With the start of the 2008 NBA season we've been watching one of the biggest sports tragedies ever. Only Three games into the 2009 NBA season Allen "The Answer Iverson" admitted that he's flirted with retiring. The same Allen Iverson who only two seasons ago paired with Carmelo Anthony to win 50 games in the western conference in what was called the most competitive playoff race in NBA history. Since that time he's been branded "washed up" "selfish" and of course "cancer". The question is why? Better yet why do we echo these same sentiments without exploring it for ourselves. This is a picture of Allen Iverson's Fanbase in China, which is huge; reason being because they watch the games, they look at the stats and accomplishment, but they never have to listen to the american media. Top NBA stars in Japan Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and every other houston rocket.
As a lightning fast, high scoring rookie PG the answer was branded a ball hog, despite his averaging 7.5 APG for the season. That brand has stuck with him despite Averaging more APG than any other shooting guard in NBA history next to Jerry West. Despite being in the top 5 or 10 in APG 8 of his NBA seasons. Despite averaging more than 6.5 APG 8 times and more than 7 APG 7 times. Top Ten? that means there are at least 20-25 other starting Point Guards with less assist than this shooting guard every year. This is what I don't get, Lebron James Averages 6.7 APG AI averages 6.2 with 7 more years under his belt. Lebron is gets his team envolved and is a great passer, AI.... BALL HOG. If you read this and still feel Iverson is a "Ball Hog" then you don't watch the games, you just read the papers.
Billups- "The ultimate team player"
Career Average for CB: 15.1 PPG 5.6 AST 2.9 REB 1STL 41% shooting
The ultimate team player averages less AST. than Iverson.... Really!?
Wait does he average less points too? Oh then that must be because Iverson shoots a worst percentage right? NO! Well at 6'4" I know he contributes to the team with more rebounds..... Not that one either? Points?... NO! But he's a point guard he must get more steals?.. SORRY!
Career Averages for AI: 27.0 PPG 6.2 AST 3.7 REB 2.2 STL 42.5%
Billups was however a better fit in Denver... NOT!
When AI was in Denver there was no Chris Anderson making hustle plays. there was no Keliza hitting game winners. Nene's 14 and 8 and 6'11" presence were on the IR. The washed up Anothony Carter was starting, JR Smith was straving for minutes. The Nuggets Won 50 Games lost to the Lakers in the first round.
Billups with Nene, a more focus Carmelo Anthony, JR getting starter minutes, Kleiza and Nene healthy and the emergence of Chris Anderson amounted to only 54 wins and also a playoff lost to the same Laker's team.
Who would you take? I am going with the 12 extra PPG, the 2 extra rebounds the extra steal and ast and the better shooter- Iverson...- The Media says Billups.
-Iverson in China
Rasheed Wallace wasn't even asked to stay because he had his worst season ever. Coach Michael Curry was fired after one year by best friend Joe Dumars. Rip Hamilton was injured for most of the season and was force to sit the bench behind Stucky despite leading the team in scoring. Iverson was force to sit the bench later despite leading the team in AST STL and being second in points. Even made a couple game winners along the way.
He made the All-Star team yet again, the only Piston to do so. However if you even watch one of his games with the Pistons you could see he was only there to sell tickets. I think these are really impressive numbers for 7 less MPG and 40% less touches.
Hard to belive that the man who'd just came off a 26.5PPG 7 AST 3REB 2STL and 45% shooting season, 4 months before with Denver is washed up just because the Pistons sign him as a ticket seller, scaegoat and a contract to rebuild on.
The media however says he's the cause.
- Iverson turns himself in, 2002.
It's okay for you to play ball and entertain us but when you feel we've done you wrong, you better keep quite. No you cannot dress in the latest urban fashion you must show up in a suit. So what sweat is dripping in your eyes (Ben Wallace) you cannot where a headband (sportswear) on my team that is too hip hop. This seems to be a reoccuring theme with every sport or area of pop culture that envolve black men. The thing that hurts to see is other people buying into the destruction of the image of one of the sports greatest superstars. If Iverson was a good boy and just kept quite maybe he would have gotten the Marvin Harrison treatment. Yes, good ole Harrison almost choked a boy to death but that never made the news, niether did the 7 gun shots fired into his nieghbor's homes and someone's car window from a rare gun whose ballistics match the one Marvin has registered. IVO has never done anything that bad, but he isn't good friends with america's sweetheart QB Payton Manning either.
Iverson also has a scholorship program, he gives away two a year in the amount of 5,000.
But you never hear about these things.
Undebatable, $3 million AI was the best player and value on the Grizzles.
Undebatable Allen Iverson had the most experience on the Grizzles
Undebatable AI was the only proven winner on the Grizzles
Undebatable In less minutes AI played better than Conely each of the 3 games that he played.
So why does the media feel it's debatable that Iverson should start for a losing team?
Undebatable, $1.3 million one-year contract, AI would be the best player and value on the knicks.
Undebatable Allen Iverson is more experienced than anyone on the Knicks
Undebatable AI would be the only proven winner on the Knicks
Undebatable at 2-9 the Knicks have nothing to lose and should shake things up.
Undebateable Iverson is exciting enough to bring 1.3 million to New York on Jersey sells alone.
Finally the media agrees (at least some of them), The Knicks made a mistake!
For AI to finally get respect he had to go up against the only one's that get less respect than him. The Knicks Organization. The difference is they deserve it, they haven't won anything since the 70s. Iverson has a pair of All-star MVP's, Scoring titles, Season MVP, 14 All-Star bids, an olympic run, Finals appearence, steals titles, All-NBA team honors, Rookie of the year, He's done it all.
Because of the media these rare feats will go unnoticed and the question of how great he would have been may go un-"answer"ed