|Posted by B-PAUL on November 16, 2009 at 11:01 PM|
(He's even sporting a Red Sox cap!!!)
Earlier tonight I was instant messaging with my fellow co-blogger and friend, Nick Gelso, from North Station Sports. We started out by talking about the Celtics recent struggles, and once we figured out how to solve those problems we moved onto the topic of Allen Iverson. We decided to collaborate to write a post on how AI might fit if he were to wear green.
B-PAUL- Signing AI may not be a bad thing.
If you did not know, recently Allen Iverson was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies after leaving for “personal reasons”. Many people believe that this is because he was not happy with his role coming off the bench on a young Memphis team.
I’m going to be quite honest with you, I use to be a big fan of Allen Iverson when he was on the Sixers, and I actually still have the DVD, The Answer, sitting on my movie shelf at home. Nobody that watched him play in Philadelphia can argue against this guy being a TERRIFIC NBA player. AI is one of the best scorer’s I have seen in my ten or so years watching the NBA.
The one issue everyone seems to have with him is his personality. People do not think he can accept a lesser role like what he has been given in Detroit and Memphis. In a way I can understand how AI feels about his recent roles, how would you like to go from an all-star to a bench warmer on two non-competing teams? Of course the guy is going to be upset; he’s sitting there watching two bad teams lose, while he has no power to do anything about it.
The question that got brought up when I was talking to Nick was whether or not Iverson could fit in the Celtics lineup, both on the court, in the locker room, and off the court. Nick seemed very stiff on his viewpoint that he wanted nothing at all to do with Iverson in green. I being an Iverson fan back in my younger years started bringing up reasons why AI might fit in green.
One of the reasons why I believe Iverson could fit in green is because he wants the “bling bling”, aka a championship ring. This is one thing that Iverson has not accomplished in his career. He has NBA MVP’s, all-star MVP’s, and four NBA scoring championships. What better place for him to accomplish this then with one of the current front runners, the Boston Celtics. Is Iverson that stuck up that he couldn’t agree to a bench role alongside three, possibly four, other players that could be starters on other teams? If Iverson’s mindset was set on winning a championship, I believe he would straighten his act up and play whatever role we need him too. If he isn’t set on winning a championship then this point isn’t valid, but at this point in his career he must be getting sick of coming up short.
Another reason I think he could fit is because of the other veterans around him. Look at his surrounding core players in Memphis, and then look at the core players on the Celtics. AI is going to be much more focused playing with Ray, KG, Paul, and Sheed then he ever could be with Rudy Gay or O.J Mayo. If he screws up once with KG he is going to regret the day his momma gave birth.
The role that Sheed has come to accept in green, may also affect the way Iverson see’s coming off the bench. If he looks at what Sheed is doing off the bench, AND getting noticed for it, Iverson may be more likely to see the positives of coming off the bench. If it is his ego he is worried about, in Boston he would soon realize we love all our players just as much. Whether it is Scal coming off the bench in 2007-2008 for two to three minutes, or Shelden Williams or Leon Powe coming in off the bench giving us their 100% effort, we admire all our players.
I want to end my part of the argument by saying a phrase I said to Nick during our chat, “Cancer in sports can be cured”. Take Stephon Marbury or Randy Moss for example. Both of these athletes were considered nothing but negative personalities before joining their respective teams. Although by now I am sick of Stephon, he did nothing but accept his role while in green. And for all you football fans, do you remember how much negativity was around Randy Moss before he joined the Patriots? Look at all these people who were saying he couldn’t work as a team with Brady and his other receivers, and people saying that all he was concerned about was his stats. Well look no further than their 16-0 regular season record to prove that talk was hogwash. My point is that you never know how these personalities will react in good situations. Allen Iverson wearing green may be what he needs as an individual to straighten up his attitude and to get that “bling bling” he has yet to receive.
Nick Gelso- No Thanks!!!
Everyone who reads NSS frequently would know that I absolutely do not care for Iverson. I never did. If you're interested in why, check out a recent version of NSS One on One: Is their a Defense for Allen Iverson? (Just in case you still don't believe me, Here's some more proof)
Anyway, Iverson's 24,000 career points is enough to impress most sports fans. He is a terrific one on one player. He even (single handedly) carried his 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001. He's been an NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, All-Star MVP (twice), he is a four time NBA scoring champion too.
No one can deny Iverson's great individual talents and exploits. One achievement that is missing from A.I.'s career accomplishments is an NBA title. Sure, Iverson fans may say, "many NBA greats have not won titles."
That would be true. My only rebuttal would be, most NBA players (or at least the memorable ones), would have done anything to win before retiring. Iverson is not even willing to come off the bench in order to improve his team. Let's face it, even if Iverson was the sixth man in Memphis, he would have still played starter's minutes. He is not willing to sacrifice for the betterment of his teammates. He has proven time and time again that, if he is not the first option, he will not play.
Iverson doesn't even grin and bare his way through the duration of NBA season's, he just walks away. He abandons his teammates and fans. He has never left a team on good terms.
Last season, I was a supporter of the Stephon Marbury experiment. I was even disappointed (prior to his online circus) when he was not returning. I am not against giving guy's a second chance. In my eyes, however, Iverson is too strong a personality. No one ever took Marbury too seriously and so, it worked.
The Boston Celtics are made up of (first option) superstars who are willing to be roll players in exchange for another NBA title. Iverson has proven in failed stints with Denver, Detroit and now Memphis that he is not willing to make any sacrifices. It's either A.I.'s way or he get's injured, has a personal problem, or just plain quits. Can anyone envision The Answer accepting a seat on the bench during crunch time when we opt for Rondo over him? It's ridiculous! He didn't want to back up Rip Hamleton for crying out loud!
I could go on and on about his negative influence on Carmello Anthony and his tearing apart a 57 win team in Detroit but I won't.
It all comes down to this, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen created a culture in Boston and all the other guys bought into it. It's a mind-set that is epitomized by unselfishness, backing eachother up and sacrificing to win-- Ubuntu. A concept Iverson has proven he could never grasp.
So you know how we feel about AI in green. Would you want to give AI a chance in green if you were Danny Ainge? Let us know if you would take a gamble on AI's personality to get in return a terrific basketball player.