Worthy of Your Attention

by Marcel Mutoni

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m still not entirely used to the idea that Allen Iverson is no longer a Philadelphia Sixer. There’s something about him hooping in a powder blue uniform that’s a little, um, off. For me, and I suspect for many others, A.I. is (and will always be) a Sixer.

Last week, I stumbled upon an old game that NBA TV was showing. It was A.I. giving a shell-shocked Orlando Magic team 60 points. It was the quintessential Iverson performance: Jumpers from all over the gym, fearless drives into the trees, ankle-breakers against hapless guards, free throws galore, and the raw emotion (from Allen and the ravenous Philly crowd.)

He may be on a substantially better team now, but I just don’t see that kind of scene (and unbridled joy) being replicated in Denver.

Tonight, Iverson steps on the court in Philly as a member of a visiting squad for the first time, and things will be emotional. Emotional for Allen and for the viewing public. The standing ovation will be long and heartfelt, and the noise might just blow the roof of the sucker.

(Shockingly, tickets to the game were still available as of yesterday. As Mark Jackson might opine, Come on Philly, you’re better than that!)

With Denver and Philly desperately battling for their postseason lives, the drama will be thick as the outcome of tonight’s game will have a major impact on the Playoff picture in both conferences. Should be a great one.