Thursday, July 9, 2009
The Case for Allen Iverson
Written by David Verjano
It's been pretty hot in Miami these past couple of days. The weather is toying with record temperatures - the kind of heat that pops your mercury thermometers.
Amidst all the heat, there have been hotter issues with Dwyane Wade staying in Miami and speculation of who should be brought in to alleviate the situation.
The Answer: Some say it's Allen Iverson. A seasoned veteran that once used to stun the league as the scoring champion for multiple seasons. The man who was pound for pound the best player at his height and stature.
Thirty some years in age now, he is on the decline of his career, but that isn't stopping him from wanting to compete. Best of all, he could be a key part in keeping Dwyane Wade in Miami beyond 2010.
He brings quite a few things that Miami lacked last season: play-making ability (besides D. Wade), another consistent scoring option and a veteran presence at the point guard position.
Sure he has had issues with coaches in the past and let's not even talk about "practice!" (we're talkin' 'bout practice?), but that does not take away from the fact that he is a great short-term solution for some of Miami's major issues.
Detroit was not a good fit for Iverson - too controlled and limited for his style. Miami provides more flexibility for Iverson's taste. Coach Spoelstra has voiced his intentions on an open court game that plays off of the team's athleticism. Iverson is a warrior and at a post-thirty year old standpoint he is still a legitimate NBA athlete.
It's a stretch to believe that the addition of Iverson alone would make Miami a "contender" as Wade would like, but he would make them a threat to other Eastern Conference rivals. The Heat are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now and A.I. seems like the only option that is within financial reach.
Pat Riley will need to take a strong role in the process if he hopes to make this a success, of sorts. Pat will need to sit with three individuals: Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson and Coach Spoelstra.
To Wade he express his desire to keep him in Miami and reach an understanding as to where Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat stand. To Allen Iverson he must use convincing evidence that Miami will be worth the while - playing with D. Wade, living on South Beach and bonding with a win-hungry team. As for Coach Spo, Riley must mentor him on coaching a star athlete like A.I. - Riley knew how to manage egos with the 2006 Heat squad, now he must transfer the knowledge.
This is no easy process, but it is a manageable and viable solution to Miami's current dilemma. So, if A.I. is the answer for today then bring him home so that we can secure the answer for tomorrow: Dwyane Wade.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.