The Allen Iverson Proper Retirement Movement

The guy was a former MVP and he stepped up as one of the league’s best players especially when the NBA is making a transition to do away with Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, and the other late 80’s to early 90’s guys.

I hated the fact that he had to retire after 29 teams snub him and 1 team, mediocre at best, picking him up only to demote him as a sub (nothing wrong with this except that he can still play). The Philadelphia acquisition is vital for AI’s legacy. Philly gained a packed arena while Iverson could have a legacy in the City of Brotherly Love.

In his first game back, he played against Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets. Anthony liked having Iverson as his teammate but his scoring increased when the Nuggets gave up Iverson for Chauncey Billups. At Detroit, Iverson suffered the biggest setback of his career – the savior destroyed the Pistons’ chemistry which led to this Eastern powerhouse’s downfall.

One horrific year was enough to make him an eyesore.

In his first game back wanted by the fans, he chipped in 11 points, five rebounds, and six assists but the Sixers squandered an 8-point second quarter lead to fall to Denver 93-83. Iverson played almost 38 minutes but could only sink four of his 11 shots. Actually, it was Denver’s bench that made the difference in the game outscoring the Sixers’ bench 29 to 2 (JR Smith had 11 while rookie Ty Lawson had 12).

The other AI, Andre Igoudala topscored for Philly with 31 points – the same points scored by Iverson’s Denver counterpart Billups who has become more of a playmaker than a scorer. This Billups’ game where he also led the Nuggets in rebounds (8) and assists (8).

Honestly, I wanted him for Boston. Inasmuch as I like the Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce and while I am a fan of Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins, I am not much of a fan of Rajon Rondo. Last season, part of me wanted Doc Rivers to trust on Stephon Marbury (Marbury didn’t re-sign because he thought there are teams out there that will still sign him). Add the fact that the Celtic development in the guard spot is the underachieving Marquis Daniels (although now he seems to be doing well), I just wanted some oomph off the bench.

Now Iverson will find it hard to win a championship with the players Philly has right now (reasons why they are down the standings), but Iverson’s ability to demand wins is what they lack right now. Iverson hates to not play and miss out so he endures health problems.

But while Iverson is humbled at this point, we can’t really know how the AI experiment would hold.

I just wish he lasts a season so that when his contract is up, he could easily retire without the words “unwanted” written near his image.

Game over.

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