Friday, October 8, 2010

The Most Disrespected Soon to be NBA Hall of Famer Ever

By Waleo

Allen Iverson has put out his heart, passion, and emotion every time he stepped on a NBA court! And how did the NBA treat him? Dirty! Ever since A.I. was drafted out of Georgetown by the Philadelphia 76ers he was criticized by all. He’s too small, too selfish, and he’s not a leader. All of the questions and criticisms that were put out there were dismissed by the “Answer.” The league did not want him to be their face but kids, and adults in the hood or suburbs were still buying A.I. jerseys. Iverson, in his prime, made the NBA a lot of money by selling out arenas and hyping up ratings for the NBA. And how does the NBA reward him? I’ll tell you, with absolutely nothing. And I’ll tell you why.

Before I tell you why let me show you A.I. resume. Iverson is an 11 time NBA All-Star, two-time All-Star MVP, Rookie of the Year, MVP, and 4-time scoring champion. He was the first dude to make cornrows, tattoos, and the leg and arm sleeve cool in the NBA. Who do you think Melo, Lebron, and even Kobe got the tattoo image from? Allen Iverson has done a lot for the NBA. And look how the NBA repays him? They didn’t even give him a shot to be on the rebuilding Olympic Team.

How does one of the best players to ever play this game not get an invite to play on the “Redeem Team”? Doesn’t that seem a little disrespectful? Jerry Colangelo gave an excuse that the Olympic Basketball team was planning for the future but they put Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant on the team—two players, who were NBA veterans. A.I at the time wanted to be on the team and couldn’t even get an invite to tryouts. It’s like Bird or Barkley not being on the Dream Team. It really makes no sense. The NBA used A.I. like a dirty prostitute. Sure he didn’t have the clean upty image but he made them money and they loved him for it. But when A.I.’s jersey sales and image diminished the NBA felt like it was time to whore him out of the league.

As if the Olympics weren’t bad enough, the Detroit Pistons had him backing up Richard Hamilton in the 08-09 season (which was temporary, A.I. eventually started). Michael Curry misused A.I. and helped produce the image that A.I. was washed up. Then in the summer of 2009, the question was: Who was going to sign the Answer? Finally the Memphis Grizzlies stepped up and said they would give the Answer a shot. A.I. thought he would get a chance to start over Mike Conley Jr. Really? You think Conley Jr. is better than A.I. now at his current state? Anyway Conley Jr. started over the Answer and A.I. was duped. The Grizzles only wanted him to help sale Grizzlies’ merchandise and help put folks in the seats at FedExForum. The league used that prostitute/pimp personality. When A.I. was pissed with this blatant form of disrespect, he asked to be released by the Grizzlies and they did so. Thank you Memphis! MLK, Eight Ball and MJG, and Three Six Mafia were the only people/elements that Memphis had to offer. After that situation, A.I. played the waiting game. No team at the time had any interest in signing Iverson. My theory was because the media kept putting out negativity. A.I. can’t play team ball or A.I. has to be the man. Finally the 76ers came out and said they would sign the Answer to a one year deal. All seemed good. A.I. had an emotional and real press conference and was ready to rebuild his image. But in my opinion the answer didn’t need to rebuild squat.

When the Iverson came back to Philly he wasn’t that same cutthroat player. I remember watching A.I. in his second game back in Philly against the Detroit Pistons. It was 88-86 Detroit, and Philly had the ball. Iverson had the ball at the top of the key and passed the ball to Andre Iguodala for a three with six seconds left. Of course Iguodala missed but that wasn’t the Iverson that I know. The Iverson I know would have had an isolation play at the top of the key and broke somebody down for a pull up jump shot or take it to the basket for a high arching layup. All of that negative chatter forced Iverson to do the selfless thing instead of being that killer that we loved. I remember turning the TV off and saying to myself that the league has forced A.I. to conform. He has been humbled, and that is not what Allen Iverson is all about.

Now it’s the offseason and nobody is showing real interest for the Answer. He even thought of playing in China. In an Urban Sports Scene(click here for the episode) podcast I said that I wanted A.I. to play in China because the NBA doesn’t deserve to see him play again. And I stand by it. This man has giving the NBA his all and he can get acknowledge for it. Are you telling me that the Charlotte Bobcats couldn’t use Allen Iverson? Or even the Orlando Magic couldn’t use the heart and the determination of the Answer. There are so many teams out there that could use A.I. but they need to stop disrespecting his talents and make that move. A.I. if they don’t want you then it’s there loss. You’ve had a great career and it needs to be acknowledged and not disrespected!

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