Most of you already know how I feel Allen Iverson's career was sabotaged by David Stern and his media cronies after the conclusion of the 2008 season in which the Nuggets set franchise record in wins and A.I. posting the most efficient stats of his career despite the lack of quality role players, low post presence, and defensive specialists. The reason is to introduce a generation of boring, emotionless players with no authenticity, individuality, originality, and personality as the new so-called stars of the NBA. This is David Stern's vision and the reason many long-time fans are now disillusioned. I'm not gonna waste your time by getting into it again. If you're interested read my old articles http://bleacherreport.com/articles/296409-david-stern-took-this-too-far-the-operation-to-destroy-allen-iverson and http://bleacherreport.com/articles/370281-david-stern-the-reason-the-nba-is-no-longer-worth-watching.
Now let's talk about this season and to discredit the lies the media has been spreading about A.I.'s supposed counterproductive impact on a team. A.I. only played 25 games for the Sixers this year. During those 25 games, he had been mostly hobbled by knee arthritis. He is currently out for the season to deal with personal issues, presumably to take care of his ailing daughter and to save his marriage.
During A.I.'s second go-around with Philly, his touches on offense has been limited. Obviously, we all know that is not the best way to utilize an immense talent like Allen Iverson. The coaches refuse to let A.I. be A.I. and Iverson couldn't call out the coach or do anything about it due to his "non-guaranteed" contract, a slap in the face to this Hall of Fame talent. However, it is undeniable that despite the trying circumstances, Allen Iverson made the most impact on this Sixers roster out of everybody. They are 5-15 before A.I.'s arrival and 5-14 after he left the team. It is no surprise that the season went down the drain immediately after he left the team. It is entirely possible that without A.I., the Sixers would possibly be the second worst team in the league. They are 10-15 with A.I. in the lineup and competitive in almost every single game (rarely losing by double digit). If you factor in the missed wide open buzzer beaters by Andre Iguodala and Rodney Carney in two of those games, shots Allen Iverson clearly shouldn't had passed up, they easily could be around .500 with A.I. If they had A.I. all season, they could still be in playoff contention with teams such as the Bulls and the Raptors, both have vastly superior roster talents.
Even though A.I.'s stats do not exactly stand out this season due to the offense not being built around him (another reason Eddie Jordan is clueless) and injury bugs, contrary to what the media-brainwashed fans think, he is the MVP of this Sixers team. In fact, he has been making a winning impact his entire career. With the Nuggets, he helped them set franchise record in wins despite a flawed roster with a lack of post presence (Nene out due to cancer) and defensive specialists (no Chris Andersen, Dahntay Jones, Arron Affalo, Renaldo Balkman. Anthony Carter, who is the third string point guard, was a starter.) Billups only helped the Nuggets win 3 more games in 2009 with a vastly superior roster. The Pistons' horrible record this year also vindicated A.I. since Rodney Stuckey, not A.I. or Rip Hamilton, was clearly the problem. The Pistons were a darkhorse contender last season in the early going, beating the Magic, Cavs, and Lakers head-to-head with A.I. playing half-court sets and sacrificing his stats until the whole notion of "Rodney Stuckey is the franchise player and has to start" nonsense surfaced and sabotaged the season and A.I.'s career. They spent the cap space on Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Wallace, and Chris Wilcox. The Pistons have a more complete roster than the year before, yet are one of the worst teams in the league by building the team around Stuckey. He led the Sixers to the finals in only his 5th season in the league. And people think Chris Bosh, in his 7th year in the league, is a bonafide superstar and deserves the max contract this summer. What has this sorry excuse for a franchise player ever done in 7 years? Has he even made a first round series at least interesting/competitive? At least T-Mac forced a game 7 with a vastly superior Pistons squad with the Magic with no help whatsoever. They tried to surround Bosh with talents such as Turkoglu, Bargnani, Calderon, Jarrett Jack, etc and he never takes advantage of it. When did A.I. have the "supporting cast" and "help" and "top 5 league payrolls 5 seasons in a row" LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are getting?
If Allen Iverson wants to play next year, the Sixers should make every effort to bring him back. And forget about dissing the man with a "non-guaranteed" deal, A.I. deserves at least the mid-level exception strictly by the impact he made this season alone. Forget about rebuilding. Elton Brand, Sam Dalembert and Andre Iguodala's contracts are pretty much untradeable. Throw in a bunch of overpaid useless stat stuffers like Lou Williams, Willie Green, and Thaddeus Young (tweener), this team is going nowhere fast. Jrue Holiday is alright, but he will never be a legit starting point guard in this league (why did we take him ahead of Darren Collison when Collison was starting ahead of him at UCLA?) And forget about building through the bust-galore drafts http://bleacherreport.com/articles/348507-rebuilding-through-the-draft-doesnt-work http://bleacherreport.com/articles/288575-this-years-rookie-class-is-draft-busts-galore and forget about John Hall being the savior, he's gonna be a bust http://bleacherreport.com/articles/353658-you-heard-it-here-first-john-hall-from-kentucky-will-be-a-bust. Let's put it this way, if the Sixers has a hobbled (arthritis) A.I. all year, they will be contending the last playoff spot with the stat stuffing Chris Bosh's Raptors and the overrated, overhyped, undeserved all-star Derrick Rose's Bulls. Not to mention both teams have higher payrolls and more complete rosters than the Sixers. Yet the media still wouldn't leave A.I. alone by bombarding us with hate-filled articles during the all-star voting process (going as far as calling the "fans", us who pay their paychecks, stupid) and subsequently articles about how A.I. is supposedly "gambling and drinking his life away". Iverson, like many other NBA players, enjoys clubbing, drinking, partying, and going to casinos. How is that news? Why bring it up again? Like Iverson always says, he's not perfect, but I fail to see how he is any worse than the hypocrites they media loves. Haven't we learn that what you see is not necessarily what you get from the Tiger Woods episode?