The Answer….ooorrr not???
During the ’08-’09 season, the Detroit Pistons drastically revamped some of their roster, with only ONE trade. The main pieces of the deal, sending Pistons mainstay, Chauncey Billups back home to Denver, for Allen Iverson. This move came with an abundance of question marks, but gave the Pistons a, “Go-To-Man,” and legit scoring threat, which they felt they were missing. For the Nuggets, it provided the Nuggets with the veteran leadership, they felt they were missing. The outcome, the Denver Nuggets are on the verge of locking up the 2nd seed in the playoffs, and have emerged as one of the favorites to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Pistons find themselves in a peculiar position, with a major back-peddling act into the playoffs, with a battle with the very young Chicago Bulls, as to whom will stake claim to the 7th or 8th seed!!! In the East, a bottom position such as the 7th or 8th seed, usually means a very bad record, which is very unlike the Detroit Pistons, who have made a consistent appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, for 6 straight seasons.
To make the entire situation worse, Iverson dealt with an inconsistent role with the Pistons, including a back injury, that ultimately ended the dreadful season. We’ve all known A.I. to be the main man, the scoring threat, the guy that will put the team on his back if need be. The Pistons are a team that has thrived on the concept of just that, “TEAM,” and have never revolved around one individual. This was a deal that was doomed from the start, with the pieces being moved, being polar opposites. While I don’t believe Iverson can’t play team basketball, I just feel it needs to be the right pieces around him, which have an understanding of where most of the production will come from, and who the man is. Carmelo and A.I., could have worked, but they needed to be surrounded by defensive minded players, besides Marcus Camby. The Kenyon Martin of old, was a formidable defender in his Cincy-NJ, days, but injury has definitely slowed the once feared big man. As a die hard Iverson fan, one has to worry if in fact, his hint at retiring was serious. I wanted to see A.I. get another chance at a ring, with a legitimate team, but the Pistons team he was dealt to, wasn’t the same Pistons team coming into the season. They dealt with the threat of a, “shake-up,” since the ending of the previous season. Have we seen the last of The Answer? Gone is the man that literally carried the Sixers to the NBA Finals, AND, leading them to a very competitive series, against a clearly over-matched opponent? I hope this isn’t the end for The Answer. A.I. re-defined the guard position, fighting a disadvantage as a traditional shooting guard, in height, but exceeded the position, in talent. Let’s hope Iverson comes into next season, as a free agent mind you, and chooses to go with a team that can help him realize his dream, an NBA Championship!