Update 5:09: Looks like the show will be delayed, the Sixers organization just announced that Iverson will miss the next two games for the team (a back-to-back before the All-Star break in Minnesota tonight and Toronto tomorrow). He will be expected by the NBA to at least be around on All-Star weekend (remember, the league once fined Michael Jordan for missing a Friday event, they are serious about having everyone there so the corporate sponsors feel important). Please check back after the All-Star break to resume this crash.
12:20: Hey, pull up a chair and grab some popcorn — there’s a train wreck a comin’ and you can have a front row seat. Let us head to Philadelphia and talk Allen Iverson.
But after Monday’s practice, which Iverson again missed due to his daughter’s illness, (Sixers coach Eddie) Jordan wouldn’t commit to Iverson starting when he comes back.
“That’s a topic we have to discuss,” Jordan said.
Later, Jordan said, “We’re going to talk about that as a staff. We’ve had some of those discussions. We’ll cross that bridge when we cross that bridge.”
That bridge has more explosives under it than the one over the river Kwai. In Detroit last season and Memphis to start this one, Iverson destroyed locker room chemistry and became a big distraction when he didn’t start. He can’t fathom sitting behind a lesser player, and in his mind most players remain lesser. And he’s not going to be quiet about it.
Of course, Jordan is right, the Sixers are better when Iverson is out — they are 3-0 in this stretch without him, all against playoff teams. The new starting backcourt of Willie Green and rookie Jrue Holiday give the Sixers better defense, better size and guys working within the flow of the offense.
Iverson can still play in this league — in his last seven games he is averaging nearly 14 points but on a very Iversonesque, inefficient 40% shooting. Andre Iguodala has a couple more assists a game than Iverson. He remains a gunner. That is the kind of player that can be a big boost off the bench.
If said player will go to the bench. Iverson will not go quietly into that good night. So pull up a chair and enjoy the coming train wreck.