â†µNo one know's what's happening with Allen Iverson. Do we take him
â†µseriously anymore? Is he being unfairly left out in the cold? Just cut
â†µdown by circumstance? And what to make of offers from bottom-feeding
â†µteams like Memphis and Charlotte, who may be the teams he stands to
â†µbenefit (and benefit from) least of all?
â†µTo paraphrase Tracy Jordan, The Answer has become the NBA's great, â†µperilous question. Let's forget about all the former strife over â†µwhether or not he's good for the league, or can even play the game. â†µIverson may very well be the Wilt of his day, a gigantic talent who â†µwill be both softened and judged more harshly by history. And â†µregardless of what you think of his game, there's no questioning that, â†µin the broader sense of branding, style and marketing, he's the most â†µimportant NBA player since Jordan. Maybe even the most important â†µpost-Jordan athlete in any sport (I know, Tiger, Favre 4ever, some â†µNASCAR guy I've never heard of). â†µ
â†µBut â†µnow he waits. And whether we pretend to care or not, we all wait. â†µWhat's amazing is that, while Iverson's legacy more or less hangs in â†µthe balance, the man's opening up like never before. It's like he's â†µrealized something has changed, even if he got left out. He made his â†µpoint, perhaps too strong, but Iverson's influence echoes throughout â†µthe league—throughout all of sports, actually. So when former teammate â†µE. Snow sits down with him to ostensibly discuss his next move, AI gets â†µall far-off and cosmic on us, maybe even a little morbid. â†µ
â†µThe misspeak "team on the uprise" was a nice reminder of how things â†µused to be. But regardless of what he does on the court, today's AI is â†µolder and wiser. He realizes he's not perfect, and that maybe he can't â†µdo it all himself—even if he knows no other ways. He wishes, genuinely, â†µruefully, that he'd been a better person, a better student. This is KG â†µon the Wolves intense, where you get the feeling he might have secretly â†µpoisoned himself before the interview and is making his last testament â†µunto man. Of course, it all comes back to Obama and a smile. â†µ
â†µI'm not going to defend Iverson as a player. I also have no idea if â†µit even matters if he plays ever again. If his farewell tour consists â†µof nothing but this kind of tormented but enlightened whistle stop, I â†µthink it'll still go down in the annals of basketball as some kind of â†µmajor statement—if not exactly a success. â†µ
â†µ(H/T Living the Good Life) â†µ
â†µFor more NBA coverage, visit SportingNews.com's new NBA blog, The Baseline. â†µâ†µ
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