by Marcel Mutoni

Though A.I. maintains that he will be a good soldier, and faithfully come off the bench for the Pistons once his back feels better, a lot of people are skeptical. Among those is Reggie Miller, who shared his feelings with a national TV audience.

From the Detroit News:

What Reggie Miller said on the TNT broadcast Tuesday night was what a lot of people, myself included, have thought and hinted and even wrote about — that Allen Iverson’s injury was more about a bruised ego than a hurt back. Here’s what Reggie said:

“I’ve played a lot of games against Allen Iverson when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever gone against. But having said that and knowing the information we know, what [strength and conditioning coach] Arnie Kander is saying, it’s almost like (Iverson) is holding this team hostage because he cannot accept the responsibility of coming off the bench and that’s sad because he is one of the truly great little men we’ve ever had in the game.”

Kander told TNT pretty much what myself and others have repeatedly reported. Every test that’s been run on Iverson’s back has shown no structural damage. The original MRI that was done in Orlando at the end of February has never been disputed.

It’s funny and sad in a way, as Iverson’s legendary toughness seems to now be working against him.

Had he not gutted it out so many times in the past, fighting through injuries that would’ve sidelined most other players, would any of this even be up for debate? Unlikely.