So the Sixers brought back Allen Iverson to the Center hoping to inspire the young Sixers team enough for them to beat the Celtics and force a Game 7 in their NBA playoff series.
Iverson, called a punk by some, someone with wife problems, money problems, friend problems, was there to light a spark.
First – Iverson has wife, money and friend problems. So how many of us don’t – in some respects? Second – he did exactly what the Sixers owners had hoped he would do. His presence (possibly) gave the young team enough of a push that the team now travels to Boston for the deciding game.
Back to Iverson.
While Allen was here – and possibly still – he hung out with a rather bad crowd. There were plenty of people ready, willing and able to suck the guy dry. There were fancy cars, nights out on the town. Why not? The multi-millionaire athlete who owned Philly was happy dishing out the cash, cars, drinks and dinners.
There was a messy divorce that is still going on and Allen’s career in the NBA sputtered and stuttered to a rather crummy ending. He played overseas and honestly, I felt bad for the guy. This wasn’t the way he was supposed to go out.
But then again Iverson was probably someone’s bet for the athlete to never make it, to crash and burn and to never win anything – ever.
He was one of the smallest guards to probably ever play the game. Yet what he lacked in stature he made up in basketball heart. For whatever took place off the court with Allen Iverson no one can ever argue that he played the game to its fullest. Just about every game he could be seen sliding, crashing, diving for loose balls and getting smashed as he entered the paint.
Pound for pound, no one ever played as hard as Iverson. But unfortunately for him, he played off the court just as hard. And yes, his personal life right now is pretty much a mess.
Yet for one night, tilted cap and all, Iverson electrified the Center crowd, inspiring his teammates on to an improbable win.
And now there is a Game 7 in Boston.
There was the trademark hand to his ear, pushing for the thunderous applause. No, he wasn’t running down the court. But no matter, he did enough. It was Allen’s night – and a night for a sweet Sixers victory.
Here’s hoping that spirit carries into THE game of the season.
— Andy Hachadorian