The Answer? These days Allen Iverson is more like The Cancer. The Denver Nuggets started gelling as a team immediately after Iverson’s departure and the arrival of Chauncey Billups while the Pistons imploded thanks in part to AI’s reaction to coming off the bench behind Rip Hamilton.
Now an unrestricted free agent, Iverson is threatening to retire if his next head coach also has the audacity not to make him an every day starter. Although I don’t have an M.D. after my name, I feel reasonably confident in diagnosing AI with an acute case of Favreitis.
Symptoms of this vexing condition include an inability to recognize a significant deterioration in skill level, an ego the size of Chuck Barkley’s waistline and a desire to prolong a successful career by playing for an inferior team. This last symptom appears to be manifesting itself in Iverson’s desire to play for the Memphis Grizzlies next season.
Can you imagine Iverson, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo being on the court at the same time? I don’t even think two balls would be enough. AI is unquestionably one of the best little men to ever play the game, but the last few months just make me want to scream WTC?
Renounce means to give up and relinquish, right? Well, if that is the case then why would Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo consider cutting ties with three quality players for a guy with a career shooting percentage of .428 and the lateral mobility of a glacier? I like what Hedo Turkoglu brings to the table, but renouncing the rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino and Anthony Parker just doesn’t seem prudent.
Assuming Mrs. Turkoglu doesn’t find a city with better shopping and a larger Turkish community within the next couple of days, Hedo reportedly will be signing a 5-yr $53 million deal with the Raptors on July 8th. Orlando general manager Otis Smith has ruled out a sign-and-trade of Turk, so Colangelo will need to figure something else out during the next 48 hours or so.
If he doesn’t, then valuable assets that could have been used to bring back something of value in return will need to be renounced. If this occurs then in all likelihood Colangelo will be forced to rely on an assortment of cast-offs and other minimum-salaried players to round out the roster. This doesn’t bode well for the future success of the Raptors and it may eventually cost Colangelo his job.
One reason why I love sports so much is that opinions are usually formed about player transactions without any agendas. Well, aside from the half-assed agendas that I have been accused of having by one SCIC commenter…but I digress. Generally speaking, when a transaction is made you either like it or you don’t.
By and large, the general consensus seems to be that GM Joe Dumars made a couple of shrewd moves by signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Even two of my colleagues here on this site were supportive of the acquisitions and praised the Pistons.
Although I acknowledge that both Gordon and Villanueva are good players, I couldn’t disagree more about Dumars’ strategy. Instead of holding on to the considerable cap space for another year in an effort to try to land a big fish (LeBron, DWade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson or possibly Amar’e Stoudemire), Dumars shelled out $95 million for a couple of 7 pound catfish.
With their current roster, Detroit has virtually no chance of being any better than an 8th seed in the East. Put simply, Cleveland, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Philly, Washington and Atlanta are all better teams. As it stands now, the Pistons will be battling the Heat for the 8th and final spot in the East.
Why? Because last I checked Kwame Brown is the only center on the roster. Although Dumars does seem to have a thing for Huskies and perhaps Hilton Armstrong will soon be brought in as well. Hell, maybe even Travis Knight too. All I know is that the Pistons are no longer a power team and Dumars seems to have them on the road to mediocrity…if not irrelevancy.
Look for What The Chuck? or a Triple T (The Tuurrible Ten) every Monday on SCIC and if you have any suggestions please send them here