Thursday, December 03, 2009

I'm watching (well, listening to) this Iverson press conference in Philly right now, and I'm seeing a guy with tears in his eyes describing what the Philly fans mean to him. While I respect that, and probably even believe it, it's still an even that brings up some mixed feelings for me.

I should preface this by saying that Iverson means a lot to me as a Sixers fan. The man has arguably* sparked more interest in the team -my favorite team- more than any other player in history, and as a fan I owe him that. I can't think of a player that threw himself into the game as hard as he did for the better part of a decade, and he took us to the finals. So please don't mistake what I'm about to say as hatred of Iverson.

I was against him coming back. I think I still am. His leaving was tumultuous at best, and we're still getting over the ramifications of building a team around him before he left. We have a bunch of young players now that need to learn the game in their own way, and I think Iverson could damage that in a way that could never be fixed. There's also the off-court drama associated with Iverson. I've had four people send me the "practice!?" clip in the past week, and it's not like I needed reminding the first time. I think Iverson will sell a shitload of tickets, but in the long run bringing him back might be detrimental to the young talent.

But watching this press conference... watching him picking up that uniform -the uni that he should've been wearing in his first run here- and seeing his smile when he did it... I can't help but feel a little hopeful. It might be the desperation of a horrified fan who has seen his favorite team in shambles all season following the coaching style of a lunatic. I might be grasping at whatever optimism I can pull out of the situation.  But there's also something else, something that I forgot about a while back.

This is Allen Iverson.

This is a guy who in the past has thrived on defying odds and proving people wrong. This might be the last stop in the league after dropping lower and lower on the the ladder, but he might just be able to rejuvenate this team and smack some sense into them. And if we're really lucky, he might just get Eddie Jordan fired. It's a longshot, but it's still the best shot I, as a fan, can have at the moment.

Sure, there's a strong chance I'll be eating these words (not literally) in a few months, but for now I'm kind of excited. the way I see it, the team can't possibly get worse than they've been so far, so let's give him the shot.

*with apologies to Charles, Julius and Wilt

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