Remember Iverson as a Player

Frankie AnetzbergerContributor IIMarch 9, 2010

Steven A. Smith, former ESPN analyst and current columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has reported that Allen Iverson has serious gambling and alcohol problems. To make matters worse, the former all-star has decided to leave the 76ers for the remainder of the season and what looks like forever. His wife has filed for divorce and is trying to claim his kids who range from 17 months to 15 years. Smith also reported that Iverson has been banned from two of the three casino's in Detroit and is also banned from Atlantic City. Ooh yeah, and his daughter is ailing from some illness that caused him to miss a handful of games.

With ESPN jumping all over this story, most media outlets have reported this story by now. Apparently, Iverson himself has caught on to most of it. This from his twitter account:

To my fans: You all know that my life isn't perfect. I am going through some very tough times right now, like I am sure that we all do from time to time. However, I will stand tall like always with "rhino" thick skin. Even though I have become used to hearing people say things about me that aren't true, it still hurts. I encourage you to continue your ongoing support and I want you to trust that this is another obstacle in my life that, with God's help I will overcome. God Bless You All.
about 12 hours ago via web.

Now, some do not credit Steven A. Smith as a legit source. We all know that ESPN doesn't, but Steven did cover Allen Iverson for the first 10 or so years of his NBA career. I'm not saying there homies, but he was around him for about a decade. I believe Allen does have a sincere problem with gambling and drinking, but taking him away from the game he loves may be the worst thing for him.

But my main point in this whole ordeal is that, if this is that finally of his career, we need to remember the NBA All-Star, leading scorer Allen Iverson. Not the gambling, problematic off the court Allen Iverson. I've come to learn that if we follow players too closely, we'll be disappointed. As a fan of the game of basketball, if you are going to be a fan of a particular player, be a fan of what he does on the court, not off. Iverson has been nothing short of spectacular on the court. By far, the best short guard the league has ever seen and a no-brainer hall of famer.

Just remember, on the court, not off the court.