Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

22 May 2009

Defending A.I

SI's Chris Ballard had an interesting column in this week's issue about Allen Iverson. (Full disclosure: I've written about, and genuinely liked, Allen.)
By interesting, I mean arrogant.
And a Larry Brown suck-up.
And while it may be accurate that, lately, teams seem to get better when AI leaves them, borderline offensive.
And, well, entirely off-base since he seems to have forgotten that the Pistons made the Billups-for-Iverson trade for salary-cap-clearing purposes.
A couple excerpts:
Maybe that 76ers run to the Finals in 2001 was more the masterwork of Larry Brown, a coach smart enough to minimize the liabilities of a 6-foot, ball-dominating two guard. After all, with Brown, AI's Sixers averaged 45 wins in full seasons; without Brown, they averaged 34.

Actually, that 76ers run to the Finals in 2001 was more the masterwork of Allen being in his career prime while Brown was here and Pat Croce being the lone person who could balance AI's precocious (borderline greedy) personality with Brown's beyond-borderline need to be respected and famed.
That, and Allen being MVP of the league. Will you question this week's cover-boy LeBron in such a manner when he's still ringless after 13 years? Hope so. But don't think so since you wrote this:

Strike one.

Hell, if Iverson wanted to play on my rec league team, I'd have to think twice. Sure we'd kill everybody, but who needs another thirtysomething guy who can't pass?

Exposing your angle as a personal grudge, are ya?
Strike two.

(I tried to ask Iverson, but he passed on an interview request.)

Gee, I wonder why.
Strike three. Looks like Allen isn't the only one who needs some prack tiss for his craft to improve.


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