This is one of the most saddest stories in sports and I’m hoping it has a happy ending. Allen Iverson to be frank, has been going through some real shit lately. His wife filed for divorce, his young child is suffering from an illness and now he’s allegedly delved into binge drinking and gambling. It’s probably not a good bet for him to be returning to the basketball court in the near future. Read more.
I can’t even say it’s not that bad, because it is. He’s apparently been banned from Atlantic City Casinos and Detroit ones. And we all know Atlantic City needs all the money they can get, so to ban Iverson, he must be on a really sketchy tip.
Normally, I’d go into a rant about how this is just another athlete that fucked up his professional career on some bullshit, like Gilbert Arenas and Plaxico Burress, but this is in many ways different. After watching Allen Iverson for years and anyone who has seen the 6’0, 170 pound soldier play, you know one thing, the guy has a shitload of heart, that’s undisputable. And yes, he’s had his fair share of attitude problems but this is one guy who deserves more in my opinion.
Allen Iverson is a former NBA MVP, and while we’re not talking about practice, we are talking about a guy who lead the NBA in scoring four times, a guy ranked sixth all time on the NBA scoring list, a guy who lead a team full of nobody’s to NBA Finals and a guy who shook Michael Jordan twice with a killer crossover before dropping a jumper on the legend. We are also talking about a guy who refused to come off the bench for the Detroit Pistons and who refused to play for the Memphis Grizzlies. While too many frown on Iverson for his conduct, I can’t blame the guy. A player of his caliber shouldn’t have to come off the bench for any team, especially a shitty team.
Perhaps I’m biased because I happen to regard Iverson as one of the greatest basketball players the game has ever seen. But, I believe that the NBA has let Iverson down. While some accountability has to be taken for his own actions, I can’t help but feel the NBA turned their back on Iverson. When Delonte West was struggling with a bouquet of issues, the NBA stepped in and offered him help, and what has he done for the league? If all was right in this world, David Stern himself should reach into his wallet and pay Iverson’s gambling debts, let him sleep on his couch and make sure the guy got back on his feet. When Michael Jordan left the NBA, it was Allen Iverson that carried the crown as the league’s superstar. He was kid from the hood, a kid with a troubled past that made it, a player that the youth looked up to and the guy who made wearing the sleeve cool shit. He’s made a lot of money for a lot of people and it’s really a tragedy that this is the fate for one of the NBA’s greatest of all time.
I’m not counting him out just yet, I just wouldn’t bet on him returning to the hardwood anytime soon.