Blog Entry

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

Posted on: April 3, 2009 5:04 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2009 5:48 pm

Allen Iverson doesn't need to worry about coming off the bench anymore. The four-time scoring champion and disgruntled bench warmer will miss the rest of the season due to what the Pistons described as ongoing back discomfort. But the discomfort for both sides clearly originates from an area a bit lower on the body.

Iverson in Detroit has been nothing but a pain in the ___ for both parties. Now, their brief and stormy marriage is over.

Britney Spears has had relationships longer than this.

It's come to a merciful end for A.I. and the Pistons, who never found any sort of common ground after Iverson was acquired from Denver in the Chauncey Billups trade.

UPDATE: Despite the wording of a Pistons news release that blames the decision to shut Iverson down on his back injury, a person with knowledge of the situation told that the decision also was related to Iverson's escalating rants about playing time and being removed from the starting lineup. And given Iverson's obvious dissatisfaction -- "I'm not happy. At all," he said recently -- the decision can obviously be described as mutual. 

The Iverson trade has been an unmitigated disaster, at least in the short term. Iverson couldn't play with Richard Hamilton or Rodney Stuckey, and he couldn't stomach coming off the bench after he returned from a back injury last week. He went so far as to unleash an impressive tirade after the Pistons lost to the Nets Wednesday night, saying he'd retire before he ever played a reserve role again.

Iverson's contract is up after the season, providing the Pistons with about $20 million in cap space. He turns 34 in June, three weeks before the start of free agency, and clearly won't be re-signing with the Pistons. Perhaps the only surer thing in NBA history was that Latrell Sprewell would never play for P.J. Carlesimo again.

Now, given Iverson's guarantee that he'll won't play again unless he's starting -- "That's 100 percent fact," he said -- you have to wonder whether A.I.'s wonderful, combustible, eventful career has come to an end after 13 seasons.

Here's the sanitized version from Pistons president Joe Dumars:

“After talking with Allen and our medical staff, we feel that resting Allen for the remainder of the season is the best course of action at this time,” Dumars said in a news release. “While he has played in our last three games, he is still feeling some discomfort and getting him physically ready to compete at the level he is accustomed to playing this late in the season does not seem possible at this point.”

UPDATE: Not only has the trade bombed for the Pistons, but Billups has been the key factor in elevating the Nuggets from their previous status as an inconsistent, immature pretender into a solid contender. Denver has a one-game lead on San Antonio and a 1 1-2 game lead on Houston for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Iverson finished the season averaging 17.5 points, by far the lowest of his career. The previous low came in his second season in the league, when he averaged 22.0 for Philadelphia in 1997-98. When Iverson's contract comes off the books, along with possibly Rasheed Wallace's $13.7 million, the Pistons will have more than $30 million in cap space to be allocated over the next two summers if they choose.

Aside from winning four scoring titles and leading the 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals (where they lost 4-1 to the Lakers), Iverson (6-feet) became the shortest player to attain two of the biggest individual accomplishments in the sport -- lead the league in scoring and win MVP. But as much as Iverson redefined the guard position with his explosiveness and durability, his individual accomplishments overshadowed team performance for much of his career. He clashed with numerous coaches -- most notable Larry Brown in Philly -- and his need to dominate the ball made it difficult to find complementary talent to pair with him. He enjoyed moderate success with Carmelo Anthony in Denver, but the closest he ever came to coexisting with a running mate was when he played with Toni Kukoc in Philadelphia. That didn't end well, either, as the Sixers eventually saw no recourse but to deactivate Iverson in December 2006 and trade him to the Nuggets along with throw-in Ivan McFarlin for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two first-round picks.

Ironically, Miller is leading the Sixers to their second straight playoff appearance without Iverson. The Pistons' announcement Friday that Iverson will miss the rest of the season came a little more than 24 hours before Iverson would've suffered the indignity of sitting on the bench in the arena he used to own; the Pistons are at Philly Saturday and face another must-win game at home Sunday against Charlotte, which is threatening to knock them out of the playoff picture. Smith is part of a Cleveland team that is a strong championship contender. And Billups, of course, appears to be orchestrating a long postseason run in Denver.

Iverson also will go down as the player who personified the introduction of hip-hop culture to the mainstream of the NBA. His tattoos, corn rows, and do-rags were a mainstay for more than a decade. Iverson, more than anybody, was the target of commissioner David Stern's decision to institute a dress code for players on league business in 2005. Iverson also drew Stern's ire for some distasteful rap lyrics, among other things.

Times have changed. Now the vast majority of players willingly wear suits on road trips, and even Iverson acquiesced recently when he shaved his trademark braids just before All-Star weekend. There's no telling whether he'll keep the new look when -- or if -- he ever surfaces again.

"I'm happy with my career and the things that I've done in my career," Iverson said this week. "If I hung 'em up today, I'm blessed."







Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: April 6, 2009 9:09 am

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)


"Did you Pistons fans really think the team would play well with AI right off the bat after YEARS of continuity with Chauncey Billups? The team is old news anyway; its all about Cleveland, Boston and Orlando in the East."





Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2009 5:19 pm

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

Iverson is a shell of his former self. He can't beat anyone off the dribble any more and he was never a great stand still shooter from outside (see his FG%) and has a propensity for taking ill advised shots. The pistons weren't going anywhere with him or without him in the playoffs, but AI Does have great value for the main reason the Pistons got him: to clear salary cap space after this year.


Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2009 1:49 pm

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

Are you seriously defending this crybaby?  He always has to be the center of attention, even when he probably knows he isn't the best player on the team anymore.  No team in their right mind would sign him now.  He is the NBA's version of T.O.  Basketball is a team game, and the Detroit Pistons have always had far too much class to put up with an egomaniac like Allen Iverson.  They're better off without him. 

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2009 12:59 pm

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

Alan Iverson is and will always be Alan Iverson.  He is instant offense and has the ability to play D when he wants to. What his experiences in Denver and Detroit has told us is when there are many scoring options Iverson is not a great fit.  In Philadelphia he was the go to guy and produced in a stellar fashon.  In Denver Carmelo Anthony was the go to guy. Iveson adapted pretty well as the other go to guy but age does have it's challenges.  Detro
it was never a good fit for Iverson.  There are many scoring options and there was no way Iverson could be Iverson. By bringing Iverson in as a starter was instant disaster.  Iverson was not prepared to come off the bench and did not handle it well.  At his age now he cannot play 40 minutes playing the fearless style we have known to see on TV highlights.

If Iverson can see the writing on the walls he can help a team by coming off the bench to give them instant offense. He would have to embrase that role.  If it is not within him to come off the bench, not unlike the former Piston, Vinnie "Microwave" Johnson, Iverson should consider retirement.

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: April 4, 2009 12:26 pm

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

AI - ShmA I 

If the Pistons held practices at the Motor City Casino AI would be the first one there and the last to leave. The guy served his purpose here in Detroit, just like a rented mule. Good bye, Good luck (not really)!

The AI Billups trade never had a chance. The Curry hire could have worked if you keep Billups. The AI trade may have worked if you keep Filp. To trade Billups after getting rid of Saunders was a bad move. AI will find a team that needs to put fans in it's seats not banner in their rafters.

Me Me Me "what? what's that you say AI? Memphis?" Me Me Me ami, I don't think so buddy. Me Me Me innesota! Sure why not! What the heck do they haev to lose?

AI to Minnesota, It's a done deal!


One Source Talent says

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2009 11:03 am

Exactly Kitch

 Absolutely the Pistons are old news.  Wasted year and we all know it.  Had to be done to wait for Chauncey and Sheed and AI's contracts to get off the books.  Joe D will re-load through free agency and the draft with plenty of cash in the off season to begin a new era of Piston basketball.  Everyone is forgetting that AI has said all along he never intended on staying in Detroit as he's always wanted to experience being a free agent.  Nobody's disrespecting him, Joe D doesn't want to risk further injury to him for his own good.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2009 10:56 am

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

The Detroit Pistons and all of their pathetic fans will get to see arguably the best player, to ever wear a Pistons jersey, walk away as they miss or just barely make the playoffs.

 All I can say is WOW, you must be very young.  There was this guy, he wore #11, you may have seen it hanging in the rafters at the Palace, who could do everything Iverson can do AND lead the team. You know he won back to back championships.  You may have heard the name: Isaiah Thomas.  There was this other dude who played next to him too, Joe Dumars, was also pretty good AND a team player.

Had the worst coach in the NBA not decided to start Rodney Stuckey and Rip Hamilton rather than, AI and Rip, maybe they would be in a better situation right now.

I agree that Curry is a horrible coach, but maybe you missed the majority of the season (before AI got a sore back) where AI started along side Stuckey or RIP.  They played horribly for most of that stretch.  It started okay when AI first came and was trying to play team ball, but quickly degenerated as AI would drive and either put up wild shots or passes when a defense collapsed on him.


AI said himself that his back has felt fine.  It's very clear that he had a meeting with Joe D and jackass Curry and told them how it was once and for all!

This is the same crIverson who said he would do anything he could for the good of the team including coming off the bench, but then whined to the media about minutes once he was coming off the bench.  The same crIverson who said the team rushed him back; if your back is fine you weren't rushed back, you were sitteing be a sorry ass for having to come off the bench for your poor team play.

He wouldn't have in Detroit either had your coach been a good enough coach to indentify how Iverson needs to be used

The only way that crIveson has ever been used is as a 1 on 5 player.  It doesn't work anymore.  He is a great individual player I agree, but he does not work with anyone but AI and I hope he has a fine time in Europe to pick up some big $$$; there is no way a contender picks him up as a starter and it is clear he will not come off the bench; so unless he wants to play for a bad team it is retirement or Europe for crIverson.




Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2009 10:21 am

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

AI fan: I feel your frustration, but really is it fair to call us pathetic fans because our first year coach didn't play your boy the way you would have preferred?  People who know the situation know Joe D brought AI over here for this season only and to erase Chauncey's contract from the books. It was agreed to let AI leave for free agency after this year. AI has said he's never been a free agent and wanted the experience and Joe D is not going to try to prevent him from doing that.  If his back is hurting maybe they're protecting him from further injury??  Maybe AI is such a competitor he's willing to play with a hurt back?? It's clear this is a lost season whether the Pistons make the playoffs or not, they won't make it past the first round.  Joe D is planning to re-load for next year and years to come through free agency and the draft.  Always liked Allen Iverson. Hope he enjoys free agency and he prospers with a another team that works out better for him. 

Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2009 7:54 am

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

AI took his ball and went home.  The most selfish player in NBA history.  I heard John Celestand interviewed yesterday on the radio.  He was a former player from Villanova that played with the Lakers a few years.  He said Kobe was the most intense practice player he ever played with, and because of his practice habits, Kobe made himself and his teammates better.  Practice?  AI would rather hang with his posse, and sleep til 3 pm everyday.  AI never understood that hard work + god given talent is what makes great players winners.   Tah-tah AI. 

Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: April 3, 2009 11:40 pm

Iverson, Pistons part ways (UPDATE)

Is it just me but the seasons misfortune should not be blamed on Iverson but on an aging detroit team similar to the spurs. And the East Conference teams getting younger and stronger. Billups is not better he just got what AI did not have during his time in Denver a completely healthy team with no suspensions from fights IE Carmelo Anthony. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or