David Stern and ESPN Have Destroyed Allen Iverson's Career

Jake TannerContributor IAugust 13, 2010

There has been some talk going on that there is a conspiracy against Allen Iverson, how is that a 38 year old Shaq with a huge ego get signed to a Boston team that just reached the Finals last year and a 35 year old Allen Iverson isn't even mentioned?, how is it that a banged up Jermaine O'Neal who lost a step 3 years ago also signed to that team?? How is it that a injury prone Tracy McGrady who has played just 65 games in two seasons is on a team and Allen Iverson can't even get an offer? Something is up, there is definitely a conspiracy against Allen Iverson and it didn't just start this off season its been going on for about 2 years now.

We all know Allen Iverson has been hated by the leagues executives, ESPN, other media outlets and David Stern ever since he entered the league, they didn't like the tattoos, hip-hop culture that he brought to the league. But they made millions of dollars off of him because he was the best player in the league in the early 00's and was the most popular player since Michael Jordan.

He was a trend setter and David Stern didn't like the trends he set, here was a guy who was told he would make millions of dollars and be an icon if he followed the plan the league had for him, he said screw that plan I will do it my way, then his way made him a bigger icon then the league would ever be able to. This pissed the league off even more, when the media would write wrong things about AI he would fire back at them telling them it was wrong.

Many say Stern has a lot of control over ESPN and a lot of media members respect him. He can easily have them write what he wants about AI, the writers on NBA.com have never said something positive about Iverson. We all know how ESPN purposely keeps AI off of historical reminders on National TV, but one the day he announced his brief retirement last season the poll question was: What will you remember Allen Iverson for? a.) Hall Of Famer, b.) His Practice Rant. Are you kidding me, why aren't the choices the greatest little man ever? one of the greatest scorers ever? one of the 25 greatest players to ever play the game? Disgusting how they did that.

Yes Iverson was wrong to talk like that about practice, but there are athletes that did many worse things and nobody was reminded of those things when they retired. Once they finished the disgusting segment on Iverson they said "Now on to players who are on NBA rosters". Wow. 

The media hates Iverson, they are the ones that are brainwashing people into thinking he has slowed down and needs to accept a reduced role, they are the ones that are saying teams should stay away from him. This brainwashes ignorant basketball fans into thinking AI is some scrub that needs to come off the bench, the media can destroy a player easily and you shouldn't always believe whats out there. The great Tupac Shakur once said "Don't ever fall for the medias tricks". These are clever people who can control the audience and force them to think one way. 

Throughout the league all the executives are good friends with each other and with Stern, it is not hard for Stern to send out a memo to these guys telling them to stay away from Iverson. These are the same guys that vote players onto All-NBA teams by the way and the same guys that get to vote for the awards at the end of the season.

In 2007-08 with the Denver Nuggets Iverson had one of his best years ever, he played in all 82 games and averaged 26.4 PPG on just 18 shots per game, 7.2 apg, 2.2 spg and shot a career high 46% from the field, he did this on a 50 win Denver Nuggets team. Aside from Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson was arguably the second best guard in the league that year and his stats show it. 

Since Kobe Bryant was the obvious pick for SG on the All-NBA First team and Chris Paul was having a magical season finishing 2nd in MVP voting next to Bryant, Iverson should have either barley got that guard spot on the first team or been a lock for 2nd team worst case scenario for Iverson he is a guard on the third team. Guess what happened? Iverson didn't make any of the teams!!. Disgusting. This was clearly done purposely, Iverson had one of his best seasons of the decade and he was left off the All-Nba teams. This was clearly the executives black balling AI, he should have been recognized that year but that season was forgotten.

Then when selection time for the 2008 USA Mens Basketball team that would play in the Olympics in Beijing came, every all-star was invited except Allen Iverson. The media wrote about how AI didn't deserve it because of the 04 Olympics teams disappointing bronze medal finish, even though AI played better then everyone on that 04 team he was blamed for the failure. Iverson talked about how he would have loved to be on that team because he would be able to take his family to the Olympics for the summer, bond with his wife, stay away from the nightlife in Atlanta in the off season and stay focused on basketball while trying to win a gold medal for his country. It was sad to see AI left off that team. It was obvious black balling.

Iverson was frustrated with the league and in 2009 at the All-Star break he was asked about NBA Cares and how he feels about the things the league is doing to clean the image up his response: 

"Fake," said the 10-time all-star who plays for the Detroit Pistons.

Iverson went on to say that he prefers the cameras not be around when he helps others less fortunate than him.

"I just look forward to doing it. I don't need all the publicity that comes with it. I don't need that. When it's time for me to get toward that gate, either He [is] gonna say, 'Come in,' or He [is] gonna say, 'Turn around.' And a camera won't decide whether I get in or not."

 "I've done a lot of good things in my life and done a lot of bad things in my life so I don't know. I hope the good things outweigh the bad things. I'm damn sure I don't want to go to hell."

This may have killed AI's career, he spoke his mind and what he is saying is kind of true but he shouldn't have said it, the league already hated him enough and was starting to ignore him and destroy him and these comments may have sealed the deal for him. That All-Star game he played just 15 minutes, the media destroyed AI and all of a sudden blamed him for Detroit's failed season, two weeks after this Coach Curry sent Iverson to the bench. That off season one team wanted Iverson, the Grizzlies and even they knew he wasn't accepting a bench role so they brought him in and sent him to the bench. Stern may have called for this after Iverson's comments and since then everything has been downhill.

The problem with those comments was Iverson was making himself look bigger then the league and bigger then the organizations in the league. Stern didn't like that, had Iverson made those comments any other year before that then they would probably let it slide but in Detroit people were already saying he had lost a step because of the media, even though he was averaging about 18 ppg and 6 apg and taking just 14 shots per game. Stern had a golden opportunity to banish AI from the league and he took advantage of it. 

Iverson was bashed by the media in the last year more then any NBA player, he was labelled a cancerous washed up scrub who needed to play a reduced role. Even though he took a month and a half off from basketball and came back out of NBA shape with an injured knee. He made that Sixers squad better, he averaged 14 ppg on just 10 shots a night in just 29 mpg and the media wrote it as a bad season for AI and said he quit on the Sixers even though his daughter was ill.

Now Iverson is training harder then ever in Atlanta, the media is still writing him off and preventing him from getting on a team, Stern might even be telling teams to stay away from AI, that is why he has no interest. I mean come on, a former MVP, 4 time scoring champion.... I could go on and on about the things AI has done it would take me an article but the guy is a first ballot hall of famer and he can't get an offer?

What really ticks me off is they put up Iverson's picture on NBA.com, headline his name like they are going to talk about him instead they add insult to injury by writing this:

"• Shaquille O'Neal is signed. McGrady is signed. Jermaine O'Neal is signed. Just when you thought it couldn't get more awkward for Iverson."

Is that a slight at AI? I can just see all the writers reading that article and getting what he is trying to say, they are the ones that made it awkward for Iverson. Allen Iverson probably won't get signed this year and will retire before the season starts, it truly can't get more awkward for Iverson.

It is clear David Stern, ESPN and other media outlets teamed up and black balled Allen Iverson. Throughout his whole career AI was the player that could beat a team all by himself, but sadly there was one team he couldn't take on by himself and that was David Stern and the media. They destroyed him.