It was November 5th, 2008... the campus was going crazy because of Obama's victory, everyone had their Obama shirts, blaring Young Jeezy's "My President" all through the halls. Classes were unofficially canceled because just about everyone seemed to shy away from the syllabus to talk about our new Commander-in-Chief. Eventually I decided to take a break from Obama coverage and turned on Sports Center and the top story "Allen Iverson is traded to the Detroit Pistons". I was shocked; who would do such a thing? It would never work, Iverson has just been Shaqqed (sent to a once contender who simply lost all hope of winning a title ie Shaq in PHX, Kidd in DAL).
I had hope for Denver, I thought that George Karl/West is simply stacked was the reason there wasn't success there but for Detroit, a team where if you are on the roster you guaranteed at least 3 shots a game it was clear that Iverson was not going to fit in there. I don't know what Joe Dumars was thinking.
So fast forward, Iverson is demoted to 7th man and is becoming more irate. Suddenly his back is bothering him more and he's shut down for the season, but not just the season, the entire playoffs. It's clear that the Pistons are past the Allen Iverson experiment so for A.I. it's "now what"?
Personally, I have always been a HUGE Iverson fan since the Georgetown days. It wasn't being like Mike: it was being like A.I. I grew the cornrows, always wanted to hit someone with the crossover and it was drive first pass later. Year after year, whenever it was clear that the Celtics weren't going all the way, next on the list was for A.I. to get that ring. I remember being excited after Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals, well until you know, reality set in. Little did I know that that was A.I.'s now or never and now he's likely to be headed to a) a non contender b) a good team in a limited role, or worse enough c) just going to be some team's expiring contract. I hate to see one of my favorite players go out like that, but in an era where the younger are developing quicker suddenly the 30+ is expendable.
As always, the draft will be loaded with young, talented guards so what team would take Iverson over [say a] Ty Lawson. Sure there's always the Knicks, but who wants to end their career bottoming out the standings. There's a possibility he could end up in a K.G. type scenario and join up with 2 other all stars and get a ring that way, but there's no guarantee with that one as well.
Iverson has gone on record to say when he feels that he is no longer one of the elite players in the league then he'll hang 'em up, Apparently, he still feels that he is, but the real question is does any team believe him?
At the end of the day, Iverson appears headed on that list with other greats without the hardware (unless somehow Detroit riding the Mich St. wave wins it all but that ring will be nothing more than a charity) and its sad because it was only a couple years ago he was being debated with the Kobe's and Jordan's. As an AI fan from day one, it's very sad that it had to end this way.