The Allen Iverson era is apparently over in Philadelphia. He will most likely never don a Sixers uni again.
We are definitely shocked and obviously pretty upset. And while we are admittedly very emotionally tied to Iverson and the Sixers, and absolutely devastated at the prospect of him leaving the Sixers, leaving the city of Philadelphia, and going on to bring another town the championships that he invariably would have brought Philadelphia… deep down, we cannot help but feel genuinely happy for the man.
Pound for pound, he’s one of the greatest players to have ever played in the National Basketball Association. He single-handedly took a godawful trainwreck franchise to the brink of greatness. He has the heart of a fucking 3000-pound lion. Basically, he’s our hero.
And for those reasons (and so many more), he should not have to deal with the egregious incompetence of Ed Snider, Comcast-Spectacor and Co.
He should not have to deal with sophomoric ownership, ownership that doesn’t even know how to put fans in the stands to watch, cheer and provide a home-court advantage to one of the most remarkable (and marketable) stars the NBA has ever seen.
Ownership that knows absolutely nothing about basketball, yet has consistently meddled with the team behind the scenes, forcing Billy King to shop Iverson almost every year since 2000.
Ownership that has been nothing but a disruptive negative force on the Sixers since 2002. (Everyone in Philadelphia (including the players) held their collective breaths for three months this summer and fall, hoping that Ed Snider would tire of preying on the hopes and dreams of a city, and finally sell the Sixers to someone not affiliated with Satan. But that didn’t happen. And now, instead, Allen Iverson is gone and we’re stuck with Ed Snider and a giant void.)
He also shouldn’t have to deal with a GM/President who has no idea how to evaluate or compensate talent. And he shouldn’t have to deal with a coach who can’t figure out how to help his players get better or to play better together.
But at least Billy King isn’t a complete idiot. He doesn’t want to trade Iverson. He was trying to mediate the situation. It’s his boss who wants to trade Allen… and has wanted to trade him ever since 1999. And now he’s seizing Iverson’s frustration as an opportunity for him to finally dump AI without being implicated or liable for being the terrible owner that he is.
"It's just time for him to go his way and for us to go our way," Snider said.While we want to hold out hope that Billy King will finally stand up to Snider, tell him to fuck off, not trade Iverson, bring back Larry Brown, demote Cheeks to assistant, and then bask in the glory of the team’s then guaranteed success, we know that will never happen.
"We'll trade him," Snider said.
"At a certain point, you have to come to grips with the fact that it's not working. He wants out and we're ready to accommodate him."
"I think it's time for him to move on, for us to move on and find out where everything stands. We're gonna trade him."
And so it is with a very, very heavy heart, inordinate sadness and also incredibly mixed emotions that we prepare to say goodbye to Allen Iverson.
We are happy for him inasmuch as he’s getting out of an awful situation. We’re devastated that it’s come to this — that he has to leave Philadelphia because the Sixers ownership is so incompetent they wasted the best athlete to ever play for a modern Philadelphia sports team.
Without doubt, a little part of us has died inside. We will probably never care about another team as much as we cared about Allen Iverson’s 76ers.
One thing is for sure, however: Comcast-Spectacor is dead to us. We will never watch another game as long as they own the franchise. Fuck you Comcast-Spectacor, Ed Snider et al., you fucking greedy egotistical rat bastards. You should be run out of this city on a rail.
Godspeed to you, Allen. You won’t need it. Especially if you end up in Minnesota.
Ed Snider is Philadelphia’s very own Lex Luthor [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Make it Webber for Garnett and then we'll have a deal [ESPN]
Damn, this shit is depressing [Google News]