Saturday, 25 September 2010

MORE PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

What of the next chapter?

BY TIM DAVID HARVEY

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JULY 31:  (L-R)  Amare Stoudemire, Allen Iverson and LeBron James of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team sit on the bench during an exhibition game against the Puerto Rico Senior National Team on July 31, 2004 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The three missed a team meeting and will not play in the game.  (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

Imagine if you would the following scene; where in an office. The location or the d├ęcor doesn't matter. What does matter is who's on the phone and the conversation taking place. Lets script it;

INT. NBA General Managers Office-Night.

A man whose looks middle aged and just a little out of playing shape is working the phone like he used to work the sidelines.

GM
(beat)
Alright coach how's the team looking?

COACH
(sighing)
Strong upfront but as for the backcourt I don't know.

GM
Alright let's get someone in, we can trim some of the fat if need be.

COACH
(upbeat)
Well how about that guy we talked about yesterday

GM
(defiant)
I don't think so, we already went over this.

COACH
(frustrated)
But...I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.


Surprising? Last season this may have been unheard of, last season definitely unheard, the seasons before undoubtedly. Today however it's common knowledge. It's unfortunately the new reputation of Allen Iverson.

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

I have a question that needs an answer. What the hell is going on?
Why is A.I. as wanted in this league as J.R? This is one of the greatest Basketball players were talking about. Were talking about a guy who is barely 6 foot and 150 pounds. A guy who despite this still changed the game. This isn't any other journeyman, ageing player or raw undrafted rookie were speaking on. I mean were talking about a guy that redefined a generation.

DENVER - JANUARY 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball as Louis Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends at the Pepsi Center on January 6, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Sixers 109-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the term and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

30 teams apparently don't want or need him. Sure Denver and Detroit have tried in the passed but what about the other 28? Especially one team who lives in the city of brotherly love. What happened with the Philadelphia 76ers? What cracked? How personal where those reasons for A.I.s departure? The Philly, Iverson reunion had the makings of NBA history. It had the roots of redemption so what was the tipping point to why things fell apart? We need more than the Philadelphia Inquirer to investigate this one. Sure when these two got back together things may have not come together as nicely as The Beatles but this is the same guy that walked the streets of Philadelphia like Bruce Springsteen. The same guy who is now asking the city of brotherly love not to turn their back on him like Neil Young. I mean this is the same guy that took the 76ers within two games of beating the Los Angeles Lakers and the 27 other teams back then to the one goal of meeting Larry O'Brien in all his championship gold. I mean were talking about a die hard, vicious competitor who had a hand to his ear, screaming with passionate victory at the First Union centre time after time.

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

So who's listening now? Who's talking? It seems that A.I. won't even be made in China. This all seems artificial with no intelligence. No Chinese democracy for Allen Iverson? It seems nobody has roses for this legend just guns. Why is this pioneer being shot down? He aint dead yet with Richard Pryor expletives. Sure he may not be as marketable as LeBron James but this guys done as much for the league as Kobe Bryant. This guys brought the NBA to millions worldwide today like Larry and Magic in the 80's with no tricks but now nobody is keeping it real with this genuine article. Nodody! This is no illusion. So what is it? Business? Personal? I mean this isn't just anybody. Where not just talking about another contract.

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

No 10 days, no agents this free. No training day invites, not even a sign and trade or waive. Is the league really saying goodbye? Or are the best teams simply too overstocked anyway? LA with enough stars, Miami with enough Heat, Orlando with enough Magic, Boston with enough beans. Now as for the teams that could use his help maybe Allen has the same problem as other out of work Americans looking for a job. Perhaps he's just too over qualified. Allen Iverson is yet to score big, (word to J-Live) he's just getting bounced around and like a Dwight Howard block off the glass, nothing is sticking like the 2008 Dunk Contest. I mean he's supposed to be the franchise player. This is the game that he goes out there and dies for. This is his practice. Lets DMX this for a second, this is not a f****** game. Where talking about something much deeper.



I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

How many press conferences and hip-hop records do we have to listen to in order to recognize. Iverson’s work right now feels like prison and as Kanye put it 'just like Bad Boys street team' Iverson 'can't work the locks. RECOGNISE. Like J-Live puts it on DJ Jazz Jeff's 'Practice' he's been doing this for years, his rep is legit. Still it appears that Iverson is a square on a triangle hole, he doesn't fit, but why? Iverson aint no square, he's the coolest. A basketball geek who is as experienced and a relevant to this game like Jazzy Jeff is to his respectively, respect due. So when are we going to see 'The Return of The Magnificent'? When are we going to witness? Am sure Cleveland would want to bear witness to Iverson on the scene more than LeBron. Where however is the evidence?

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - AUGUST 31:  ***PUERTO RICO OUT***INTERNET OUT***  Allen Iverson of the USA (wearing a Magic JOhnson jersey from Michigan State)stabds amongst his teammates during a break in the action as the USA plays Argentina during the gold Medal game of the Athens Olympic Qualifying Basketball Tournament of the Americas on August 31, 2003 at the Roberto CLemente Coliseum in San Juan Puerto Rico. Iverson didn't play due to a thunb injury.  NOTE TO USER: USer expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using  this photograph, USer is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera/Getty Images)

Let's CSI this, from franchise players to undrafted rookies everyone’s getting called up while Iverson scans his finger down the list like the last schoolboy picked only to not see his name. This may have happened in school to Michael Jordan but it shouldn't now happen to a legend when he's established in this association. So why are the amateurs getting it right why this pro is getting it wrong? It's hard to see the answer to the question why this Basketball icon is getting the cut instead of making it but believe me this is not a wrap. I mean we aren't talking about guys who fill up the roster spots that count up from 15. We aren't talking about some guy whose jersey may as well not be printed during the preseason. Were talking about someone whose jersey is still selling but shouldn't be a throwback. Were talking about someone who's spawned more hardwood classics than Mitchell & Ness.

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

ATHENS, GREECE - AUGUST 15:    Basketball / Maenner: Olympische Spiele Athen 2004, Athen; USA - Puerto RICO ( PUR ) 73:92; Allen IVERSON / USA 15.08.2004.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Sure this guys volatile, a bit of a problem child to say the least but there's much worse out there. Even Steph Marbury took his down South career up a notch north in the Far East. Despite all the negative headlines off court however Iverson has always let his game do the talking on court. Allen Iverson unlike a pair of Air Force 1's has kept the on court and off court separate. You can't rock what Allen does on the floor with jeans. Iverson takes it on the chin in the trenches of both the tainted section of the media and the painted area under the basket. Plus through all the hits his Nina Simone, misunderstood personality and his frail, small frame take he still picks himself up at 35 off the floor and off the wall like MJ in the early days. So why is this same guy being backed down? This corn row rocking guard is not Latrell Sprewell he's not just after the money, he's after the love of the game.

So LA Laker or LA Clipper this legend could be more of an asset than the liabilities he's been left with. Sure he may not like to come off the bench or his financial demands may be too high (he's still not rocking Sprewell’s) but it's time to pay him and play him. This groundbreaking talent should be able to break in those new Reeboks on the hardwood but he shouldn't be played.

January 27, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center.. Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson drives hard to the hoop and draws the foul from Milwaukee Bucks Charlie Bell ..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Philadelphia 76ers 91-88. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

You know what I mean. Allen Eazil Iverson is the real deal and no matter what is said and done at the end of the day and at the end of a game you need a guy who wants to take the last shot and a guy who knows how to take that shot. You need a guy that loves to take this winning shot and this is another reason why Iverson loves this game. This is his practice. If those in power think it's not than maybe it's time these GM's and coaches went back to the drawing board because there ready for a lot but not the big game. Not the game that Iverson goes out there and dies for.

I mean were talking about Allen Iverson.

(For Part 1: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT See http://basketball244882.blogspot.com/2010/08/practice-makes-perfect.html)

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