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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Return of the Prodigal Son

He's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack (which means I'm gone). Support tanking, root for the Nuggs!

Full Story

Here he comes, 15 months after he was kicked out of Philadelphia over irreconcilable differences, A.I., The Answer, the MVP, the hip-hop hoops icon -- call him what you want -- is back in the city he once owned like few others ever have in its deep, rich sports history.

The ones who know the fans best believe Iverson will get an ovation tonight that will rattle the roof of the Wachovia Center when the 6-foot guard out of Georgetown is introduced as a Denver Nugget.

Few athletes ever electrified, and polarized, the city like Iverson. He was an MVP with a rap sheet. A wanna-be rapper with a stat sheet stamped for the Hall of Fame. He whined about practice, clashed with his coaches, crossed over Michael Jordan and stepped over Tyronn Lue.

Iverson always proclaimed his love of Philly, the fans and the Sixers and swore he wanted to end his career with the franchise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft.

Any problems he ever had in a dysfunctional relationship with the Sixers were somehow always worked out until the one month they didn't and Iverson was gone faster than a drive down the lane.

Iverson was arguably one of the four greatest Sixers, compiling a sparkling resume over 10-plus seasons that put him in the mix with Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and Charles Barkley. His No. 3 jersey was a best seller around the globe, the headband wrapped snugly around his cornrows, and the tattoos were as much a part of his image as the way he ricochets around the court. Play every game like it was his last was more than a catchphrase, it was a lifestyle.

"I'd like to say I played as hard as he did but I couldn't," said former Sixers center Todd MacCulloch. "I couldn't put my effort up against him. I don't know how many people in the league could. He's a special talent, a special player."

Iverson fearlessly crashed the lane against players nearly a foot taller than him, played through countless injuries and added the pizzaz that was missing in what was a staid franchise.

Iverson transformed the 76ers from lottery losers to contenders, though he couldn't bring home an NBA title to this championship-starved city. He came close in 2001, when the 76ers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals.
It's easy to believe the ultimate undersized underdog has one more fantastic show left for the fans he used to call his own.
Keywords: Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Allen Iverson, Billy King, Ed Snider, Mo Cheeks

2 comments:

Jason said...

lol @ someone shedding a tear during the introductions (here's a hint: it was NOT AI).

Anonymous said...

Sorry Nadum :(

On the plus side at least it was the Sixers that did it right?

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