Blog Entry

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

Posted on: August 21, 2009 1:15 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2009 4:17 pm
 
When Allen Iverson entered the NBA in 1996, people wore beepers. Seriously, Twitter Nation, to communicate with someone, here's what you did in 1996: You called their beeper number, listened for the beeps, punched in your phone number, and waited. Sometimes they'd call you back, sometimes they wouldn't.

It was slightly more effective than smoke signals, or rotary dialing.

Which brings us to the technical innovation of 2009 and how Iverson is using it to offer play-by-play of his own demise.

Iverson, a certain Hall of Famer coming off a $20 million-a-year salary who can't find an NBA job, has been waxing poetic about his comeback via Twitter updates. We call it a comeback because, well, Iverson does -- and also because he was for all intents and purposes retired down the stretch of a miserable stint with the Pistons last year. A proud 10-time All-Star, Iverson couldn't stomach coming off the bench for Michael Curry, who became only the latest coach to get fired after coaching A.I. Iverson went so far as to say that he'd retire for real before coming off another team's bench. But what he really couldn't stomach was the decline of his game. He's 34, his body has absorbed incalculable mileage, and he can't do the one thing he's always done better than anybody else -- get to the basket and score, by any means necessary.

Neil Paine of Basketball-reference.com analyzed Iverson's statistical decline and was spot-on in concluding that one of the problems is that while A.I. can still get to the basket, he's finishing with a lower percentage than he used to. That's what happens to players like Iverson when they get old; they don't fade away, they flame out like a comet.

I don't want to get too much into Iverson's sudden Twitter fetish. You can read the updates yourself. But the tone and volume of updates picked up noticeably this week, with A.I. saying that his "people" are telling him that he's "close to a deal." That was Wednesday morning. Still no deal.

Iverson also has floated the teams with whom he's apparently close to signing. "Waiting for the call," he wrote. "Charlotte, Miami, NY." Iverson, who has thrived off negative energy from his doubters since the moment he was drafted, also wrote, "If you think I am just going away, think again! ... I have heard all of the doubters, but they should know that I will not be broken."

Bobcats coach Larry Brown said this week that he'd gladly coach Iverson again, but didn't want to insult him with an offer that probably would be somewhere between the minimum and the mid-level exception. Miami? Why? As for the Knicks, we told you three weeks ago on this site that the Knicks had "zero" interest in Iverson. That remains true. Just ask the dozen media outlets that wrote it again this week.

Before you brand me an Iverson hater, think again (as A.I. would say). I've known him and covered him since his rookie year. I haven't liked everything he's done, but I've always liked him and enjoyed watching his career. For me, Iverson and Kobe have been my favorite post-Jordan players to watch. So if you're looking for A.I. bashing, or if you want to read someone who's hoping Iverson fails in his attempt to revive his suddenly dormant career, you've come to the wrong place.

I hope he succeeds. I hope he winds up somewhere that's a good fit, on a team that he can help. Some people are ready for the smiling, sanitized stars of the new NBA to take over and leave Iverson's rough public image and his innovative/frustrating/selfish game in the past. Not me. 

But in all the Twitter updates, amid all the bravado, I don't see the one line that Iverson needs to write. I don't see him stating that he'd accept a bench role, that he'd be willing to do what he could've done in Detroit -- which is allow his scoring gifts to impact the game as a reserve. If Iverson would say that, he might actually be getting some interest from teams other than the bottom-feeders whose intentions are really about the lowest common denominator: signing Iverson to sell tickets as opposed to signing him to improve their team.

I don't know how many more Twitter updates we'll see before Iverson signs somewhere. Maybe I'll page him and ask.



 



 
Comments

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2009 2:11 pm
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

 

Trust me when I say this: No one is letting Favre go when he skipped minicamp. His teammates just live with it, not accept it. If you read the message boards under those Favre stories here and other sites, they all bash the hell out of him.
But let's face it, he ain't going to Miami. They're more interested in Boozer, and after they get him they won't have enough to pay A.I. unless he wants something less than the mid-level.

i agree Riley already said hes not putting chalmers on the bench for AI to start. AI has to realize his stock isnt sitting high after what he did in denver and boston, hes not a leader. He has to understand that his not the old AI that was crossing up poor defenders when he was at philly, he has to know that coaches dont like his attitude but dealt with it because he was producing. Not so much now tho as he stunk it up wit melo in denver and did a wonderful job of displaying leadership in detroit. he needs to go swallow his pride and show everybody that he still go it, but he has to do it on the court, and he prolly wont be doing it for the money "he wants". 





Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2009 12:03 pm
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

Trust me when I say this: No one is letting Favre go when he skipped minicamp. His teammates just live with it, not accept it. If you read the message boards under those Favre stories here and other sites, they all bash the hell out of him.
But let's face it, he ain't going to Miami. They're more interested in Boozer, and after they get him they won't have enough to pay A.I. unless he wants something less than the mid-level.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2009 11:05 am
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

I know the ones your talking about I think, I have a friend who collects basketball sneakers, he has like eight pair of AIs all in different colors and from different years.

I know what you mean a lot of the basketball shoes around then were ridiculous. The Allen Iverson sneakers did seem more down to earth.



Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2009 10:18 am
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

Favre is getting Tons of bashing, not sure how you can miss this. AI came into the league w/ a criminal record and an attitude to match. He chose his path and made it easy to hate him. I love AI and love his game. But we choose our path and must follow it until we choose to move onto another. Agree he is  a hall of famer.


sasquash
Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2009 10:00 am
This comment has been removed.

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sasquash
Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2009 9:56 am
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Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: August 22, 2009 6:41 am
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

Slice funny u say that i still got 5 pairs of iversons, 2 are actually in real good condition. u talking bout the ones with the bubble kinda stuff in the sole cause i got a black pair. It's been a while since i bought kicks but before the Iversons were the only ones i ever liked and i usually bought nikes. During the time they were making all the other sneakers flossy and flamboyant and the Iversons were just straight sneakers.



Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: August 22, 2009 2:28 am
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

You've got a point.  Iverson really was the villian to Jordan's hero.  Regardless of what Jordan did, and he wasn't perfect, we all loved him.  In the wrong atmosphere, Jordan probably would have destroyed teams with his relentless pursuit of perfection.  He was the first scoring guard to prove you could win with that mentality.  Iverson tried to follow that same scoring guard path, but it just seems like his attitude was too much for us to handle.  Even as I write this, I abhor Iverson and although I don't cheer for him to fail, I don't really want to see him play in the NBA again either.  Obviously, even without all of the character issues, Iverson just never really seemed focused on winning basketball games.  He was content to be successful as an individual.  You could never accuse Jordan of losing focus, or of putting something else before winning and maybe that's the real difference between their contributions on the basketball court.  It's just ironic that had Jordan not blossomed into the player he was, we may never have seen the Allen Iverson that came afterward.  The things that they have in common are what made them both so successful, and their differences are really the vices that changed the way people see Allen Iverson.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2009 1:11 am
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

Iverson gets a raw deal most of the time, yeah he does things he deserves to be criticized for, but it's ridiculous how many people are routing for him to fail.

I hope he can turn around his career and spend his last years finishing out his career with style.

Side note: does anyone remember those AI sneakers that came in like every color? Man those were the days.



Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: August 21, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Pagers

You know who still uses pagers?  Doctors.  Constantly.  Odd, I know, but true.


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