Monthly Archives: March 2010

“Fall from Grace” – Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest little men to ever play in the NBA, and a sure-fire Hall of Famer. But there is no doubt that the 11 time All Star and four time scoring champion’s decline has been meteoric.

Iverson’s decline began in his disastrous stint in Detroit with the Pistons, where he was criticised for refusing to come off the bench, and his arrival saw the team slide from Eastern Conference contenders to first-round whipping-boys, as Lebron James and Cleveland made short work of the Pistons. It wasn’t all Iverson’s fault, but it didn’t help his situation in free agency last summer, when no one wanted anything to do with the 34 year old guard.

Eventually Memphis stepped in, but we all know how pear-shaped that union went. Three games, constant moaning by Iverson about having to come off the bench and a leave of absence for personal issues, saw Iverson waived by Memphis.

In December, Iverson re-signed with the Sixers, and I believed he could help the team push for the playoffs. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as the Sixers stink this season, and have currently lost five straight, after the loss to the Knicks last night. Iverson was released by the Sixers this month, only playing in 25 games for the team, after a series of personal issues and the extended absence from the team, that Iverson had to have to look after his ill daughter.

These personal issues have derailed Iverson’s career and look to threaten his post-basketball well being. ESPN reported last week that Iverson is suffering from gambling and alcohol issues, has been banned from numerous casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City, and will “either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away”.

Add to this the impending divorce from his wife and the situation with his daughter, it seems that Iverson’s mind is not on basketball at the moment. But what will happen in the summer? Iverson is a shadow of his former self, there is no doubt about that. But he can still put up points, averaging 13.9 points and 4.1 assists this season for the Sixers.

But the excessive baggage, the non-existent defense and the refusal to come off the bench will cost Iverson dear. No team wanted him before this latest debacle, so it is hard to see who will take a chance on him this summer. He was playing for peanuts in Philadelphia anyway this season ($650,000), so he is great value for money. But it is hard to see who will gamble on the All-Star guard, especially if he refuses to play a reserve role. I hate to say it, but I think Allen Iverson’s career in the NBA is over.