Iverson May Be a Lame Duck in Detroit, But He Still Knows How to Rally His Teammates

Ever wonder about whether Allen Iverson still matters? He's on a Pistons team that might well dump him at the end of the season for cap space, or even earlier than that. He's holding back rising star star Rodney Stuckey, who plays the same position as him. And it's not like he's galvanized the team. They've been up and down, and are somehow perpetually slipping out of contention and sneaking back in. ↵
↵
↵So it might come as a surprise that Iverson's letting loose with locker room sermons meant to jumpstart the team. But he is, and he can, because he's Allen Iverson. From The Detroit News: ↵
↵⇥"Character is going to come into play. It should have already. We are going to see what guys are made of. What type of players we are, what type of professionals we are, what type of teammates we are toward each other. This is the time we find out what type of team we are. Guys in this situation could start to point fingers and play the blame game." ... ↵⇥

↵⇥"It's nobody's fault but all of ours. All of us are to blame. It's everybody's fault from the coaching staff to the players. Everybody needs to take responsibility. Once we step up and do it as a unit, we can turn this thing around." ↵⇥

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↵These comments are getting a lot of attention, but more as a rallying cry, truth-speaking, than an outsider talking out of turn or assuming his star power translates everywhere he goes. It comes down to the fact that, no matter what fans think, AI has clout in locker rooms, among the community of players. Who knows what he means on the court for the Pistons, but this is a special dude who operates with authority even if his game looks increasingly hard to work around (see: Nuggets, Denver). I hesitate to call anyone the moral center of an entire league, but go ahead, find me someone with as much moral force behind them as Allen Iverson. ↵
↵
↵So what if he's gone this summer, or sooner. He knows this. Everyone else knows this. But that doesn't mean Iverson can't weigh in on the plight of the Pistons. After all, he is, for now, a Piston, and he lives and dies with them, no matter how much he might be getting in the way. And the sheer emotion there can still make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, all the more so because he's practically a lame duck superstar.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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