UPDATE 10:31 am: It’s official, the second era of Allen Iverson in Philly has come to an end.
Team president Ed Stefanski said Tuesday that Iverson no longer wishes
to be a distraction to the team and his teammates. He says Iverson and
the Sixers have not found consistency as he tries to balance his career
and personal life.
You kind of hoped that Iverson would leave the game as he played it — on his terms and with some fanfare. While this may not be the end of his playing career, it may be if he cannot accept a lesser role with another team next season.
2:06 am: It is not totally unexpected, but it is still a bit shocking — tomorrow Philadelphia will make the announcement that it has cut ties with Allen Iverson and he will not be with the team the rest of this season according to CSNPhilly.com.
Iverson joined the Sixers on Dec. 2 as a free agent. He made his debut in his second tour of duty Dec. 7 against the Nuggets, one of his former teams, and provided energy and leadership for a total of 24 games.
In early February, Iverson left the team for personal reasons and missed five games and the NBA All-Star Game, which would have been his 11th consecutive All-Star appearance. On the Monday following the break, he disclosed that it was his four-year-old daughter Messiah that was ill, but they were still unclear of her ailment
Iverson played in three games from Feb. 15 through Feb. 20 before leaving again to be with his family.
It’s a tough spot for everyone involved. Iverson is putting his family first, spending time with a sick child (when not in Charlotte). Fans give lip service to this idea but when a player actually does put his family first he often gets grief for it.
The problem for the Sixers stemmed from clashing goals. Iverson was brought back to get them a few wins and sell some tickets for a decent but stagnant team. He filled that role and scored 14 a game for the Sixers in the 25 games he played. He was terribly inefficient scoring those points, but that was to be expected as Iverson has never been an efficient scorer.
While Iverson was eating minutes and hogging shots, the Sixers have some good young guards in Jrue Holiday and Willie Green who were not getting enough run. Guys that need to learn on the job but sat on the bench. They need to suffer (and bond) with the rest of the youth on the team and have some growing pains on their way to rebuilding. Iverson may have taken some of the pain away, but he stunted the team’s growth. If Philly wants to be better next year their young players need to learn now.
Which meant it was time to cut ties with Iverson. And they did.