IVERSON FINALLY DOES IT

Discuss anything related to Golden State Warriors basketball here

Moderators: Mr. Crackerz, JREED, Guybrush, hobbes

User avatar
All Star
Posts: 3086
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:58 pm
NO AI. At all. Unless we don't move Baron OR J-Rich. I'm willing to give up Ellis, Pietrus, Dunleavy, Murphy, Barnes... and all the crappy players. No touching Baron, J-Rich, or Ike. Yes, Ike.
User avatar
Role Player
Posts: 450
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:05 pm
Location: san jose
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:07 pm
John Patrick wrote:NO AI. At all. Unless we don't move Baron OR J-Rich. I'm willing to give up Ellis, Pietrus, Dunleavy, Murphy, Barnes... and all the crappy players. No touching Baron, J-Rich, or Ike. Yes, Ike.

trade Monta i wouldnt do that
This is the year

Role Player
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:58 pm
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:27 pm
John Patrick wrote:NO AI. At all. Unless we don't move Baron OR J-Rich. I'm willing to give up Ellis, Pietrus, Dunleavy, Murphy, Barnes... and all the crappy players. No touching Baron, J-Rich, or Ike. Yes, Ike.


so "all the crappy players" would include the unmentioned Biedrins :roll:

Plus Ellis is god and you can't give up religion
Image
User avatar
All Star
Posts: 3086
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:30 pm
Ellis is good, but he's more expendable than Ike. Sorry.

I forgot to add Biedrins to the "untouchables" list, my bad.
User avatar
Franchise Player
Posts: 9202
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:07 pm
Location: Land of the Lacob.
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:00 pm
AI is not the answer. Well, he is in terms of his nickname, but he is not the answer for the Warriors needs. What does Iverson bring to the table you ask? Here's a good article on AI from today's paper.

Contra Costa Times
Sports
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Gary Peterson, Times columnist

Iverson's not the Warriors' answer

THE WARRIORS ARE going to to trade Jason Richardson to Philadelphia as part of a package to acquire Allen Iverson. No, wait, it's going to be Baron Davis and Adonal Foyle. Hang on a minute, they're going to send Troy Murphy to Chicago as part of a three-way deal.

Geez, it's so hard to keep up. Every time you refresh your browser (so to speak), there's another scenario under which the Warriors are going to pry the disgruntled Iverson away from the 76ers.

This just in: Iverson for Warriors media relations executive Raymond Ridder and a bag of the old/new leather basketballs.

One way or the other, it's going to happen. It makes too much sense. It's time for Iverson and the 76ers to part ways. Plus, the Warriors are dying for a guy who can handle the ball, run the floor, and distribute. Check that. They've got Baron Davis.

But they can certainly use a fearless shooter, a guy who's 90 percent right elbow and 10 percent conscience. Oh, right. Jason Richardson.

How about a charismatic headstrong leader, someone who's convinced he invented the game? OK, you've got a point. They already have Don Nelson. And in Nellie's case, he's half right.

Apparently there are only two reasons for the Warriors to trade for Iverson: One, because he's there --- which would be the same problematic logic that led them to J.B. Carroll, Chris Washburn, Ralph Sampson, Billy Owens, and Chris Webber. And two, having Allen Iverson, Barry Bonds, and Randy Moss in the same sports market.

Which is another way of saying that this might not be such a good idea after all.

In fact, maybe this is really a bad idea, its appeal based strictly on emotion, with players all across the NBA (hello, Kevin Garnett) ooohing and ahhhing over how cool it would be to play with Iverson. When Davis was asked about the prospect of sharing a backcourt with Iverson, he responded what you might call enthusiastically: "Awesome. What more can you say? That'd be awesome."

It's emotional, too, on the part of fans from all corners of the league imagining that the 90 seconds of highlights they see of Iverson each week, multiplied by 82 games over six months, would be fun on a stick.

Even though the last refresh has Iverson costing the Warriors Thunder, three hot dog launchers and the rights to Tim Roye.

How would Iverson make the Warriors better? Under this withering scrutiny the whole premise collapses. What ails the Warriors isn't the lack of a ball-dominating, shot-hoisting, one-headed ensemble. Been there (John Starks, Larry Hughes, Gilbert Arenas). Doing that (Davis).

Iverson has the skills, sure enough. He's the NBA's leading scorer at 31.2 points per game. He's had 45 and 46 points in the past month. His career high is 60. Thing is, a decent team doesn't need someone to bag 60 --- or even 45-plus --- on a regular basis in order to win. Whereas Iverson, we can safely assume at this point, is going to feel the need to go off on a fairly regular basis whether his team needs it or not.

And here we get to the heart of the matter. The Warriors don't need a player of Iverson's ilk, someone who sees the word through I-colored glasses. He's the guy who once said, "How the hell can I make my team better by practice?" Think he's rethought that position?

Iverson is the guy who, as he awaited arrest on firearms and assault chargers, held a conspicious all-night party at his mansion. Think he's found his inner Richie Cunningham since then?

Iverson once recorded a rap album that included lewd and defamatory lyrics about women. Think he's in a better place now?

Whatever Iverson might do for the Warriors tactically --- hey, maybe he and Davis would indeed be awesome, though the smarter money is on, "Not so fast, World B." --- he would arrive towing a big circus wagon behind him. He would be the biggest move Chris Mullin has made as the Warriors' general manager.

But if he couldn't or wouldn't get along with Nelson, he would undo Mullin's best move as GM.

Beyond that, he's got 10 years of NBA bumping and grinding on his 165-pound body. He is owed $40 million through the end of the 2008-2009 season --- come to think of it, isn't every NBA player? --- and to repeat, his history is one of putting what's right for himself above what's right for the team.

Not to mention the latest buzz, which has him costing the Warriors the 11 players of their choice and one of Sarunas Marciulionis' old tiedyed Lithuania Olympic team T-shirts.

Would you give the shirt off your back for a guy who sees no value in practice? There's your answer.

So to speak.
User avatar
All Star
Posts: 3086
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:05 pm
That's a good article, and plus two Iverson is getting older.
User avatar
Starting Lineup
Posts: 772
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:21 am
Location: SOCAL
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:12 am
Here is a trade scenario that would work from Realgm that I was toying with:

Golden State Trade Breakdown

Outgoing

Mike Dunleavy
6-8 SF from Duke
11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg in 31.9 minutes

Adonal Foyle
6-10 C from Colgate
4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.4 apg in 23.7 minutes

Troy Murphy
6-11 PF from Notre Dame
14.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.4 apg in 34.0 minutes

Baron Davis
6-3 PG from UCLA
17.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.9 apg in 36.6 minutes

Incoming

Allen Iverson
6-0 PG from Georgetown
33.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.4 apg in 43.0 minutes

Samuel Dalembert
6-11 C from Seton Hall
7.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.4 apg in 26.7 minutes

Willie Green
6-2 SG from Detroit Mercy
7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 15.3 minutes

Steven Hunter
7-0 C from DePaul
6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.3 apg in 19.1 minutes
Change in team outlook: +5.5 ppg, -8.0 rpg, and -5.0 apg

Successful Scenario
Due to Golden State and Philadelphia being over the cap, the 25% trade rule is invoked. Golden State and Philadelphia had to be no more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary given out for the trade to be accepted, which did happen here. This trade satisfies the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This season is not a flop.
User avatar
Role Player
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:27 pm
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:16 am
loyaltyisacurse wrote:Here is a trade scenario that would work from Realgm that I was toying with:

Golden State Trade Breakdown

Outgoing

Mike Dunleavy
6-8 SF from Duke
11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg in 31.9 minutes

Adonal Foyle
6-10 C from Colgate
4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.4 apg in 23.7 minutes

Troy Murphy
6-11 PF from Notre Dame
14.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.4 apg in 34.0 minutes

Baron Davis
6-3 PG from UCLA
17.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.9 apg in 36.6 minutes

Incoming

Allen Iverson
6-0 PG from Georgetown
33.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.4 apg in 43.0 minutes

Samuel Dalembert
6-11 C from Seton Hall
7.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.4 apg in 26.7 minutes

Willie Green
6-2 SG from Detroit Mercy
7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 15.3 minutes

Steven Hunter
7-0 C from DePaul
6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.3 apg in 19.1 minutes
Change in team outlook: +5.5 ppg, -8.0 rpg, and -5.0 apg

Successful Scenario
Due to Golden State and Philadelphia being over the cap, the 25% trade rule is invoked. Golden State and Philadelphia had to be no more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary given out for the trade to be accepted, which did happen here. This trade satisfies the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.



Too good for the warriors. Won't happen.
User avatar
All Star
Posts: 2558
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:53 am
Location: where you aren't
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:29 am
loyaltyisacurse wrote:Here is a trade scenario that would work from Realgm that I was toying with:

Golden State Trade Breakdown

Outgoing

Mike Dunleavy
6-8 SF from Duke
11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg in 31.9 minutes

Adonal Foyle
6-10 C from Colgate
4.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.4 apg in 23.7 minutes

Troy Murphy
6-11 PF from Notre Dame
14.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.4 apg in 34.0 minutes

Baron Davis
6-3 PG from UCLA
17.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.9 apg in 36.6 minutes

Incoming

Allen Iverson
6-0 PG from Georgetown
33.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.4 apg in 43.0 minutes

Samuel Dalembert
6-11 C from Seton Hall
7.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.4 apg in 26.7 minutes

Willie Green
6-2 SG from Detroit Mercy
7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 apg in 15.3 minutes

Steven Hunter
7-0 C from DePaul
6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.3 apg in 19.1 minutes
Change in team outlook: +5.5 ppg, -8.0 rpg, and -5.0 apg

Successful Scenario
Due to Golden State and Philadelphia being over the cap, the 25% trade rule is invoked. Golden State and Philadelphia had to be no more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary given out for the trade to be accepted, which did happen here. This trade satisfies the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

we'd be fleecing the sixers
ImageImage
User avatar
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21382
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Perth
Poster Credit: 27
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:45 am
dareedle wrote:There are several reasons why I would include Ellis for AI. First, they are the same player (a small 2 guard that shoots a lot). Second, by picking up AI we can unload a bad contract (Murphy, Dunleavy, Richardson) and if King is smoking Foyle. Third, we can't afford Ellis without getting rid of contracts. Nobody wanted Murphy this last pre-season. Fourth, it is easier to pick up a good perimeter player with a late first round, second round pick (Arenas, Ginolbio, Parker, Ellis, Sprewell). Fifth, it is highly unlikely we will sign Ellis for less than 8-10 per year. Finally, I think AI is actually a decent free throw shooter. With a plethora of good teams in the Western Conference, it is essential the Warriors have a go to player for the fourth quarter or we will continue to get the lousy 9-11th pick of the draft.




The thing is - Will JRich be as good next to Iverson as he is next to Baron. As much of a good passer as Iverson is, Baron is a better paser that makes talented teammates better while Iverson, from past history, does not! Stackhouse, Jimmy Jackson and other talented guards have not done as well next to Iverson. That is the big risk and the reason why I don't want him right now
Image



Image


migya make the ring fall on ya
User avatar
Hall of Famer
Posts: 18461
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:48 am
Location: Somewhere in this site...
Poster Credit: -4
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:51 am
migya wrote:Baron is a better paser that makes talented teammates better


I don't agree much. He's more of a classic PG than AI... but Jamal Mashburn always played better (much better, in fact) when Baron was injured.

And I've always thought that J-Rich also plays better without Baron in the lineup.
User avatar
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21382
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Perth
Poster Credit: 27
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:53 am
John Patrick wrote:NO AI. At all. Unless we don't move Baron OR J-Rich. I'm willing to give up Ellis, Pietrus, Dunleavy, Murphy, Barnes... and all the crappy players. No touching Baron, J-Rich, or Ike. Yes, Ike.




But that wouldn't fit anyway!

Your looking at Iverson, Baron and JRich coexisting? Just won't work! Has to be Iverson, one other star and some very good role players, that's what the sixers don't have (Webber is no second star)
Image



Image


migya make the ring fall on ya
User avatar
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21382
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Perth
Poster Credit: 27
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:59 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:Baron is a better paser that makes talented teammates better


I don't agree much. He's more of a classic PG than AI... but Jamal Mashburn always played better (much better, in fact) when Baron was injured.

And I've always thought that J-Rich also plays better without Baron in the lineup.



Baron showed how much better he makes a team when he first arrived on the team and without him (other than this season), the team has been quite rotten. He throws up alot of shots but knows how to setup others nicely.

With so many young guys on the team, a major change in PG could have a detrimental effect and that is a reason to stay the hell away from this
Image



Image


migya make the ring fall on ya
User avatar
All Star
Posts: 2558
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:53 am
Location: where you aren't
Poster Credit: 0
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:18 am
man, this must be about the quickest 2000 views a thread has ever gotten in this forum.
ImageImage

All Star
Posts: 2804
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:46 pm
Poster Credit: 7
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:13 am
Another viewpoint on AI:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/st ... d=tab4pos2


By Bill Simmons
Page 2


When my Clippers season tickets arrive every October, I grab the accompanying schedule, head over to our kitchen calendar and write down the following nine teams and their corresponding dates on the schedule:

CELTS, CAVS, SUNS, SPURS, MAVS, LAKERS, MIAMI, MINNESOTA, PHILLY.



Al Bello/Getty Images
Even back in his Georgetown days, everyone knew AI would be a star.Those are the only must-see Clipper opponents for me. Two of the teams are self-explanatory: Boston (my favorite team) and Cleveland (LeBron, who's worth seeing even if he might coast through the game). The other seven teams feature players who can't be fully appreciated until you see them live: Duncan (the consummate pro), Dirk (one of a kind), KG (criminally intense), Kobe (the best scorer alive), Nash (the perfect offensive point guard), Wade (the closest thing to MJ since MJ) and Iverson (for reasons about to be explained).

With those seven players, your ticket guarantees you a professional, first-class performance, no different than reservations at a particularly good restaurant or hotel. They always deliver the goods. Always. Now it looks like one of them might be switching teams: Iverson, the relentless Philly scorer who could be shipped out of town as soon as today. Three Saturdays ago, I watched him finish 12-for-31 in an overtime loss to the Clips, hampered by Quinton Ross' defense and an atrocious group of teammates who couldn't assume any of the scoring burden. You could tell it was only a matter of time. He was going to snap at some point.

Know what else? He still played his ass off. Breathtaking to watch as always, Iverson remains the quickest guard on the planet, one of the few who routinely draws "oohs and ahhs" from the Staples Center crowd. Although he's noticeably smaller in person (no taller than 5-foot-11), Iverson attacks the basket in waves, almost like an undersized running back ramming into the line of scrimmage for four or five yards a pop (think Emmitt Smith). He takes implausible angles on his drives -- angles that can't be seen as they're unfolding, even if you've been watching him for 10 years -- and drains an obscene number of layups and floaters in traffic. And he still plays with a "f--- you!" intensity that only KG and Kobe can match (although MJ remains the king of this category). There isn't a more intimidating player in the league.

Yup, even after 10 punishing seasons, even on an off-night slumming for a crappy team, Allen Iverson is still worth seeing. And now that he's about to be traded -- about six months too late, by the way -- I've been astonished by the lack of respect for his abilities in so many written and spoken reports. Writers and talking heads keep painting Iverson as a past-his-prime, banged-up head case who can't guard anyone, a significant risk with sizable baggage, someone who's too selfish to coexist with quality players. There's a generational twinge to the anti-Iverson coverage, pushed by media folks in their 40s, 50s and 60s who can't understand his generation and don't seem interested in trying. Most media members would rather mention his infamous aversion to practice (overrated over the years) above describing the incredible thrill of seeing him in person.

Well, ask yourself one question: How could a coach-killer who allegedly monopolizes the ball, hates to practice and can't sublimate his game double as one of the most revered, respected players in the league? Why did the ex-players on "NBA Coast To Coast" (Anthony, Legler and Barry) trade Iverson war stories last night like they were trading stories about Keyser Söze? Why are Philly fans overwhelmingly heartbroken that he's leaving town? How can anyone blame Iverson for anything when he's been saddled with an incompetent front office and decidedly mediocre supporting cast for the past decade?

Consider the following:

Fact: He played with only two All-Stars in Philly (Theo Ratliff in 2001 and the soon-to-be-decrepit Dikembe Mutombo in 2002), as well as a host of overpaid role players (Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, Kyle Korver, Kenny Thomas, Marc Jackson, Brian Skinner, Greg Buckner, Tyrone Hill, George Lynch, Corliss Williamson), overpaid underachievers (Derrick Coleman, Keith Van Horn, Sam Dalembert, Joe Smith), overpaid and washed-up veterans (Todd MacCulloch, Toni Kukoc, Chris Webber, Glenn Robinson, Matt Geiger, Billy Owens), and underachieving lottery picks (Jerry Stackhouse, Tim Thomas, Larry Hughes).

Fact: Other than Mutombo, Iverson's four best teammates were Coleman (the signature head case of the 1990s), Stackhouse (a selfish scorer who's been traded three times), Ratliff (a shotblocker with no offensive skills) and Andre Igoudala (a talented athlete who hasn't improved in two years).

Fact: Since Larry Brown left in 2003, he's played for four coaches in four years (Randy Ayers, Chris Ford, Jim O'Brien and Mo Cheeks)

Fact: Thanks to the C-Webb trade and their botched salary cap, the Sixers can't trade for an impact guy unless they keep rolling the dice with somebody else's problem ... a strategy that hasn't worked for them in five years.

Can you blame A.I. for wanting out? Hell, no. That's why we're knee-deep into one of the weirdest weeks in recent NBA history -- Philly effectively putting a future Hall of Famer on eBay for a three-day auction, with a trade expected to be consummated any second -- and I'm not sure anyone fully understands the ramifications here. This isn't just any All-Star player. This could be the basketball bargain of the decade.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Here's what you get if you trade for Allen Iverson ...

• One of the best 30 players of all-time, a future Hall of Famer, a ferocious competitor and someone who's still in his prime as an offensive player (thanks to multiple rule changes that made it impossible to contain quicker guards who can beat players off the dribble). He's good for 30-35 a night. Pencil it in.



Mychal Watts/WireImage.com
Iverson brought his killer crossover and his bling to the NBA.• One of the most influential African-American athletes in sports history, a true trendsetter who single-handedly pushed the NBA into the hip-hop era (whether the league was ready or not).

• One of the most fascinating, complex athletes of my lifetime: a legendary partier and devoted family man; a loyal teammate who shoots too much; a featherweight who carries himself like a heavyweight; an intimidating competitor who's always the smallest guy on the court; an ex-con with a shady entourage who also happens to be one of the most intuitive, self-aware, articulate superstars in any sport. If I could pick any current athlete to spend a week with for a magazine feature, I would pick Allen Iverson. This is an absolutely fascinating guy, in every respect.

And if you can't get excited to follow him on your favorite team, seriously, stop following sports right now. You'll get 2-3 memorable seasons from him (maybe more). You'll have a chance to beat anyone on any given night. He's worth the risk as long as your team doesn't mortgage its entire future for him, which would be foolish because of his onerous contract ($40 million owed in the two seasons after this one), the number of miles on his odomoter (significant) and his value dipping from a curious lack of interest from most teams -- which would be more curious if 75-80 percent of those teams weren't poorly run.

Still not sold? Remember four points over everything else:

1. Philly isn't dealing Iverson because he's washed up. They're dealing him because Billy King did a preposterously bad job building this team and antagonized his only real asset in the process. Big difference. King even choked last summer when he could have landed Carlos Boozer and Boston's No. 7 pick for Iverson, choosing instead to bring the Answer back for another, inevitably frustrating season (and killing much of his trade value in the process). Not only should Sixers season-ticket holders be outraged, they should figure out a way to sue this team for negligence. Iverson should have retired as a Sixer; it's not happening because King stinks at his job. These are the facts.

2. There's an eerie precedent here: Charles Barkley's situation deteriorated in the same city for the same reasons (he was too much of a handful, he was tired of losing, they had saddled him with too many below-average supporting cast members, their GM sucked just as much). Just like Barkley in '92, he's one of those overlooked veteran stars who finishes every All-Star Game, commands respect from his peers and watched his value artificially decline because he spent too many seasons on too many bad teams. Just like Barkley, Iverson has something significant left in the tank and desperately needs a change of scenery. And just like Barkley, he's about to become the dollar in the proverbial "three quarters for a dollar" trade ... which never works when you're the team getting the three quarters.

3. Trades always rejuvenate great players, especially if they left their old team under bad terms. Just in the past few years, we saw this happen with Shaq in Miami, Nash in Phoenix and Kidd in Jersey. Give an elite player something to prove and he usually ends up proving it. Barkley remains the most famous example because he celebrated the trade by becoming the dominant non-MJ player on the first Dream Team, then ripping through the league in Phoenix, winning an MVP and nearly winning a title. Could this happen with Iverson? Absolutely. He's that good.

4. Just like there will never be another Barkley, there will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER be another Iverson. In fact, here's the short list of players from the post-Russell era who will never be seen again for genetic or physical reasons, all of whom can be identified with one name:

Bird + Magic: For obvious reasons.

Mokeski: Ditto.

Barkley: A 6-foot-4 power forward with a weight problem who somehow doubled as a dominant rebounder and low-post player, as well as the greatest runaway train on fast breaks there ever was. Nobody took a charge from Barkley from 1985 through 1996. It never happened. Nobody ever caused more players to cower for their lives than Barkley on a fast break.

Nimphius: Imagine Jon Bon Jovi's middle part from the "Wanted: Dead or Alive" tour merged with George Clooney's extended mullet from "The Facts of Life."

Gervin: I just can't see anyone else scoring 30-40 a night on bank shots, runners and finger rolls when he's 6-foot-8 and about 110 pounds. He was skinnier than a supermodel. Incredible to watch in person.

McHale: A genetic freak. When will we see another 6-foot-11 forward with his low-post moves, shot-blocking skills and arms that are six inches too long for his body who was able to dominate games while wearing Richard Simmons' shorts? If his feet hadn't betrayed him, he could have played until he was 45. I will always believe this.

Maravich: For reasons that can't be adequately described in a single paragraph. He's in my top five for "Athletes who most desperately need an HBO Sports documentary about them."

Kareem: I just don't see anyone replicating the skyhook in my lifetime. Or his general ninnyness.



Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Bo doesn't know how to drive the lane like AI.
Iverson: Other than Bo Jackson, the most incredible athlete I've ever watched in person.

Well, why aren't more people mentioning that last point this week?

You really think somebody THIS GIFTED could be washed up in the next two years? He has better balance than everyone else. He's more coordinated than everyone else. He's faster than everyone else. He's feistier than anyone else. He takes a superhuman pounding and keeps getting up. He's an athletic freak. Iverson could have been an unbelievable soccer player. He could have been a world-class boxer and a remarkable defensive center fielder and base stealer. He could have picked his sport in track and field and competed for an Olympic spot. I can't fathom how much ground he could have covered on a tennis court. We already know that he was one of the greatest high school quarterbacks in Virginia history. And I don't care how much partying he's done, how much of a pounding he's taken over the years, how big a posse he has, how difficult he's been at times ... you can't change somebody's genetic makeup. He's not even close to being washed up.

More importantly, could you go to war with him? Would you want him out there in the last five minutes of a Game 7? Could he carry a good team and make it great? If one of your guys got slammed into a basket support on a drive, would he be the first guy who ran over to get in the offending player's face? Would the other team's fans be terrified of him every time he had the ball? Would he come through when it mattered?

Would you really bet against Allen Iverson?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



There's another aspect to Iverson's brilliance, something the ESPN guys tried to describe last night: Quite simply, he's the most menacing player in the league. There's just something different about him, a darker edge that the other stars don't have. Once I was sitting midcourt at the Fleet Center when Iverson was whistled for a technical, yelped in disbelief, then followed the referee toward the scorer's table and screamed, "[Bleep] you!" at the top of his lungs. The official whirled around and pulled his whistle toward his mouth for a second technical.


THURSDAY'S NFL PICK
Simmons: SEATTLE -10



Sports Gal: San Fran +10


And I swear on my daughter's life, the following moment happened: As the official started to blow the whistle, Iverson's eyes widened and he moved angrily toward the official, almost like someone getting written up for a parking ticket who decides it would just be easier to punch out the meter maid. For a split-second, there was real violence in the air. Of course, the rattled official lowered his whistle and never called the second T. By sheer force of personality, Iverson kept himself in the game.

Look, I'm not condoning what happened. It was a frightening moment. At the same time, I haven't seen a player bully a referee like that before or since. And that goes back to the "seeing him in person" thing. Iverson plays with a compelling, hostile, bloodthirsty energy that the other players just don't have. He's relentless in every sense of the word. He's a warrior. He's an alpha dog. He's a tornado. He's so fast and coordinated that it genuinely defies description. He's just crazy enough that officials actually cower in his presence. And none of this makes total sense unless you've seen him.

Now Philly is holding a freaking tag sale for him, replete with a leverage-killing deadline and a "40% OFF -- EVERYTHING MUST GO!" sign. Since one of the worst GMs of the decade (King) will decide where he goes, it's impossible to predict what will happen. Just know these four things.

First, as soon as this trade happens, Iverson will play out of his mind coming out of the gate, followed by a series of stories and features from his new teammates saying things like "I can't believe how good this guy is" and "He's completely transformed this team, we think we have a chance to win every night now," followed by the Sixers fans flipping out and demanding King's departure. I wish there was a way to wager on this scenario in Vegas. I can't believe softer contenders like the Magic, Nets or even the Mavs have underestimated the undeniable force of his personality, the potential of his crunch-time scoring if there were other scoring threats on the court, or even the fury he'll unleash on a new team. He will practically KILL HIMSELF trying to haunt the Sixers over the next three season. Mark my words.



Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
Hey, Isiah ... here's your Answer right here.
Second, in the ironies of ironies, Isiah Thomas kept stockpiling dreadfully expensive contracts and waiting for a superstar tag sale, finally giving up this season and buying out Jalen Rose's deal. Now he probably could have had Iverson and C-Webb for Rose's expiring contract, Channing Frye, Nate Robinson, Marbury and the Bulls' pick. Classic. Even when Isiah isn't involved in a major story, he still comes off terribly.

Third, the best situation for Iverson should have been Minnesota, but the Timberwolves' own candidate for "Worst GM of the Decade" screwed up their roster to the point that they don't have enough appealing contracts/assets to make a respectable offer. Imagine Iverson and KG together? What a shame. Plus, King and McHale collaborating on a deal would have been practically historic, like seeing Frankie Muniz trying to post up Haley Joel Osment in a celebrity game. We were cheated here.

And fourth, the teams that match up best happen to be the teams I know best: the Celtics and Clippers. For three years, Boston has been stockpiling assets and waiting for someone like Iverson to become available. Now they could probably get him for Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green (that part would kill me), their 2007 No. 1 and Theo Ratliff's corpse, er, contract (which expires in 2008) and make immediate noise in an awful conference. Remember, in a league where only a few teams have more than one good perimeter defender, the Celtics could exploit matchups every night by playing Iverson and Pierce at the same time. I also believe those guys would refine their games to make room for the other, because that's what stars do when they hit their 30s -- they sacrifice shots for a chance to win, whether you're talking about Shaq in Miami, Aguirre in Detroit, Monroe on the Knicks, Stackhouse on the Mavs, etc.). This could work.

On the other hand, they won't compete for a title with Doc Rivers at the helm for the same reasons that "Bobby" won't get an Oscar nomination with Emilio Estevez as director. But the struggling Clippers could compete with Iverson AND have the assets to acquire him (some combination of Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Cuttino Mobley, expiring contracts, their own No. 1 pick and/or Minnesota's No. 1 pick, even the rights to the Greek center who looked great in the World Championships last summer). They need him and he needs them. It's the logical destination.

For the Celtics, Iverson provides instant credibility, some headlines and maybe even some playoff wins. For the Clippers, Iverson provides a legitimate chance at the 2007 championship. For me, he becomes a bigger part of my life -- a chance to follow a once-a-year treat on a nightly basis, either on television with my favorite team or in person with the team that plays 20 minutes from my house. Either way, I can't lose. Well, unless he goes somewhere else. And that's when I FedEx a turd sandwich to Billy King.

In the meantime, we should be celebrating this moment: A truly great player getting ready to plug himself into the Juvenation Machine. Maybe it doesn't matter where Allen Iverson ends up, just that he's going somewhere at all.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His book "Now I Can Die In Peace" is available in paperback.
PreviousNext

Return to Warriors Basketball

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests

cron