Allen Iverson: A Detrimental Superstar

Ryan WelchCorrespondent INovember 9, 2016

A popular opinion over the last 30 years in the NBA has been that, in order for a team to win a championship, they need two or more superstars. The evidence surely points to this conclusion in almost every case except the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons. (One could argue that Rasheed Wallace is a vastly underrated player, but none of the other players would really be considered superstars.)

I am here to contend that from time to time, some superstars can actually hurt their team more than they help them.

Case in point, Allen Iverson.

I am not going to pull out the argument of selfishness, because I don't think that is accurate when applied to superstars. They already have the contract, the accolades, and the personal awards. I believe that they simply want to win so badly that they forget the fundamental principles of team basketball. 

I am not going to argue that Iverson does not put forth the maximum amount of effort when he steps onto the court, because no one plays harder.

I certainly would not call A.I. overrated, because he is a rare talent on the offensive side of the ball, and defensively, he is a steal machine.

The Denver Nuggets have the unfortunate task of deciding whether to use him in his natural position of shooting guard, allowing the other team to score at will with a much larger lineup, or using him at point guard, and lessening his offensive potency because he has to facilitate for his teammates. 

Denver may be the worst defensive team in the NBA this year, even before you factor in that Iverson can't defend his own position. No matter how many points you score, if you allow Luke Walton to get 16 and Kobe to score 32 on a terrible shooting day, you can't win. 

Here is where I get in trouble. I think Denver made the right choice in not trading Kleiza for Artest. They should have traded Iverson instead.