Thursday, September 10, 2009

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

Allen Iverson, now a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. How did this possibly happen? How did the single greatest 76er of my generation get reduced to this? It just doesn't seem right.

It's no secret, Allen always did things his way. Sure, there were moments along the way where he ever so slightly compromised against his will, but for the most part, it was Iverson's way or the highway. For years, it worked for the biggest little man to ever play the game. The Sixers and the city of Philadelphia became synonymous with Allen Iverson. This was his franchise, his team, his city, and he was unquestionably its biggest star.

He revived a franchise, brought it to the finals, won an MVP. And he did it on his own accord, playing his shoot-first, ball-dominating style that electrified the NBA. Many said he could never win a championship that way. Now, it looks as though they're right.

After leaving Philadelphia on some not-so-pleasant terms, he went to Denver, did his thing — albeit a bit more subdued — and the results were the same. Allen Iverson kept it real, stayed true to himself, and Denver, even with Carmello and Iverson united, was nothing more than a speed bump for the likes of San Antonio and Los Angeles. In Detroit, it was a mess. Al would not accept a role off the bench, instead opting to end his season.

And he made it known this offseason that he had no intentions of becoming a bit part — even for a contender. Allen Iverson was keeping it real. He wanted to remain a starter, remain a star, do his thing. He's certainly earned the right, but now the fans are the ones suffering. Perhaps Iverson's legacy too. He got his wish. He'll probably start on a young Grizzlies team alongside Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo. But he won't get any closer to the ring so many of us want him to get. And really, he has no one to blame but himself. Allen Iverson, Memphis Grizzly — the ultimate case of when keeping it real goes wrong.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. And what I was ultimately afraid of.

  2. Yeah, sucks that he's going to be a team that toils near the bottom. Memphis does have some very nice young talent, but this is just not going to look right.

  3. You're right about the young talent part, but still...I mean, it's the Memphis Grizzlies for Christ sake. I'm so disgusted that I can't even formulate any further words...

  4. Nevermind, I'm back. I have more to say.

    I'm reading his statements from the press conference:

    I know we have disagreed on what his next move should have been, but when I see him saying "all I wanna do is win," then why not go to a contender, take a Ginobili-type role, and have a real shot at winning a championship? This is horseshit.

  5. well, i believe him when he says he wants to win … but he wants to win his way. I think that's pretty clear, otherwise, he obviously wouldn't have chosen Memphis.