Iverson came back last night. A 15-month wait definitely added to the anticipation, and I would say it lived up to every expectation. I love how the national issue, on PTI, Sports Center, and if I could stand watching Around the Horn, I’m sure stat boy brought it up.
How would the fans react?
This had to be one of the dumbest, media drawn-up questions ever. There was no doubt in my or any Philly fan’s mind that the man would get a standing O. A better question is;
Would the crowd get so emotional, that they all leave the arena to gain composure, then when that didn’t work, would they all go to Billy King’s house and poop on his lawn?
I wonder what Skip Bayless would have prognosticated.
I’m pressed to remember any athlete’s return to his old team being so emotional. Thank God the announcer began introducing the rest of the Nuggets because A.I. was about to lose it, and frankly, so was I.
I was proud of the crowd for mustering up a powerful booing for the Nuggets after such an ovation. When A.I. started blowing kisses, I was okay, when he pounded his chest, I was okay, but when he pulled out the old Hulk Hogan ear to the crowd… I had to think happy thoughts. The Hogan ear was his go to move whenever he realized how sick the show he was putting on was.
What a great game too. That was the most intensity I’ve seen in a Sixers game since Iverson left. Not only does A.I. make everyone on his team better, he makes everyone on his old team better. No basketball player in the league relates to his fans like Iverson. That’s something 100 years from now, the numbers won’t show, and only the lucky fans that got to see him play will understand.
Iverson understands. He understands exactly what happened in Philly, and he even takes responsibility for it. “I had a big hand in me getting traded,” Iverson said. “I always wanted to finish my career here in Philadelphia. The opportunity was there for me to do it. In a lot of ways, I made sure that didn’t happen.”
I wish Larry Brown came into the press conference at this point and pulled a Robin Williams/Good Will Hunting on him.
“Hey Allen, you see this shit, all this. It’s Not your fault.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“It’s Not your fault.”
“No, no you don’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault”
“Don’t fuck with me Larry!”
“It’s not your fault.”
“Don’t fuck with me Larry! Don’t fuck with me, not you!”
Then they just hug and cry.
Okay, maybe I wish I had done that and not Larry.
Anyone that doesn’t recognize how incredible an athlete, how rare it is for an athlete to have the understanding Iverson has about the way he’s perceived and the maturity to handle it the way he does, is well, I’ll just say it… a racist. And probably a Nazi.
I think that’s accurate. Anyone who doesn’t love and appreciate someone like Iverson is very clearly, a Nazi.
On a side note. The Sixers look promising, very athletic, very young, and seemingly no attitude problems. If they can land a veteran 3 point shooter, they might actually contend for the east on a yearly basis. I wouldn’t put it past them to make waves in the playoffs this year, which is a huge surprise.
Iverson is the greatest Philadelphia sports Icon of the last 20 years… hands down. Eskin can eat a dick up til he hiccups.