Monday, July 17th, 2006 at 9:35 am  |  8 responses


Starting an F word with “Ph” means that this post has something to do with Philadelphia, a city where the F word ending in “ed” is a good way to describe the basketball team.

By Sam Rubenstein

After spending 24 hours in Philly, I’m concerned for the people. For this post, I would like to speak directly to our Philadelphia readership: It’s okay. Calm down. It’s just a game.

Iverson SmileAs someone who cares way too much about sports, I never thought I would be the one saying that. But in Philly, you guys are really serious. I was at a bar near South St. on Friday night (it wasn’t all tourists), and the local news was on T.V. They had a whole half hour dedicated to how the Eagles rookie linemen will adjust to the pros. The regulars stared at that T.V. set, soaking in every word like it was the Israeli missle strikes. I am not joking. The amount of team apparel being worn on the streets for a team that doesn’t play a real game for three months was overwhelming. Me and my girlfriend took a tour of Independence Hall, which gives an American History refresher course of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Our tour guide, Ranger Gus, made at least three jokes about frustrated Philadelphians and their sports teams. I won’t even expose you to the horrors that is tourist trap Geno’s, the cheese steak place that reps the local sports teams hard.

It was pretty strange timing that I would find myself in that city on the same day Bill Simmons wrote a whole thing in his mailbag about how Philly needs a year off from sports. He speaks the truth on many levels about the state of the city and what’s happening with the Sixers. Most notably, they are stuck in this position of having to trade Iverson because of a series of moves by Billy King. They should really come out and announce that this is all Billy’s fault, they still love A.I., but thanks to Billy he just can not be kept on the team. He should be publicly ridiculed just as much as Isiah.

This is the Barkley trade all over again. Just incredible. Allen Iverson is a few years older than Charles was when he was sent West, but is very much still in his prime. True, you should expect him to slow down or take one hit too many and never get up again. But we’ve been waiting on that for a decade now and it still hasn’t happened. The Wages of Wins movement says his game is inefficient. He can’t seem to co-exist with a talented second banana and the team had to actually install a revolving door to the head coach’s office. But still, he’s A.I., one of the best reasons to watch the NBA. His numbers keep getting better, and he just has that aura of NBA royalty. Those kind of players should always stay with the same team throughout their career, even in the free agency era.

Now Philly has to trade him, and they will not get someone on his level back. Odds are the trade will be a complete disaster from a competitve standpoint. Unless Billy King finds a way to… no, it’s going to be a disaster. And the worst part is that the Sixers have to do it anyways. Next year Iverson and Webber will be making about $40 million, and they will be doing the same two years from now. Dalembert and Korver are getting money. If this were a movie, it’s the scene where our hero is handcuffed to a radiator on a sinking ship, and his only option is to shoot his hand off, cut his losses and move on with life. Yeah, it’s that bad.

I saw A.I. on the news and heard him on the radio, and he seemed like a man who is ready for change. I think it will be a good thing for him, and whatever franchise gets him is extremely lucky. He’s only available because of how badly the GM messed up the team around him. Billy King used the most played out phrase in all of sports, which is of “changing the culture” of a team. Right. That’s the problem. Not the salary cap hell or the yearly coaching change. To whatever team profits from this trade: enjoy the Iverson rennaissance.

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  • Mike

    So where can I get my “Free Allen Iverson” t-shirt?

  • Diamond Gamble

    This is crazy! I thought Allen Iverson was going to die a sixer. But i always did think he deserved better. He honestly deserves a ring and he could get that by joining Cleveland or Orlando. LeBron could use A.I experience and wonderful gameplay. Or Jammer Nelson and Dwight Howard could use him for the same thing.

  • Diamond Gamble

    P j is a dumb ass

  • Ryan

    I am so glad that someone stated how awful a GM Billy King is. He did not deserve a contract extension; he sucks to the tenth power. He should be exiled from Philly because he is the weakest link. I am from Philly and Billy King has made me sick to my stomach the last few years. I think a fire Billy King website should be started. Any takers of the idea???

  • Matt Wens

    couldnt organise a piss-up in a brewery in philly

  • Young C

    Since Boston wants to contend for a championship right now and Philly knows that they wont win a championship with AI and Webber, they should try and trade both of them to Boston. Philly could start over and get some young talent and draft picks, but they will also have to take a few bad contracts also. Boston would have to give up Telfair, Jefferson, G. Green, Wally (somewhat bad contract), Ratliff (bad contract), and Scalabrini (very bad contract) and 1 or 2 first round picks. Trust me, the salaries match, look it up.

    This would give Boston a lineup of Iverson,Tony Allen, Pierce, Webber, & Perkins. The Celtics would still have a decent bench with Rondo, West, Powe, Gomes, Grant, and they could resign Kandi man to be backup center. Boston would be contenders in the east for the next 3-4 years and AI, Pierce, & C-Webb would have no excuse if they dont at least get close to the chip. The downside for Boston is they would be over the cap for the next 4-5 years until their big threes’ contracts run out and personally i dont really think they could knock off the Pistons, Heat, or the up-and-coming Bulls and Cavs.

    On the other hand the Sixers would be pretty much giving up the next year or two while they rebuild with their young players. Philly would get 3 young talents to work with, not including the 2 picks from Boston and their own future picks. Telfair, Green, and Jefferson have the most upside out of all of Boston’s young players and would fill the positions left by AI and Webber. Then Philly would have to deal with their bad contracts. Ratliff’s contract is over in ‘08 so they might have to just eat that up until then. Wally still has some trade value so they could possibly trade him for a soon to be expiring contract like Grant Hill or Jalen Rose. If Scalabrini cant be packaged with Wally in a trade, Philly might just have to eat his contract up also for the next 4 years. This would give Philly a young & athletic lineup of Telfair,Iguodala,Carney,Jefferson, & Dalembert. Their bench would be Williams, G.Green, Korver, Ratliff, and Hunter. If the sixers are really that bad, they will have a chance to draft Gred Oden or Kevin Durant next year, or possibly OJ Mayo in ‘08. But if the Sixers make all the moves that i just stated, i dont think they will be a lottery team for too long at all.

    I would be amazed if Billy King were smart enough to pull this deal off, but like most GMs he probably wont have the balls to pull it off and listen to stupid fans who would rather lose for the next 5 years than trade their boy Allen Iverson. I love AI as much as anyone but Philly is going nowhere with him so we might as well see what we can do without him.

  • http://nba.com jologs

    well? AI’s stayin. end of story.

  • http://alleniversonbiography.blogspot.com John

    Allen Iverson aint goin no where!

    Allen Iverson Biography