Allen Iverson a Boston Celtic?

Posted by B-PAUL on November 16, 2009 at 11:01 PM

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(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.

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11:51 PM on November 16, 2009 
Cool piece. But it wouldn't work. It would be a lateral move. We are already just too old and I like Marquis as our backup 2,3 right now. Plus, the chance to win a ring aside, AI has made it crystal-clear he wants a starting role.
Reply B-PAUL
12:20 AM on November 17, 2009 
How about as a backup point guard though? AI, Eddie, Quis, Shel, Sheed off the bench? Doesn't sound to bad to me IF he was willing to accept that role. Like I said if AI want to get that "bling bling" he will accept any role we would give him. If not then he is just going to end up on another scrub team like the Knicks, where he has no shot at ever winning a ring.
Reply GreenBanner18
12:53 AM on November 17, 2009 
You can be a great player, but when you prove with team after team that you do not accept responsibility, I don't want you on my team. This is like arguing for Terrell Owens to be on your team. Terrell Owens has gone from team to team to team and destroyed everything in his path. We play as a team and would add a guy who is 100% about himself? Not good.
The whole arguement is based around if (the big question if) Iverson accepts his role. He has already proven that he can't and wont, therefore, he should not be brought into something that is already very very good. (Championship Good)
Reply North Station Sports
7:27 AM on November 17, 2009 
KWAPT says...
Cool piece. But it wouldn't work. It would be a lateral move. We are already just too old and I like Marquis as our backup 2,3 right now. Plus, the chance to win a ring aside, AI has made it crystal-clear he wants a starting role.

Agree with KWAPT completely!
Reply B-PAUL
9:38 AM on November 17, 2009 
@GreenBanner You say he has proven time after time that he hasn't been able to accept a lesser role, but look at the teams he's been forced to play on. Being a former NBA MVP and all-star would you be happy sitting on the bench watching a young and unexperienced Memphis team play? Or be on the bench in Detroit watching the demise of the Joe Dumars era in DEEEETTRROIITT basketball? All of the situations he has been put in aren't exactly the best. Coming on to a team full of vetrans and other bench players that easily could be starters, he might realize he needs to settle into a bench role. I'm all for giving guys chances, worse that could happen is he comes in, acts up, and we waive him like Memphis did. I don't think the other 14 men in the locker room will let him ruin UBUNTU. Like I said if he messes up he will wish his momma never gave birth.
Reply GreenBanner18
11:30 AM on November 17, 2009 
I think Detroit is being brought up way too much as a bad situation. Before he ever stepped on the floor for the Pistons they were 4-0 to start the season. Remember- they were expected to be playoff contenders just like every other season. Then they lose the team leadership ability of Billups and bring in the selfcentered bum that is Iverson and he leads (I cant even say leads he didnt play down the stretch) them to squeaking into the playoffs. When Iverson played in a game, the Pistons were 24-30. Ouch.
Reply B-PAUL
12:03 PM on November 17, 2009 
That has to do more with the style of play of Billups compared to Iverson. Nothing about attitude. Billups was with that organazation for five or six years and knew the system, and worked with their "big three" well. We all knew going into it before Iverson even acted up that the trade was going to favor Denver. And if you don't think he can pass the ball, he's averaging around seven assist a game for his careers (Rondo is at 5.8), not bad for a guy whos self centered. Detroits record last year had to do with a lot of other factors, such as injuries, Iverson was just the guy everyone could easily point fingers at.
Reply J-mac
12:50 AM on November 18, 2009 
man B-PAUL i totally agree with you everyone just pointed there fingers at iverson and blamed him easily. it was his first year there and the system is pretty much a halfourt style unlike phily and denver which ran up and down the court. anyways i would love to see iverson in green because if an injury to rondo or to ray allen iverson is way better than house and marquis and another veteran on that team eb\ven better. with allen and kg and pierce wanting another and iverson wanting his first it will work. also iverson stated he will come off the bench if it is necessary which backup for detroit and for memphis is not even close to neccessary. so boston sign another veteran gaurd in allen iverson and win another ring
Reply Jason
1:01 AM on November 19, 2009 
I believe it would work. The current Celtics team is a collective unit of all-star calliber veterans who have all made individual sacrafices. Kg, Ray, Paul, Sheed, Quis... these are all players who could be on sub-par teams getting their numbers. Instead they have all bought into the winning a ring. Allen Iverson would just be another veteran buying into the same idea... sacrificing individual accomplishments and accolades for winning. The teams he has experimented with(Nugs pistons, memph) are not good examples of what Iverson can bring to the table. These teams lacked the talent, leadership, and above all winning culture the Celtics have established over the past few years. When KG, Paul, and Ray joined this team, their thinking changed from "im going to win all the games myself" to "im gonna be a part of the TEAM that wins games" I think A.I. is still in the 'im going to win all the games myself' camp.. But I also believe that A.I. could switch his thinking if he joined this group... and why not, 3 other hall-of-famers did it in the name of winning a championship... and if he thinks hes gonna win it N.y. well, thats a different discussion.
Reply jda
1:23 PM on November 21, 2009 
Allen "The Answer" Iverson was pound for pound the second greatest player to step on the court. It is true that he has an attitude problem but many superstars have this problem. The fact that he degraded himself signing to the grizzlies the worst nba team in history and was told he had to come off the bench is enough to make jesus himself unable to turn the other cheek. In all honesty any superstar would have a tough time accepting this. The league has not eben given him a chance to show what skills he still possesses because in all honesty when iverson was traded from denver he stopped trying, not to mention detroits team was not to fond of loosing their general Chauncy Billups. Im sure if iverson were on a team where he believed he did not deserve to start he would not have aproblem with it but thats not the case. In reality he signed with memphis to show the league he still had the skills everyone thinks have vanished "loosing a step" which is the furthest thing from the truth, to be told he has to come off the bench to some no name kid no one cares about.