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What’s Next For Allen Iverson?

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Design by Matt SchetterAllen Iverson just doesn’t get it. Yesterday I received a text message that stated Allen Iverson has officially been released from the Memphis Grizzlies and will be put on waivers on Monday. This came not even two months into the season after Iverson publicly stated that he was unhappy with his current role with the ball club.

Memphis, the place that GOD himself told Iverson to go and play has officially burned their bridge with him. Just like Detroit the year before and Denver before that.

You really begin to see what I’ve been telling people since Allen Iverson was in Philly: he is a basketball disease. He is a disease to any program that is trying to establish a core leader that will take their team to new levels. No one has ever flourished under his lead because he has never allowed anybody to flourish. Iverson was not willing to step back and allow those guys to develop their game around his leadership. Iverson’s selfishness has dismantled locker rooms and has destroyed the championship chemistry that once lived in Detroit. And for him to quit on his coach, his owner, and more importantly his TEAMMATES in Detroit and now in Memphis is just plain disgusting. And it’s no surprise that no one wants Allen Iverson on their team and he has no one but himself to blame.

There are certain things that separate good players from great players. There is a type of attitude and discipline that’s needed in order for a player to take his game to the next level, year after year and become legendary. Throughout Allen’s career, he’s done a lot of good things on the court. But it's really no shock that Allen Iverson is in the position he is in right now in his career. Players like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were all addicted to a little thing called practice. They showed up day in/day out with their teammates and put in the blood, sweat and tears as a team. They utilized their leadership skills, shared their talents with their teammates, and took their game to the next level. They laid the foundation for winning championships. They were in the gym in the off-season, staying in shape and constantly conditioning their bodies so they can play at their highest level for as long as possible.

Iverson never cared about any of these things. He never seemed to care about any person on the court except for himself and he has done a very good job in proving that to the world by his poor work ethic. And it’s sad to say that age is setting in and his natural skills have significantly dropped off. However, instead of trying to take his knowledge and come off the bench and still produce positive numbers for a team and potentially make a championship run again, he chose to throw a fit and not settle for anything other than a starting position.

Let me break it down to you because it’s simple: people do not remember how many All-Star games you’ve played in, how many points you scored in one game, or how many casinos you get kicked out of. They remember how many rings you have on your fingers. And being a leader and sharing your talents with your teammates is what gets you those rings. Those are qualities of a champion and a Hall-of-Famer. All the greats have shown this through example, time and time again. And although I think Allen Iverson will make the Hall-of-Fame, it will be for all the wrong reasons. And because of his poor attitude, his legacy will take a big hit because of it. He will always be remembered as the good player that was never willing to do what it took to go from great player to a champion.

So what’s next for"The Answer"? Who knows. Another team that God will tell him to infect? Maybe Charlotte with Larry Brown? Retirement? Whatever it is, I hope that the almighty does Philadelphia a favor and keeps him from coming back to the Sixers. We have enough problems already with trying to rebuild this team. We don’t need to go back to something that never worked the first time.