Friday, June 10, 2011

Allen Iverson, The Sixers and Andre Iguodala

The NBA is focused on the finals right now and rightfully so.  The finals have been great this season and the Mavs are now one win away from giving one of the best owners in sports the golden ball.  At the same time there has been some news coming out of Philly in regards to the Sixers.  The Sixers are looking to sell the team, trade Andre Iguodala and even though he is not currently a Sixer, Allen Iverson wants to play in the NBA again at the age of 36.

Ed Snider is the exact opposite of Mark Cuban as an NBA owner.  Snider has always looked to the Sixers as the team he adopted, not as the team he created like he does the Flyers.  Personally you should love all your kids in the same way, but that’s easy for me to say as I only have one…so far.  Snider’s baby has always been the Flyers and he has treated them as such.  The Flyers are the NY Yankees of the NHL, with the exception of all of those championships.  The correlation comes from the Flyers willingness to spend money to put a great product on the ice every year.  The Sixers are the hand-me-down child for Snider who has never spent for them like he has their orange coated big brother.

The Sixers are valued at $330 million or about the cost of a barrel of oil after an OPEC meeting.  That makes them 17th out of the existing 30 NBA teams.  I say existing because the NBA is on the verge of their own lockout and as a result some contraction may be the answer.  Do we really need a team in Toronto? Canadians only like hockey and Celine Dion.  The sale of the Sixers is not a bad thing.  The group looking to buy them is led by Joshua Harris, a NY based leveraged buyout specialist (whatever that is).  New York has the Knicks and will soon have the Nets so the Sixers will stay put in Philly and could finally get the attention needed to have greater success.  This could be a great thing for the city and the team.

In the meantime, business still continues for the Sixers who are rumored…again, to be looking to trade Andre Iguodala.  Iguodala is set to make $44.1 million over the next two seasons, over paid is an understatement.  Iguodala has never lived up to his potential in Philly and it might be better for him and the organization if a deal can get done.  Three teams are rumored to be interested, the Magic may try to package a deal of Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu for Andre, the Warriors have tossed Monta Ellis out there as a possible straight up swap and the latest trade rumor is Iguodala to the Clippers for Chris Kaman. 

Jameer Nelson is a point guard, which the Sixers already have.  Turkoglu could be a good fit, but the back court would remain crowded.  Monta Ellis is also a guy that would crowd the back court and his defense is not what Coach Doug Collins would look for in a player.  The Iguodala for Chris Kaman trade would be the best fit.  Kaman, though often injured, is a 7 foot center that would give the Sixers an offensive and defensive presence in the middle.  It would also allow Even Turner to step into the starting role as the shooting guard and alleviate the crowded back court.  This is all rumors as nothing can get done until a new NBA agreement is signed which at this point could be sometime in 2012.

Allen Iverson wowed Sixers fans for 10 + years with electric abilities.  He may not have “practiced” well…yes “we talkin ‘bout practice…practice” but he played with heart and competitiveness.  He led an overachieving Sixers team to the finals in 2001, where the Lakers eventually ended any championship hopes.  Now the late career journeyman, even going as far as Turkey to play basketball, wants back into the NBA.  Iverson, now 36, may still have something left in the tank, but at 6-0 and only 165 pounds soaking wet, 36 is more like 46 in NBA years.  As a fan of Iverson, I wish he still had one last season in him but at this point I would have to say that any chance to play in the NBA has passed.  Even if Iverson is signed by a team it would be a very minimal contract and he may not even make the regular season roster.  He should just sign a one day deal with the Sixers and retire where he can wait for his hall of fame induction. 

There’s a lot going on with a franchise that may not be able to do anything anytime soon.  There could (will) be new ownership, maybe a new 7 foot white guy and possibly a 36 year old former MVP in town.  All of this though hinges on the NBA getting a deal done, which is hopefully handled better then the current NFL situation.  If NBA teams are losing money now, a long layoff or lockout would only make it worse. 

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