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Friday, October 2nd, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  102 responses

Iverson Rehashes the Nightmare in Detroit

The Answer sat down with Scoop for his most candid words yet on the depressing situation in Motown last year: “Once they told me to come off the bench after they told me they would never disrespect me like that, that they would never do that … and then they told me, ‘They lying down on you, Chuck.’ ['Bubba Chuck' is Iverson's nickname, 'Chuck' for short.] I swear to God. I put this on everybody that I love in my life.’”

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  • rikson

    Coming of the bench… disrespect? Chuck has come a long way….

  • tavoris

    rikson, he just basically said what MANY Iverson supporters have been echoing since February. At any rate, I’m glad Scoop got this in print.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Selective quotes don’t work for opinions rikson (“out of context,” heard of that one?), and clicking to read them as a whole would answer your question, but you won’t so I’ll bring it to you:
    -
    [So I went and talked to them. And they told me, straight up, "Allen, we would never disrespect you or your career like that,"]
    He heard rumors, so he went straight to the source – to get to the bottom of it. You’ve got a long way to come yourself.

  • LeoneL

    “I’m talking about going to practice — yeah, I said practice (laughs)”

    Probably my favorite part of the interview.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Pointing out what the lying down means is more important here than his nickname, which most know by now anyway.
    -
    “they told me that if I didn’t come off the bench — the team was going to lie down on [not play with] me.”
    -
    “Did I believe they laid down? Um, I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe that. But I knew something wasn’t right. I wouldn’t want to think that those guys would disrespect the game like that. But in actuality, when they did that to me, when they lied to me, that put the thought of me coming off the bench in everybody’s mind.”
    -
    “it was something I was told was not going to happen. That’s the thing. When you are told something like that, when someone tells you that to your face, you put your arms down. You let your guard down. You are like, “OK, I ain’t thinking about that anymore; I ain’t gonna worry about that.” And the explanation that was given to me by them, I mean, I told them: “Yes, I will come off the bench if you think that will make us a better team. But you and I both know that that’s not going to make us a better team. But it will if it’s the reason you all are giving me. If you all are saying that guys are going to lay down if I don’t come off the bench, then yeah that’s going to make us a better team because they [are] going to play better. Obviously.”
    -
    And I’m just being selective here too.

  • http://www.myspace.com/weezyleezy337 Gametime Weezy

    the same media people that said he was just a scorer and shot to much were the same people that killed him saying he didnt score enuff. on a good team iverson can def run the point…all those allstar teams he was on he was runnin the point and it was sick

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    You know what, I’ll take back some of the things I’ve said about AI bailing out on the Pistons if Curry did indeed tell him that the players didn’t want him back for the end of the year + went back on his word that he would never come off the bench.

  • tavoris

    I’d like to add that I think it’s pretty clear which players “laid down” in this discussion. Hint: Wallace, McDyess, Prince, Maxiell, & Kwame aren’t it.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    To be honest, even while starting, Stuckey wasn’t that good. Sure he had a few good games when they tested him starting, but after he got accustomed to it, Stuckey didn’t get many assists. I know cause I picked him up in fantasy.LOL but that aside, hope he gets more assists this year.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn. Well I’m going to have to go back on my promise to myself and get the League Pass again. Gotta watch this cat do his thing.
    Just, damn. That’s a crazy set of events. Theyneed to get today’s interview up NOW!

  • burnt_chicken

    scoop has so much love, so much trust from players. it’s amazing the level of mutual respect that is accorded….
    and stands as testament to the skills of both.

    ESPN still sucks, though…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tavoris
    Rasheed laid down. But, it wasn’t because of AI, it was becaue he just felt like quitting. That whole team had a malaise and it affected everybody. I didn’t want to blame Curry, but damn, seems like he had some issues.
    Well, this year is going to be crazy interesting.

  • ClydeSays

    I understand Chuck having a lot of pride in being a starter for his entire career and rightfully so.

    But he knows better than anyone that he’s on the downside of his career and, like every other guy at the end of the day, he’s paid by a team to do what they need him to do.

    I would’ve had a lot more respect for Allen if he had taken whatever role they gave him & tried to make it work. No question that the trade was a bad move for the Pistons, but AI didn’t really help things by moping and complaining. He’s never seemed to be the kind of player that would fake an injury, but given these comments, I wonder.

    I’ve always loved his game, but now he seems like a bitter old man.

  • S. Trotter

    This troubling to say the least. Toward the end of the season, I was wondering how a bit of back pain could keep Allen “I go hard” Iverson off the court. It seems that he was pushed out and kept his mouth closed about it, and no one from his team would say what was really going on.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Leave it to Scoop to actually get the real story, not the b.s. most of the media has just made up about A.I. over the past year.

  • dial up

    he was “pushed out” and kept his mouth closed, lol that wasn’t close to what happened. He hasn’t shut his mouth since, and now it got him on the grizzlies. good job.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I was surprised that Iverson said that he wasn’t looking to shine in Memphis to prove folks wrong. That that wasn’t even on his mind. I was shocked that he tried to assume the mantle of leadership, which is totally new for him. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can handle that burden, if he can deal with the daily grind of holding himself to a higher standard. Honestly, I’m not optimistic, but I am hopeful.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Nice to see Scoop doing his old job again. That’s the interview I’ve been wanting to read for quite a while.

  • tavoris

    Allenp, my point was that Rasheed didn’t lay down for THAT reason. I recognize he was pretty disinterested once he realized the Pistons weren’t gonna be close to contending. What’s troubling, however, is how people can STILL try to put the onus on AI for the Detroit situation, when it was obvious that “certain players” didn’t want him there. Now it’s clear those players exerted their influence to get Curry to fo along with their agenda. I am pretty sure I’ve been saying the same thing about that situation for MONTHS now.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I can’t wait to hear the other guys response to this.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Scoop did what SLAM did not do at all last season: Present Iverson’s point of view. Big props for this, if you’re scanning these comments Scoop (which he probably isn’t).
    No offense SLAM, but you guys should have taken the initiative last season and did something in print, instead of waiting for the other media outlets to stop criticizing Iverson in the summer. I never read one article defending Iverson at all. You can criticize him all you want, but I would have thought SLAM was the type of magazine that presented the player’s point of view too; you know, both sides. Instead, what did I find? About ten Starbury pieces.
    Granted, no complaints on the site; I know that Ryne and some other writers did a few things on this issue during the summer, and the site is as fresh as ever.
    By why didn’t anybody think of doing an interview?
    If I’ve missed an article like this in the magazine, please, tell me and I’ll stand corrected.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign tavoris on pretty much everything he’s said about Iverson. You’ve had to repeat yourself for like five months on this lol. A lot of people still won’t listen, but its all good.

  • tavoris

    Thanks, Teddy…CoCo, nobody in Detroit is gonna respond to this, because no one wants to be viewed as the “coach-killer” or “team-killer” out there.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Okay, for a while now I have been putting a large portion of the blame for the Pistons’ season on Joe Dumars. But since Iverson himself has expressed that Dumars had nothing to do with the problems in Detroit, I change my mind. Although Dumars made some bad moves, I’ll believe that it was not his decision to disrespect Iverson like that. However, that being said, I’m keeping an eye out on Dumars’ moves because a lot of them have not been too good lately.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I may seem annoying to you now, but I wouldn’t be saying this if I were joking:
    “The people that knew the game, they weren’t saying anything.” Or something like that. Allen Iverson’s own words, SLAM. Think about it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    My thoughts:
    It was obvious Rip and Stuckey weren’t happy with Iverson on the squad. I don’t think it was totally personal, but there was definitely a style clash. They didn’t want to concede too much to the new guy.
    Prince was solid most of hte year, but even his spirt started to be affected late in the year.
    Sheed was coasting from Day one.
    And Curry. Well, I tried to give Curry the benefit of the doubt, but I always felt like he was indecisive. He kept waffling on what he was going to do, and this story confirms that. If he would hav epicked one road and stuck with it, things would have been better for the team.
    That said, Iverson still could have handled things better. He started pouting himself, and he should have worked harder to use his skill set better in what the Pistons were doing. Plus, he can’t blame Curry for his horrid defense, although it was better than it was in Denver.
    Now ESPN needs to post Part Two.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Is Iverson really on the downside of his career from a basketball point of view? We have just accepted that he is but is the evidence there? When he got to Detroit, he was still a 25+ ppg scorer perennial all-star. When he got out of Detroit, he was an off the bench undersized scorer hopeful to get a CONTRACT.

  • tavoris

    Z…it’s PURELY a matter of perception. Allenp-u r correct, but from a business standpoint (and AI is one of the few players in the league who exists as a “brand”), it would be senseless for Iverson to concede too much to Detroit. Once he was told that certain players didn’t want him there, he would have been a fool to play. Now that the truth is out (and trust that Scoop researched this before letting it print), people can either keep their “Iverson Hater” goggles on, or they can look at the reality of that disastrous season and place blame where it REALLY needs to go. For the record, Curry-as a first year coach-should have never tolerated such dissent…nor should he have had to tolerate it. Dumars should have fined the hell out of ANY player who undermined the coaches authority.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Tavoris I think some of those players will address whether or not they quit on the team. (which I believe they did) Someone has to refute this. They will not just let everyone think they “laid down”

  • tavoris

    CoCo…I seriously doubt it. Players usually only do the back-and-forth squabbling over petty ‘ish…

  • Hambone

    he had problems in philly/denver and Deeeetroit

    i was never good at maths but i see a common denomenator.

    ps i flunked english too

  • tavoris

    hambone…what problems has Iverson EVER had with other players? this is a first.

  • JOMAY

    I am sick and tired for y’all people saying AI is in the downside of his career. He’s sacrificed a lot when he got out of Philly but give him a team he’ll lead and not share the spotlight and he can still give you 30ppg/6apg. When he went ot denver, it was melo’s team. he was second fiddle. when he went to detroit, with the mess and the scorers and his so-called teammates (rip and stuckey) frowned the moment they heard he’s coming to town bec. they don’t wanna share the scoring load with AI. but AI has only sacrificed that’s why his productions slipped but only for a bit.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Teddy-the-Bear: We did run a cover of Iverson in January which consisted of a 45-minute interview that let him speak his piece. It was well-received by AI and our readers, in print and online, and sold very well. Not sure what more we would’ve done, as there’s no way we would have done a second AI cover last season, and there’s no way AI would consent to another long interview if it wasn’t a cover. I don’t think we have anything to apologize for.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    BTW, anyone who gets annoyed with the commenters on this site should spend some time reading the comments on Scoop’s piece. Lot of hateful a**holes over there.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Ben
    It’s ESPN. Nuff said.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Oh lawd. I don’t even bother trying to read the comments over at ESPN. It usually ends on some racist/xenophobic-type ish.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I too would like to hear what the other Pistons have to say about this. If we are just willing to take AI’s word for it that they threatened to lay down on him (pause), then isnt the integral question….WHY? Why would they lay down? Hmmm? Might that have to do with something AI did that he’s conveniently not telling us? Honestly, thye called a special practice on Thanksgiving to incorporate him into the offense and everyone showed up BUT him. Hows that for a first impression? Care to imagine what DIDNT get reported?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I wonder if he did that interview before or after they nailed him to the cross. Sheesh.

  • tavoris

    can’t nobody say that Slam has an anti-Ivy agenda…they are probably more pro-Iverson than anybody.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Myles
    The person to ask is Michael Curry. That’s who Iverson blames for passing the info along to him. Now maybe the player’s never spoke to Curry, maybe Curry just felt they were quitting on Iverson.
    But, I doubt that Iverson is telling a boldfaced lie about what happened between he and Curry. Given Curry’s history of waffling, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back on his word.
    And, since anybody who watched a Pistons game knows they quit on the season, why is a shock what Iverson is saying? You could blame the Thanksgiving practice, but that’s a mighty big reaction to one event. From what I saw, Rip Hamilton was angry from the jump.
    By the way, you really, REALLY don’t like Iverson. It’s almost at Eboy/Kobe levels now.

  • tavoris

    Myles, I think his perspective is believable because in spite of all, IT MAKES SENSE. There’s no other plausible explanation that incorporates the KNOWN facts of the situation. Any other explanation would only ignore how Rip got a free pass in his grumblings about coming off the bench, and also how Stuckey (the new “leader” of the troops) said and did NOTHING to solidify that he’s the answer at PG. Even Billups said that Rip was gonna have a major issue coming off the bench, winning or not. Now that Iverson has gone on to the Grizz (laugh all you want, but they are on the right track), and Sheed is gone to Boston, we will see how the rest of them react without a scapegoat.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    So that would make me Judas, Allen? :)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Hardly. I just dont think that Im getting ‘the truth’ or ‘the real story’ just because Allen Iverson gave his spin/side of things. Like its not in his best interest to protect his own image. (All while he says he doesnt care what people think of him. Of course thats something all athletes do, but anyway…) There is certainly blame to spread around. Dumars never wouldve had to fire Flip if the players didnt revolt against him. He never shouldve hired Curry and in my opinion he only did so hoping the players would respect a black coach. But Curry was a BAD black coach and that backfired. The Pistons have always laid down. They layed down against the Cavs a few years ago, they laid down against the Celtics and they laid down last year. That sh*t aint new. I never said Allen Iverson killed this team. I have said that he has the same sh*t attitude that has been holding him back his entire career and that he quit on his team last year. Now if he quit on them cause they did first, fine. But maybe, just maybe, the players were mad for a reason. Show me the growth in Allen Iversons game, show me any personal development or accountability throughout his career. Yes, he has been unnecessarily castigated, but hes also been a stubborn, arrogant and self centered malcontent. Hes made it this far in life doing things his way so he sees no reason to change and anyone who suggests otherwise is a ‘hater’. But the question is, just how far is ‘this far’ in terms of the NBA? What has he really done in comparison to what he could have really accomplished if it werent for his persecution complex? Its not even that I dont like him, its that I dont feel sorry for him. At all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If from the beginning of your career you willingly cast yourself as a rebel and an antihero, then dont be f*cking surprised when youre labeled as a rebellious misfit.

  • Peter

    Myles, why don’t you answer your own question…what more COULD he have done with a different attitude? Individually I would argue Iverson went about as far as he could as a player. And that was pretty damn close to winning a title. I guess my point is, if you’ve been the star all your career, what validation is it to win a title by joining a team as a role player and fitting in. Take Gary Payton for example…should his ring really be taken into consideration when looking at his accomplishments as a basketball player?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Peter
    I had this discussion a while back, and I readily admitted that Iverson failed to achieve his full potential in my opinion. From his autobiography, it’s obvious he’s never put “practice” high on his list of priorities. So, Myles’ comments about Iverson’s failure to reach his his peak becaue of his own shortcomings are well received by me.
    However, much of criticism from Myles seems to center on Iverson’s failures as a human being. That is where I take issue. While I readily admit that he has failed by my standard in many ways (philaderer, compulsive gambler, pouter)I also see ways in which he has shown an amazing spirit. Moreover, I don’t think his public image is just the natural and fair result of his actions, but rather the result of being who is in the country we live in.
    Moreover, I find it crazy that Myles can generate so much anger for Iverson’s failures as a man, yet can find the time to constantly defend Kobe who seems to share many of the same traits as Iverson.
    I have never shied away from acknowledging the flaws of Iverson, but personally I don’t think those flaws are as heinous as Myles seem to believe. The personal and the athletic flaws.
    But, I’ll admit that I want dude to succeed. I’ve been following his career since 1994, and I have a massive bias towards him as a player. Doesn’t mean I ignore the negative, but I do think it makes me more likely to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Myles
    Did Iverson really cast himself as the rebel and anti-hero? Wasn’t that done for him in a bowling alley in Virginia?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I said he had a sh*t attitude, he was stubborn, arrogant and self centered. All of those things are in reference to his actions regarding basketball. I dont care about peoples personal lives because if it werent for basketball I wouldnt care about them at all. So thats where my focus stays. I didnt say anything about philandering, gambling, drugs, guns, marital issues or anything else, because again, I dont care. Thats not what stopped him from being the best player he could be. So lets not build strawmen here. And with that in mind, I dont know what this has to do with Kobe, another player who I have consistently defended on the court only. But to humor you, yes, Kobe is stubborn, arrogant and self centered. The difference is that those characteristics in his case are either the the fuel for or the byproduct of an unparalleled work ethic and desire to win. Whens the last time you heard a story about him hiding in the bathroom eating Taco Bell during practice? So again, lets not build straw men and talk about personal lives or compare a four time champion to a guy who has only been out of the first round approximately four times in his entire career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Im very familiar with the bowling alley incident. It obviously hardened him at a very young age and may be the source of the persecution complex. But as a result of that incident/complex hes made it quite clear that he is going to be who he wants to be and precedent or protocol be damned. Lets not act as though the man who rapped ‘step to me with f*ggot tendencies and youll be sleepin where the maggots be’ did nothing to further his own negative image.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Ben Osborne: Ahhh, thanks my man. I must have missed it then. I guess I made a mistake then, so I stand corrected. SLAM has still got it.

  • Drew

    I love watching Iverson play, but I don’t get why he thinks coming off the bench was such disrespect. He and Rip had to share time, and it really didn’t matter who started and who came off the bench.
    Plus, that lyric Myles quoted is the worst. I forgot about the gay-hating idiot Jewelz.

  • dial up

    Iverson is such a joke. He say’s the piston’s players “revolted” or whatnot, and you all believe Him?? Then some other ai. lovers say that they quit on the season, yet still made the playoffs?? I watched a few pistons games this year, and iverson was hardly a team player. He played the same as he always has, and kept his career 41.5% shooting percentage. That alone won’t win many games.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    If it means anything, Myles is 100% right. Allen yells at me time and time again for taking one side without listening to the other and saying “THERE YA GO! THERE YA GO!”
    But it seems the dude did just that this time.
    I don’t believe half of this Iverson interview. Sorry.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    There is no comparison between Kobe and Iverson. Kobe will do what NEEDS to be done to win, but unfortunately has trouble doing it when he is not the main focus. Iverson will do what NEEDS to be done to win, as LONG as Iverson is the main focus.
    Man, Scoop should have just made all this stuff up from the get-go, dude’s so biased and on Iverson’s side, it’s upsetting. The fun he has over at ESPN.
    I’ll repost what Myles said, because it’s the truth:
    ‘If from the beginning of your career you willingly cast yourself as a rebel and an antihero, then dont be f*cking surprised when youre labeled as a rebellious misfit. ‘

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I can’t believe I missed this today f*ck tmobile

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Same here Bryan. Same here. Throw in your two cents, hope it starts up again

  • tavoris

    Myles…how familiar are you with the bowling alley incident? really? I grew up in Newport News, VA…and am very familiar with Hampton’s blatant racism (which still occurs today). The man did NOT cast himself as the antihero. He cast himself as the EVERYDAY hero. The Anti-Jordan if you will. Jordan as an athletic marvel, but wholly unapproachable. Iverson is 6’0″, looks like the average dude in every high school, and puts up spectacular numbers against the best players in the world, while remaining APPROACHABLE. Sure, he doesn’t like to practice. No player does…However, anybody who’s been serious about the game knows it’s necessary. That situation came and went, and is not-and should not-be the defining characteristic of his career. Especially since he has played through injuries that most players (not named Kobe) would miss weeks for. Your disdain for the man is obviously not related to his game…as a basketball fan, you wouldn’t even pay him this much attention if you didn’t like his game. So, stop frontin like you’re just offering you’re analysis..

    Jukai, we’ve gone back and forth about this situation ad nauseum. Show me PROOF-or something to refute the accuracy of his claims- and we’ll talk. In case you missed it, Detroit DECLINED comment.

  • tavoris

    Jukai, did you just claim that Scoop Jackson was biased? smh…that’s one of the few sportswriters we have that is unbiased enough to get the difficult interviewees to talk.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    lol co-sign Tavoris. I can sort of just chill on this issue now because everything I’ve said in the past/everything I’m going to say has already been said by tavoris and Allenp. Respect due, fellas.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Tavoris: Uh, I got a bridge to sell ya, man. Scoop gets all those interviews because he’s totally biased. He never spoke bad about any of the dudes he got interviews with, he worshiped them. That created some AMAZING interviews. Interviews where people talked about their feelings.
    But I NEVER saw Scoop ask someone a question they didn’t want to hear, or write a bad article on a guy he liked. Scoop wrote lots of nasty articles, but never on a dude he wanted an interview with.
    You seem to be as blind about Scoop as you are about Iverson.
    What proof do you want me to present you? Proof about what?

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    I mean, I can’t believe people are saying “Why would RIP AND STUCKEY DARE expect Iverson to conform to them!”
    Well, maybe the former NBA champ and future of the franchise had ALREADY COME OFF THE BENCH and the team was STILL LOSING and they were pissed that IVERSON REFUSED TO GET OFF THE BENCH.
    I like how everyone’s focusing on management ‘lying’ to Iverson, and not how Iverson immediately went to confront his coach about how he didn’t want to be insulted by coming off the bench.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    And that everyday hero thing is crap. As Allen has corrected me multiple times on, Iverson was massively athletic. Dude was quicker than 95% of the NBA and had hops to get over Marcus Camby’s head and throw it down. Anti-Jordan? smh at you, good sir.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Everybody and epecially Wayno and even Jukai and guys like Teddy should know that I have been saying this for the longest time. I read the full interview today and it seemed pretty legit. AI talked about the things that I have been saying for so long now and talked about how he will never beat the media simply because they hate him no matter what. Than I realized if AI scores a lot he is called selfish and told he should score less and if he scores less he is called washed up and useless the treatment he gets is much worse than the treatment Kobe gets from the media. A lot of people waited for Iverson to fall off than they had their chance and just ate this guy up.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Here is the link for the full interview you can find the second part to it at the top: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jackson/091001&sportCat=nba

  • scntfc

    I dont believe that at all. lets remember that AI started out as a starter. now the team yo-yo’d as far as wins and losses. so if I am a coach. I am going to juggle the line-up and see what works. the bottom line is when AI came to the D. he said he would do anything to win. He missed a practice that was being held specifically for him. He gets paid 20 mill a year and he cant come off the bench? since when has it been a disrespect to come off the bench? and he talks about it being the worst move he ever made. he got traded. He had no say in the matter! his skills are on a decline. he is still a great player. but he sucks. look at where he’s working and when he got signed. that speaks volumes. You mean the only team that AI can be an asset to is the Grizz? gtfoh. dudes attitude is poison. Curry sucks. and so does AI! next year he will prolly’ be plaing in Greece.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    As a guy who has done his share of ragging on AI, this interview sheds some light. I believe some of what he’s saying, but still feel like lot of it is him trying to cover his own a$$. I can buy that Michael Curry could have said somthing like that to him. He was making statements about his lineups then going back on them the whole season, so it makes sense. But the deal is that just like people who would make the argument that AI wrecked Detroit’s season and it’s all his fault blah blah blah would jump all over an article that is taking a shot at AI (and I am guilty of this), all the people that defend AI are all over this article because it says what they want to hear and therefore to them it is automatically the undeniable truth about the situation.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    With as much criticsm as I have and continue to give AI, I still, and always have realized that the whole siuation was VERY two sided. As a Detroit fan yeah, I take it kind of personally when a guy with the resume of AI quits on my team, but like Ive always said, MC was a moron about pretty much everything last season, and RIP was quite fussy as well. Evenso, I would contest that AI may have done something or acted a certain way to cause the people/players around him to act the way they dd…maybe he didn’t, but as mentioned above, he’s had quite the track record of being stubborn and not necessarily the easiest person to get along with.

  • tavoris

    Jukai, the main reason Iverson has been so popular is because he looks somewhat “average” (i.e., little kids in the playground know they ain’t gonna b 6’6″ and jumping through the sky. But 6’0″ with an incredible will to succeed is far more attainable). The fact he is a little guy has played a HUGE role in why he was able to go so far. Iverson would have been considered a “next Jordan”type if he was the average 2′s height, and would have NO legacy of his own. And I don’t know if you missed where he said 1)the team told him they would never ask him to come off the bench. He didn’t say it was disrespect, the Piston’s did. 2) The later request to come off the bench came WITH the warning that the team would “lie down” on mhim if he didn’t. This isn’t AI rebelling, this is AI being caught in a mutiny.

  • tavoris

    And Scoop isn’t a player-basher like most other sportswriters are. He’s very pro-player, which compared to all the others who aim to appease the team & media machine, looks like bias. However, if Scoop decided to write a less-than-glowing article on anyone, it would be respected, because ALL of today’s NBA grew up with dude.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    BULLSH*T TAVORIS CALLING BULLSH*T
    Allen Iverson HAD CAME OUT when Rip was coming back from injury, SAYING he would “never come off the bench, that’s not him.” Rip also had a similar quote, and I’d actually say that Rip said it first.
    Well, low and behold, Rip came off the bench.
    When coming off the bench, Rip changed his entire game, becoming an advantage cutter who would spot-up off screens to a slasher who would occasionally pop a jumper.
    The team continued to lose.
    This is when Rip made his statement, “look, I went to the bench, and we’re still losing. We’re losing more than when I started. So maybe they should let me start.”
    A few more loses later, and this is when Allen Iverson is asked to come off the bench. Obviously, Curry says it’s because the players are getting angry (how dare they…). This is when Iverson fakes back injuries. Tada!
    Also, Larry Bird… David Robinson… There was some players that Scoop just disliked, and he said it! A lot. You can argue it was “as a fan rooting against a team” type bashes, but these guys never got interviews.

  • tavoris

    Jukai…show me where ANY player has said anything to corroborate this….just ONE. I can show you one player who said that Rip would have a problem coming off the bench-Chauncey Billups. And this was before he was told to come off the bench. This was before anyone thought of asking AI to come off the bench. Look at the facts, and not your disdain for the player. Rip was a problem-the cause of the problem, and since he is under a long-term deal, was able to get his way in the situation. I implore you (again) to show me ONE player who’s said that AI is difficult to play with.

  • tavoris

    Of course, Scoop has said that he disliked certain players, but it never compromised objectivity. Come on, you’re gonna dis the guy that practically built this brand on this website? What kinda hater are you?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Jackson: So has any of this changed you? Has going through what you’ve gone through this past year changed who you are as a person at all?

    Iverson: Yeah, from the [standpoint] that I don’t trust people like I used to. I used to give people the benefit of the doubt. Now I don’t. I expect, I expect … what’s the right word … ?

    Jackson: … You just no longer expect everyone and everything to be straight up anymore. So you got your guard up now?

    Iverson: I have my guards up all of the time now. I’ll never put ‘em down again. Never.

    Jackson: But you’ve always kind of been that way. As long as I’ve known you, you were always cautious about people. What happened — was last year the first time that you let them down?

    Iverson: I guess I believed in the people that told me [it] was going to be a certain way. And I was shocked when it wasn’t. So I guess I did let my guards down, and I got knocked the hell out.

    *That about sums it up.*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Klav

    That interview was ill, on the real.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    What seems funny to me is when all the hate and negative articles were written about AI all summer all the haters would agree with it and the guys who would argue against those comments would say the stuff AI says in this interview and now that there is one positive article which is better than all those negative articles the haters can’t take it and are making up other excuses. AI may have done somethig wrong but I don’t see the Pistons replying to this ? The Pistons were asked about this situation and so was Michael Curry but nobody responded which proves this is all true. AI got robbed by the Pistons and they almost ruined one of the greatest careers in NBA history.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Tavoris: I’m not saying Rip didn’t get angry about coming off the bench. Rip HIMSELF said he’d be PO’d about coming off the bench the exact same time Iverson did. They both said “you gotta be crazy bringing me off the bench”
    The difference is, Rip did come off the bench, and raised his scoring output when the starters weren’t in, like told.
    Iverson tried it twice, thought it was “disrespecting his career” and faked a back injury.
    It’s funny how I’ve relayed the entire history of this to you so many times, and you just don’t seem to get it.
    And I’m not going to have an abundance of respect for Scoop. Dude used to be great, but now he’s all fluff and no substance at ESPN. This fake deep interview is one of them.

  • tavoris

    Jukai, come on…Iverson didn’t say they disrespected his career. u r taking the comment out of context. He said the Pistons said they wouldn’t never disrespect his career by asking him to come off the bench. Rip did raise his scoring output, but he also was getting his 35 minutes a night off the bench. Iverson was getting 19. That’s a HUGE difference…and further explains how the man was PUSHED out of the lineup. And they STILL weren’t winning. Who cares about the back injury anymore? it’s done. if he faked it, he had damn good reason to.

  • tavoris

    I dont’ get it because you are twisting the facts to support your perspective. Your opinion on the events that occured in Detroit do not correlate with how the man has carried himself his whole career. However, Iverson’s interview with Scoop was consistent with who he is, how he’s played, and what he stands for. Find another explanation that actually makes sense, and I’ll “get it”.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    How he carried himself his whole career?
    How he carried himself his whole career?
    Skipping practices? Getting in fights with multiple coaches, including the dude that put together a team that Iverson got to the Finals with? Making demands about how the team should be run? Not being able to coexist/win with other dominant ball handlers?
    How he carried himself his whole career is EXACTLY how he carried himself in Detroit.
    So perhaps you should ‘relook’ at Iverson’s career before you use it to discredit my accurate account of events.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    But at least this interview sort of solidified the fact he faked his back injury. Good for AI. Time to get it out now, you got your paycheck.

  • scntfc

    @tavoris, so being asked to come off of the bench is reason enough to fake an injury? good luck with that. lets hope AI redeems hisself this year. otherwise it will probably be his last.

  • Tuomas

    Hi, just popped by to give this from AI’s presser introducing him to the Pistons: “You know, I… I think it’s all about just being a basketball player, and being willing to sacrifice whatever I have to sacrifice, you know, for the betterment of the team. (…) But I haven’t accomplished my number one goal. And that’s to win a championship. And… Like I was tellin’ Joe earlier today, I… I’m willing to sacrifice whatever I have to get it done. You know, I’ve tried it my way plenty of times”. [sarcasm] Yeah, Allen Iverson wasn’t being untruthful about anything last year. [/sarcasm] Grow a spine, Allen. Be a man. Good riddens. Thank you.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    Allen Iverson is a pain in the ass. The situation in memphis is going to be the same as in detroit. I would have like to see him in NY or Charlotte getting 20-25+ points every night.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    I agree with Jukai because allen iverson acted like Ron Artest or Stephon Marbury the whole season and wasnt willing to play defense or be a leader or anything really.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ PANAGIOTIS VASILOPOULOS

    IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!IVERSON!!!!!STARBURY!!!!!

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Jacob: Allen was willing to be a leader as long as it was handed to him and he didn’t have to earn it. Case closed.

  • Chris

    This guy is such an a$$.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Tuomas FTW.

  • Steve

    Point 1 – Good to get AI’s perspective on what occurred when we were really only hearing the other side.

    Point 2 – Scoop is still one of the worst journalists on the planet, if you can even call him a journalist at all. This isn’t an interview, it is a love fest. Point one could have been achieved without Scoop being on his knees for the entire interview.

  • tavoris

    Jukai…that’s a reach, but a FAIL. we’ve been having this discussion for six months now. when you are ready to look at this (or any) situation objectively, then we will continue. Jacob J…are you new? Pana…whatever…your trolling was NOT missed at all. can’t wait for you to get banned again. Toumas, I wonder what your perspective is on the other Pistons who pouted relentlessly once Billups got traded. a penny for your thoughts…

  • Nupe

    AI is a great player regardless of practice, speaking his mind or ‘issues’ with coaches. He’s always kept true to who he is and has never been quiet about how he see’s things. There is no reason to doubt what AI says about him feeling lied to and/or disrespected. The fact that the coach that ‘lied’ got fired says something within itself. The fact that AI hasn’t made wide accusations about the organization and points to specific statements says a lot. Joe Dumars has not said anything in public but about the situation but if actions speak louder than words – what does it really say when you fire the coach? Know way to prove if AI’s back was really bad or not, however I’d tend to believe that if AI felt like he didn’t want to play for the team at all and just ‘quit’ because of everything going on – I think he would have said it (in his own way). This season is a season for redemption for AI and we’ll see if he has any fule left in the tank. I bet only being ranked #50 is another likely source of motivation for AI this season.

  • tavoris

    very well put, Nupe…interested in how the detractors will spin your comment.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If the argument is that Iverson truly wasn’t willing to sacrifice “anything” to win, then y’all win.
    He wasn’t.
    He felt he should be starting and that neither Stuckey nor Rip had proven that they deserved to start over him. I’m inclined to agree with him. But, his insistence on starting was at odds with his earlier statement that he was willing to do “anything.” So, y’all got him.
    However, I think it’s a shame that cats have ignored that Iverson toned down his game considerably in Detroit. That he shot a lot less. He passed more, he ran the system. He worked harder on defense, although he was still pretty bad. He didn’t pout, he didn’t complain, he just went out every game and played.
    Since I watched a good number of Detroit games I know that Iverson gave a more consistent effort than quite a few “stars” on that team. I know he pouted less than them. I saw the potential of that team with Iverson doing his thing and the other cats following. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
    I thought the interview was a good chance for Iverosn to get his feelings off his chest. I can see why he felt betrayed if things happened the way he claims. If cats think that’s immaterial, then, so be it. I’m not changing anybody’s mind about Allen Iverson, and my comments won’t have any effect on what happens this year. I’m just going to wait and see how he handles things in Memphis. He knows what he has to do, and he knows what people have said he can’t do. We shall see how he carries himself and what happens with that team. The odds are NOT in his favor, but anything can happen.

  • http://www.alloutblitz.com Cordeazy

    Scoop= Larry King of Basketball on this one. Absolved AI of all responsibility

  • tavoris

    Cordeazy, Scoop just let AI talk. Every other reporter has already crucified AI…AI could have said a lot more, yet he didn’t point the blame at any particular party in Detroit. However, as Allenp has said, one could look at Detroit’s play and see CLEARLY who created the problems. I’m inclined to give Curry a bit of a pass, as he was a rookie coach…he hadn’t-and never would have-earned the respect that he needed to manage those egos. The problem I had is that he-like AI-had NO support within the Detroit organization…someone to stand up and hold the disruptive parties accountable for their behavior.

  • scntfc

    AllenP
    +1

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Tavoris: If you just want to say “I can’t come up with a counter-argument for everything factual you have said” then you could have said it. It’s not a fail when everything I have said is true.
    Prove anything I have said is wrong, and I’ll acknowledge it. I can cite every thing I said above, including at least three times Iverson has publicly addressed separate coaches about their deficiencies, twice where Iverson has publicly questioned the direction of the team (IE “this team needs more defense” or “this team needs to run”), I can cite plenty of times when Iverson was with proven scorers and their team did not advance, and I have no idea how many times I can cite problems with practice.
    You can ignore these MASSIVE EVENTS IN IVERSON’S CAREER if you want and tell me “Iverson is a warrior and he’d never do such a thing” but damn, it’s true.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    AllenP:
    This’ll be the first time I relatively agree with you. Now, I think Iverson complained about his role on the team only second to Rip. Stuckey complained once or twice, but who else whined? Rasheed and Maxiell quit, but guys like Prince, Bynum, Brown, Amir… these guys stayed quiet. At least publicly. No idea what was said in the locker room, so not interjecting.
    You’re right though— I sort of saw Iverson trying to do (and don’t discredit me here, sounds silly) what Jordan tried to do when he went from one man team to team player— have the ball in his hands less when he’s trying for offensive situations. If he’s going to score, he was tossing it up rather quickly, to not bog down the offense. He also tried to play more of a point role.
    Did he change his game up as much as Rip did when Rip was sent to the bench? Maybe. Iverson wasn’t able to change it up while Rip did it rather effectively. Still, there was effort.
    I’m not discrediting Allen Iverson through about half the season.
    What I have a problem with is Iverson quitting on the team… Like… hasn’t Iverson’s main selling point been his heart and his LOVE for the game? That he’d play through a stab wound because he wants to go out there and win so much? So… I don’t know.
    Maybe I’m just more forgiving for a team that has been to the conference finals six times in a row to think “they” know how to play instead of Iverson. There’s a lot of equal blame to go around, but as I pointed out, Rip and Stuckey went to the bench for seven to ten game stretches. Iverson made it to two before he faked a back injury.

  • tavoris

    Jukai, did you NOT see my comment about how Iverson played a TOTAL of 36 minutes in the three games back before he was deactivated? Rip averaged as many minutes PER GAME coming off the bench. How does this NOT corroborate his story? And how does this mean he “faked” an injury? Doesn’t the more logical (and likely) explanation MUTUALLY involve the Pistons and Iverson? And in case you didn’t realize in ANY education about intelligent discussion, the counterargument ALWAYS has the burden of proof. In case you weren’t aware, you’re the counterargument in this article, so feel free to submit your receipts, and the explanation that ties it to your point (which I’ve already acknowledged as a reach anyway). Abour Rip (again)…Rip did NOT change his game up. He’s always slashed to the bucket. His off-the-ball game only developed after Larry Brown came to town…and it left once Larry Brown skipped outta town. That was the OFFENSE they ran, not the primary skill of the player. And while the Pistons went to 6 conference finals, they have CLEARLY not been the same team for three seasons running (which is why Dumars traded his most valuable asset in the first place). They were an arrogant, “think we can turn it on whenever” team that was underachieving, since they only mae it out of the conference finals a THIRD of the time they’ve been there. By contrast, a truly elite team like San Antonio has been to the conference finals 6 times in the last ten years. FOUR OF THOSE APPEARANCES HAVE RESULTED IN NBA TITLES. The Lakers have the same success rate. That’s a 66% success rate (in a tougher conference), as opposed to a 16% success rate (in a weaker conference). So, why are we using (and celebrating) Detroit’s “success” as a barometer of their “knowing how to play”? Why would Dumars publicly put his ENTIRE team on the trading block last summer if they were so accomplished?

  • tavoris

    Jukai, here’s what REALLY happened in Detroit. Take it or leave it…or spin it how you see fit. Dumars traded Billups, and the ENTIRE team was appalled at that. The fact that he was traded for his virtual anthithesis was an even bigger shock. The rookie coach (Curry) never had a chance, because the massive egos on the team had quit from Day 1. Iverson tried to fit in as best he could, but it wasn’t winning games the way the Pistons were used to. Never mind the fact that the other teams in the East had gotten DRAMATICALLY better in recent years, and Detroit had fallen from a clear #1 to a #4 seed at best(even with Billups). In an effort to shake things up, Curry asked Rip to come off the bench when he returned from his injury (which conveniently coincided with the Piston’s biggest win streak of the season). Rip came back and the Pistons started to lose again (coincidence?) Iverson gets hurt, and by the time he’s to return, the team has already given up on the season & him. He plays a couple games off the bench, where Curry clearly has no clue how to get him minute, and after that third game, the braintrusts mutually agree that it’s best if everyone cut their losses. Back injury-being notoriously difficult to prove or disprove-is the perfect alibi.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Gotta co-sign that last breakdown Tavoris.
    That back injury thing, the way folks have immediately assumed it was proof of Iverson “quitting” is just crazy to me. That’s a barometer for me on how you view Iverson.
    Dude never quit before despite playing for piss poor teams, but now he’s a quitter? Crazy. He didn’t even pretend to be hurt when Randy Ayers wanted him to come off the bench after an injury, although he pouted and raised hell about the demotion.
    There is no question he hated coming off the bench and playing spot minutes, but anybody who watched the games knows that hte player who let his personal feelings affect his actual play was Rip Hamilton.

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