76ers' Latest Attempt to Villainize Allen Iverson Transparent as Usual

>> Friday

Seriously, what a bunch of pansies.

How many times is the 76ers front office going to play on this image of Allen Iverson-as-self-centered-malcontent before they realize no one buys it? The latest tactic to portray Iverson as a jerk and to make the team appear justified in trading him: tell him he's injured regardless of whether he or a doctor agrees.

As far as I can guess, the situation went down like so:

Peter King had really been wanting to trade Iverson for a while, but was like, "He's so popular and good that everyone will hate me, so I need some excuse, no matter how crazy."

So then after Iverson got hurt the other night, King called Mo Cheeks into his office and was like, "Ok, so here's the deal. Allen says he can't practice because of these spasms, so what you're going to do is bench him for the next game. And for good measure, let's make it the next two games."

Then Cheeks was like, "But that doesn't seem to make sense. Shouldn't we see first whether he actually needs time off for this injury?"

But then King was like, "You're not getting it. We need to make him look difficult so that we can trade him. It doesn't matter that it's confusing and makes no sense. He's going to publicly complain if we do this. And then people will look at it and say, 'Same old Allen. Still butting heads with his coach all the time. Maybe it really is time to trade him once and for all.' No one is actually going to acknowledge the details of this controversy. They'll just see it as immature, still-1997 Allen defying disciplinary action yet again. And bam--we trade him and still save face."

But then Cheeks was like, "Are people actually dumb enough to think a head coach in the NBA could wield that kind of authority over his superstar franchise player?"

And then King was like, "We both know the answer to that question is yes."

So then Cheeks was like, "Yeah, but as the coach, how would benching Allen without medical reason seem in my best interest?"

And then King was like, "Come on, Mo; you know you're just Allen's pawn when you're out there, and you're just my pawn in here. And guess who writes your checks. So, uh, you should probably stop asking questions and do as I say."

And then Cheeks was like, "Yeah, good point."

End of discussion.

I honestly do not understand why this guy has never enjoyed the respect and backing of franchie that players of his kind ought to have. Yeah, I get that he was kind of a selfish punk occasionally when he was younger and that his ways aren't always kid-friendly, but come on; what other superstar of his level ever put up with as much crap?

MJ? Magic? Shaq? I think not. And don't believe what you read in those comic books. A.I. has been every bit as good as those guys throughout his career.

So why always the double-standard for Iverson?


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