Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why I Both Love, And Hate Allen Iverson.

Surefire first ballot Hall Of Famer Allen Iverson had his jersey retired by the Sixers last night, an event which overshadowed some record setting by my Wizards as they rolled on the home team. Iverson was in rare form as he gave an impassioned speech thanking the team's fans for years of support. He did it his way, as he always has, including wearing an ensemble from the 2 Chainz Winter 2013 collection. Eff' practive a suit, this is BubbaChuck we're talking about.

This ceremony, while touching, just made me feel bad for a lot of reasons. The team spends a bunch of money honoring Iverson, using the occasion to undoubtedly hawk a bunch of his jerseys and attain a rare sellout for a franchise that's got the NBA's worst record. They fawn over him, raise his jersey to the rafters, and give him a cheap fishing boat, which has to go down as perhaps the most odd retirement gift ever. I'm betting he'll be listing that boat at OLX Free Classifieds by Monday morning. I could go on about using Tina Turner music for the banner lifting, but whatever.

The saddest part of all of this is that it's likely to be the last great night of Iverson's life. His days post-basketball have been riddled with lawsuits, a contentious divorce, rumors of alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, and of course financial ruin. The man is flat assed broke, having squandered tens of millions in career earnings. Worst of all, his legacy as a player has taken a hit since he was essentially exiled from the league. Had he humbled himself, some playoff contender would have surely used him as an off the bench scorer. He saw that as beneath him, only expediting his one way ticket out of the league. His early season retirement and this ceremony likely mark the dead end of a great career that could have been an excellent one had the man simply learned to shut up and grow up. Neither of those happened, and emotional speeches aside, the man's life in in tatters.

He bought a lot of this on himself, but he also deserves better, whether he knows it or not.

The Sixers shouldn't give him a boat, they should give him a job.

Question: Did this jersey retirement ceremony irk you a bit? What do you think about The Answer?

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