Allen Iverson has clearly lost a step. For a player who became a superstar based on his quickness, it signals the beginning of the end.
Iverson had a disappointing run with the Pistons last year because he didn’t want to come off the bench. Same with the Grizzlies to start this season.
Joe Dumars, the Pistons and Grizzlies can now watch Iverson start for the East in the All-Star game in Dallas next month.
Iverson, who has played in just 19 games this season including 16 with the Sixers, is averaging 14.4 points per game and 4.4 assists. Those clearly aren’t all-star numbers, and are well below what AI put up in his heyday.
However, AI’s fans saw past his deficiencies on the court and recognize the end of a Hall of Fame career when they see one. Combining the fact that no team really wanted Iverson, his lack of production and the arthritis that is hampering his knees, and you can see the writing on the wall. This may very well be his last season sweating on NBA hardwood.
Iverson finished second among East guards in voting, 200,000 ahead of Orlando’s Vince Carter for the starting spot. Iverson was listed in the West on all-star ballots because he started the year in Memphis.
While some fans and players such as Ray Allen will whine and cry about the voting system and how Iverson doesn’t deserve to start, the fact is AI has earned the right to be in Dallas. Name recognition plays a big role in balloting. So does the fans appreciation for the excitement a player has brought them for nearly 14 seasons.
Iverson was at one point the most electrifying athlete in the NBA. The fans want to give AI one last moment in the all-star spotlight. And, now he has it. Whether Ray Allen likes it or not.
The bottom line is the fans did do the right thing in electing AI a starter.