Last season, following the end of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Detroit Pistons President, Joe Dumars offered a trade opportunity with the Denver Nuggets that would ship the always flashy, but skilled Allen Iverson back to the East to play with a Championship contending team that is the Detroit Pistons. The Nuggets in return would receive All-Star point guard, Chauncey Billups, 35-year-old Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb.
The trade was final on Monday, Nov. 3.
McDyess has already expressed his disagreement with the situation, saying that if he does have to go to Denver, then his retirement could be coming faster then he, or anyone else expected. That was the first issue that arose with the newly finalized trade. The next big one would be the question of whether or not this was a fair trade on both ends.
On paper, it looks as if the Nuggets really made out with this one. Yes, they are parting ways with a veteran scoring machine in Iverson, probably one of the best to ever play the game. But, they are getting a natural point guard with Billups, which is what Iverson is not.
It has been said that Nuggets’ coach George Karl, as gotten “proclivity for passing,” when they acquired Billups. Basketball analyst, Stephen A. Smith, has stated immediately following the trade that Allen Iverson is a “scoring machine.” He’s a shooting guard and wasn’t given a fair opportunity to display his talent, as a point guard in Denver.
The third issue that was brought about after the trade has been that this is the last year in Iverson’s deal, which means more likely than not, that he will leave Detroit at the end of the season. Is this his last chance at achieving greatness?
He was Rookie of the Year in 1996, MVP in 2001, and is set third on the all time list of points-per-game, only behind greats Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. Will he be the NBA National Champion in 2009?
Let’s face it. Iverson is going to go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game, and will most likely see his day in the Hall-of-Fame, but his career is coming to a close. His chances at a Championship are getting smaller as time passes, and as he moves from team to team. Is Detroit the Answer for Iverson’s Championship dreams?
According to J.A. Adande, ESPN columnist, the Pistons’ Championship in 2004 against the Lakers, was an “aberration,” that it was a freak occurrence, especially now that they lost Chauncey Billups in this trade.
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Iverson took a familiar seat in front of the cameras in a press conference. He explained that he is prepared to do whatever it takes to get an NBA title with Detroit. There is no more time for little kid games, he is grown up and is ready to prove it.
“One thing is for sure, I’m going to do whatever the coach wants me to do,” Iverson said as quoted in an ESPN.com article.
“Even practice?” the President of basketball operations, Dumars was quoted saying in the same article. He was obviously joking about the famous press conference that Iverson gave in 2002, when he was still with the Philadelphia 76ers. The topic of the press conference was that he was being accused of not showing up to practice and holding his team down. He wasn’t portrayed as a team player.
He reportedly said the word: practice, some 20 plus times in that press conference.
Dumars, in another ESPN.com article was quoted saying, “He brings a certain stature with him that only a handful of guys in this league can bring.”
So, the question is, along the sides of Rick (Rip) Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince, can Iverson make Detroit a move to remember by being the Answer they need to get that Championship ring for the first time since 2004. This is something he has been trying to do since entering the league in 1996.