVP and led the Sixers to the Championship while averaging a Jordan-like 31 points per game. He also led the NBA in steals as the Sixers finished the regular season with a 56-26 record, best in the East.
Iverson did all of this with a supporting cast of Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, George Lynch, Theo Ratliff and some good role players. He carried a squad of mediocre players all the way to the Finals, after two epic seven game series against Toronto and Milwaukee, respectively.
Give Kobe Bryant that supporting cast and see if he takes them to the Finals. Watching Iverson that season, in which the Sixers tried to trade him before the season began, let us not forget, was one of the greatest bodies of work in NBA history.
It's a matter of opinion of course, but for my money, Iverson was more fun to watch than Michael Jordan in that magical season. He brought it every single night, flying around the court and never hesitating to sacrifice his 165-pound body. Utterly amazing.
Iverson's revolutionary style is something that must not go unmentioned. He single-handedly ushered in the hip-hop era to professional basketball, and perhaps sports in general.
Go check out some photos of NBA players prior to 1996. See how many tattoos you can spot. Then check out the NBA today. I think the only player in the NBA with no ink is Yao Ming. Oh yeah, D-Wade, too.
But really, can you think of any single player who made tattoos popular more so than Iverson? Oh, and those shooting sleeves that two-thirds of the league are rocking, who started that one? Iverson.
Love him or hate him, nobody can deny Allen Iverson's incredible career. The man is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, hands down.
The Pistons situation is a mess, certainly. But I for one am sick and tired of reading and listening to imbeciles dishonor the greatest player 6-foot or under ever to step on a basketball court.
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