Allen Iverson was the reason I first became a Sixers fan, so it's tough to see him go, especially when he's still playing great basketball. He's incredibly quick, a great finisher, gets to the line, and will give you all he's got each and every game. Maybe he's not big on practice, but I think that's forgivable considering the beating he takes game in and game out.
So about the trade. I don't really like it much. Certainly it's not an awful deal, but in many ways I don't see the point. Andre Miller is a nice PG, and a good distributor. But like Iverson he's 31 years old and his deal runs for 2 more years after this one. Honestly, all I can see Miller doing is improving the Sixers just enough to lessen their shot at the #1 pick. I wouldn't really be surprised if the Sixers turned around and traded Miller.
Then there's Joe Smith, who is simply in it for the expiring contract. OK.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, are 2 first-round picks. These are obviously nice, but they'll be late first rounders sometime in the 20s. It's a deep draft, which is good, but what do you normally get from picks in the 20s? Based on my unscientific research, generally role players or occasional starters. Every once in a while there's a guy like Josh Howard, but then there's also the guys that never make it. And that is what they got for Allen Iverson, who by the time he's done with be one of the top 50 (certainly) players ever to play the game, and who's still playing at a very high level.
It's increasingly evident that the problem in Philadelphia was not Allen Iverson, it's Billy King. Seriously, look at this Philly team right now.
- Andre Iguodala - ok, no complaints here. He's a nice up-and-coming player on both ends of the court.
- Kyle Korver - great shooter, no defense. Solid role player.
- Chris Webber - basically on one leg, limited mobility, and with an albatross contract. An awful defensively player and poor fit for Philly's personnel.
- Samuel Dalembert - an athletic post with no real offensive skills and seems to be the same player he was 2 years ago.
- Rodney Carney - promising young player who's nowhere near ready yet.
That's about it. Kevin Ollie starts, but he sucks. Louis Williams could be good someday, but he's not yet. Stephen Hunter is a decent big man off the bench. The starting lineup is below average, and there is no depth. This was the team surrounding around Allen Iverson.
At the end of the day, Allen Iverson is a Denver Nugget, and they become my 2nd favorite team. But the problems for the 76ers run a lot deeper than Allen Iverson, and they start in the front office with Billy King. The man with seemingly no plan, and from the looks of it no real clue on how to piece together a team.
Here's a great post at The 700 Level, and I'll quote a part I really like:
I'll remember the crossover on Jordan, the high arching kiss off the glass, the step over Tyronne Lue, the cupped hand to the ear, the sleeve, the tattoos, the MVP. I'm not talkin' bout practice, I'm talkin' bout the warrior.
Allen Iverson had his flaws. Philadelphia loved him anyway. Thanks for the memories.
Indeed. Thanks AI, you'll be missed by this 76ers fan.