Allen Iverson spent 14 seasons being the most feared player in the league. Listed at 6'0", if Iverson had been any other player, he would have been overlooked by almost everyone.
But instead, Iverson become the man everyone was circling on their scout sheets. The player every coach feared to go up against, because he had more heart and desire to win than almost everyone.
It was something that at one point, was admired by everyone not only around the country, but the world.
Iverson became an icon for players to emulate. His incredibly physical and high-risk style of play was not only fun to watch, but fun to coach depending on the style.
His longest and most influential head coach, Larry Brown, was capable of channeling both his desire, heart, and ego.
An MVP award and trip to the NBA Finals later, many believed that Brown had succeeded. Boy, were we wrong.
After being traded to Denver, Iverson teamed up with the young and explosive Carmelo Anthony. Denver management believed that he was "The Answer" to their playoff woes.
Think again. Iverson was incapable of getting Denver out of the first round, and not long after his arrival, his ego began to go wild once again.
Then, Denver sent Iverson packing, bringing in Detroit (and Colorado native) Chauncey Billups, who nearly lifted the Nuggets to the NBA Finals.
The idea of Iverson's tenure in a Pistons uniform was doomed from the start. Detroit's history is made of complete team basketball, built upon a stiff defense and well-rounded offense.
Iverson changed everything.
Competing with already established guards Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton, Iverson was soon sent to the bench. The transition isn't nearly what Iverson had expected or wanted.
The Pistons began to implode.
A team that had reached the Eastern Conference finals for six straight seasons, including two Finals appearances and one title, failed to even make it out of the first round.
Iverson than continued his journey throughout the league, signing with Memphis just before training camp. That experiment barely lasted three games. He soon left the team for personal reasons with no time table for a return.
Little did the world know, there wouldn't be a return at all.
Allen Iverson, once the most intimidating 6-footer in the league, retired.
However, Iverson has stated that he still loves the game and has a desire to play. His retirement is looked upon by many as an immature statement to see if anyone will come calling.
Never in the history of sports could sports fanatics had imagined that having too much heart and desire could have been a bad thing.
In reality it's not, its the ego of someone that is unwilling to accept the fact of his decline, turning himself into a cancer.
Iverson will most likely go down as the best little guy in the history of the NBA. But he has tarnished his once-renowned name.
Can he still play the game? Without a doubt, but the man has lost a step. And until he realizes this, he will forever be sitting on his couch or in the stands, forced to be a spectator.
"The Answer" is no more.