Occasionally I’m going to use this AFBLog platform to vent or report on the Sixers. A lot of us care about this team. Though I’m starting to wonder why. If the team were a person, not an idea, I would have broken off relations with them mid way through last season. I would have spent the rest of the season and summer looking for someone new to love. The Suns and Bulls were giving me coquettish furtive glances; all I have to do is walk across the room and introduce myself. But no, this is sport, where irrationality dictates. And therefore I am staying with my Sixers. My heart says to stay in the city regardless of how attractive other cities may look. It says I can’t run from my problems. It says find new people. Unfortunately I can’t find new people because I am not the GM. And even more unfortunately, he that is the GM, Billy King, chose not to find new people. And so the Sixers begin their season tonight, in much the same way they did last season. Does anybody care?
Philadelphia is a football town. Allen Iverson is a football player who just happens to play basketball, which is why so many people have loved him for so long. But it seems as though there has been a sway in the other direction against him lately. There is a resignation to the fact that he is not going to be bringing in a ring. On Freedarko.com one of their authors wrote, “I’d rather go 0-82 with Allen then 82-0 without him.” Obviously this is hyperbole, but it demonstrates the extreme feelings the little guy stirs up. Or should I say stirred up. This season seems like it will be a referendum on how Allen Iverson’s career will be remembered. Will the ennui fueled, jaundiced view of Iverson’s lack of defense and extreme chucking tendencies be his legacy? Or will the little warrior persona continue to live on? According to rumors Iverson was taken off the trading block because the franchise is for sale. I suppose the idea is that Iverson draws a crowd, gets some victories and is therefore a thing to have when selling. Sorta like a sunken living room for selling a house. But Iverson is not drawing a crowd and as Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote, “Pains me to point this out, since I’m a bigger Iverson sympathizer with each passing year, but if KG can miss the playoffs twice in a row, AI’s team certainly can.” So, Allen isn’t getting victories or crowds, then what is he doing here? He isn’t playing defense though he is vowing he will play tougher perimeter defense. I assume that should be an entertaining 7 minutes of basketball tonight.
He’ll give up on the thought and start jacking shots and playing passing lanes. And people will stop showing up to the games, stop watching them on t.v. The casual fan that is. The extreme emotion Iverson once brought about in both his admirers and his detractors is gone like air from a whoopee cushion. Are we spoiled by his play or has he spoiled the game itself? The east is no longer a bunch of chumps, four teams from the east have a legitimate chance to win the championship, and the Sixers ain’t one of them. Going into the season knowing they are playing for the sake of playing, not for the ultimate prize, might be what causes this calm before the calm. This season starts tonight and it seems like there are no feelings stirred in the city.