NBA

Allen Iverson: Latest Brush with Police Proves He Has Lost Touch with Reality

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 20: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers moves against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 122-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IApril 9, 2011

Former NBA star Allen Iverson still manages to keep his name in headlines around the web; unfortunately, it has nothing at all to do with his talent on the basketball court.

Yahoo! Sports recently reported Iverson was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police in the Atlanta area after it was spotted driving erratically, and the ensuing scene was one all to common with egotistical celebrities and athletes.

Iverson reportedly launched into a 20 minute tirade against the police, and he used the familiar line "Do you know who I am?" for added emphasis.

Iverson also went on to inform the Atlanta police that he makes more money in one year than they make in 10 years, and that they were wasting their time since he had money for bail in his pocket.

Iverson later apologized for his comments, but of course, the damage had already been done.

Iverson was playing professionally in Turkey with hopes of returning to the NBA until he was sidelined by an injury, but you have to wonder, even if he was healthy, would any team in the association bring him back?

You must remember that although Iverson's decision to play in Turkey was a personal matter it was made much easier by the fact that no teams in the NBA had shown Iverson much interest.

Even in Philadelphia, where he was loved by so many fans, his attitude and unrealistic expectations made it an easy decision for management not to renew the one year contract signed when he last played.

Iverson's fans are a fiercly loyal group and are usually quick to forgive his transgressions, but how will they explain this latest episode?

They will likely chalk it up to another instance of Iverson being unjustly singled out, but in truth, his biggest issue may be the constant state of denial he currently resides in and his refusal to accept reality.

In terms of basketball, there is honestly little Iverson could contribute to an NBA team at this point in his career, but it has more to do with his attitude than his talent.

Iverson refuses to acknowledge that age has finally diminished his skills, and he has a perverse fantasy that he is still capable of dominating a game in the same manner as his youth.

That may be true, but there are few teams in the NBA who are willing to accept the attitude, and air of entitlement that comes along with his talent.

Most teams view Iverson as a player who could add value to a franchise as a reserve, or more importantly, as a mentor to younger players.

The Memphis Grizzlies, and later the 76ers, gave Iverson an opportunity to serve in that capacity, but Iverson's ego would not allow him to accept a role that he figured was beneath him.

When Iverson announced he was retiring from the game once again due to his daughter's illness, most people' hearts went out to him, but in reality his days as an NBA star were probably already done.

Iverson had burned far too many bridges, and crawled under the skin of too many people for anyone to reasonably expect to see him in the NBA again.

Iverson will remembered as perhaps the greatest little guy to ever play the game, and one of the NBA's most breath-taking talents; it's sad to see his legacy being continued mostly in the gossip columns.

The reality is Iverson's days as a relevant basketball player are done, and it's a shame that he still lacks the dignity and humility to recognize that fact.

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