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AI's Injury Serves to Reinforce His Toughness

Every picture tells a story, and to every story there are two sides. Everyone knows by now that Allen Iverson's out with a back injury, and will come off the bench when he returns; plain and simple, that's how the Pistons look to be most effective heading into the playoffs. Of course, there's a bit of fortuitous timing here: AI takes an extended break right when, depending on how you see it, the team needs to reconstitute itself or one of the league's biggest stars needs some time to nurse his ego. This has led to speculation that these back issues aren't all they're cracked up to be, and the whole thing's a convenient ploy to make this late-season shift easier. After all, Iverson's played hurt most of his career. Why stop now? ↵
↵Or what about this one: Iverson has played hurt most of his career. He's aging. So when he decides to take a seat, there must really be something to it. From ↵
↵⇥"That's hilarious. My health is the most important thing, that was the whole thing. I know people are going to say that. I've been a warrior my whole career and I pride myself on that. But it (the back injury), it is what it is." ↵⇥
↵⇥Iverson has been bothered by a sore back for quite some time. But he said it was not until he started to feel numbness in the back of his legs that he become nervous about it being a potential career-ending injury. ↵
↵Did you catch the part about numbness in the back of his legs? If anything, this whole thing reinforces Iverson's toughness and competitive spirit. He was playing with numb legs for a team on the skids. Maybe in some weird way that was selfish of him, but the man's got too much pride to bow out and leave a struggling team behind unless it was absolute unavoidable. ↵

↵Ironically, if he was the cause of this, it might've been the best move. But everything in Iverson's resume suggests he'll play himself into the ground even for a lost cause. It's not suspicious that AI's taking a break -- it's a much-needed rest that just so happened to serve the Pistons well, too. Coming off the bench is "just something [I'll] have to deal with," but it takes more than that to force Iverson to sit down and let his body heal. After all, as he reminds us, AI "has never been 100 percent [his] entire career." ↵


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