Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This is How We Ride...

Up until a couple weeks ago, Allen Iverson was in the same boat as Kevin Garnett. One of the best at his position, he'd been cursed with bad management. His playoff opportunities had been limited, and he had been given very few complementary teammates. But, a combination of factors had kept him with the team that drafted him. His marquee value and star power made him difficult to move, and he knew better than to publicly complain.

Something changed. Frustrated with his lack of opportunities, and over being openly shopped during the summer, Allen made known his desire to get out. The Sixers did not disappoint: they handled the situation poorly, taking over a week to hammer out a deal. But, yesterday, things worked out about as well as they could for Iverson. He was sent to Denver to play alongside Carmelo Anthony, already a prolific scorer, but with plenty of room for growth. For the first time in his career, AI will be paired with a genuine superstar. Just as important, he has a coach in George Karl whose fast-paced, high-powered offensive attack suits his style.

I have no qualms in stating that Allen Iverson (along with KG) is my favorite NBA player. His high energy and aggressive play is only rivalled by his pure passion and unfiltered personal behavior. He's suffered through an incredibly trying life, but has used his experiences to build his character. He drives fearlessly on men twice his size, falls down, and gets up every time. He's not afraid to admit he makes mistakes, but refuses to apologize for his background or his personality. I don't think we'll ever see another player quite like him. I also do not hesitate to say that demanding a trade in no way tarnishes his career. Billy King has given him nothing to work with. Then he paraded him around like a whore this summer, despite Iverson's long standing loyalty to Philadelphia. And no, I don't think getting Chris Webber qualifies as a quality teammate. I have written about this at length in the past, but I will summarize my issues with CDUBBZ with the following list:

#1. He's soft like a marshmallow: a chameleon who can stack numbers in meaningless situations, but who morphs into the bitchiest of bitches in the clutch.
#2. See #1.

I also firmly believe that Allen will be re-energized by his re-location to Denver. Having spent so much time in the shittiest of situations, he will truly appreciate the opportunity he's being given and take full advantage of it. I won't be so bold as to claim the Nuggets are now a lock for the playoffs, but I can say with absolute certainty that nobody in their right mind wants to see a motivated AI and Melo against their team. Hopefully Billy Hunter can get Anthony's idiotic suspension reduced; I'm eager to see the new-look Nuggets on the court as soon as possible. Nobody deserves this chance more than AI. I can't wait to see what happens.

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