I don't want to come across as self-righteous. Nor do I want to demean anybody. But I find the growth today of the "quasi-journalist" an utterly disturbing trend. I know that Bill Simmons and Deadspin.com have led to this new species of sportswriters, who are breeding like rabbits.
In their world of sports news without access, everybody's opinion seems to get a public airing.
News without access works only for the talking heads on radio. These women and men can rant within the narrow scope of their worlds -- worlds insulated from reality. The quasi-journalists belong to this world-is-flat crowd, which means they peddle fiction and little else.
I say this after reading a work of fiction a few minutes ago. It was a blog positing the idea that Allen Iverson, once a splendid NBA talent, would be a nice fit for the Cavaliers. To believe he is, is to believe Santa Claus will come down your chimney on Christmas eve or that Elvis is about to open at Caesar's Palace. All the aging Iverson would do is poison the organization.
For Iverson doesn't see himself as a role player; he never has. That's why his time with the Pistons last season led to their implosion. Had he been the Iverson of his 76er yesteryears, he would have strengthened the Pistons. They would have made a serious run at an NBA championship.
Iverson today, however, isn't the Iverson of the early 2000s. His explosive drives to the hoop that complemented an uncanny knack for shooting over anybody aren't in his toolbox anymore. He doesn't have the quick hops that made him an elite talent, and on defense, he's too short and too slow to handle opposing guards.
On these Cavaliers, A-I would get fewer minutes than Coby Karl.
For under coach Mike Brown, defense matters most of all; Brown has always said as much. He couldn't protect the smallish Iverson on defense enough to have him serve as an asset.
Yet more than anything else, Brown can't risk what A-I might do with the team's chemistry. Brown is already confronting an awkward situation with Delonte West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and from watching the Cavaliers up-close, I have yet to figure out how Brown manages LeBron James.
And let's face it: The Cavaliers are LeBron's team, not Brown's. And just like everyone else in NBA circles, LeBron has heard the talk about Iverson and the troubles he caused in Detroit. To some extent, LeBron is continuing to sort out his relationship with Shaquille O'Neal, a relationship itself that might not have been built in basketball heaven.
Adding Iverson would be a complication LeBron doesn't need. Besides, I think if Iverson had much left, he would have found a home on a team other than the Grizzlies. After that relationship soured, he'll have a difficult time finding a home on a team with championship aspirations. His choices now are few.
Whatever team wins the NBA title, it won't win it with the ball-hogging A-I playing a leading part. And as for the Cavs, they should avoid him like the swine flu, despite the sophomoric ramblings of a "quasi-journalist" who won't allow hard, cold facts to get in the way of his thoughtless tale.