Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 19, 2006
BASKETBALL: Iverson Moves West

If only they had had the calm, steady leadership of Allen Iverson, the Nuggets would never have had that brawl with the Knicks.

UPDATE: On a more serious note, Iverson is a great statistical puzzle. Now, basketball stats are subject to more illusions and limitations than baseball stats, and we still run pretty short when it comes to measuring a basketball player's defense. On the other hand, I don't buy the idea pushed by Iverson's champions (see this otherwise-excellent Bill Simmons column) that the numbers are entirely meaningless.

See, here's the thing. You win basketball games by doing three things: (1) getting more shot attempts (including free throws) than the other guy, (2) converting more of your attempts into points, and (3) preventing the other guy from converting his attempts into points. Period. Nothing else matters.

Leaving aside his defense, which I don't doubt is valuable, the statistical question is whether there is really any evidence that Iverson helps out with #2, or whether he does enough on the offensive end to help out with #1 to offset that.

To the casual fan, Iverson scores a lot of points, so he must be a good offensive player. But the fact is, for most of Iverson's career his points per shot attempt have been terrible, and his mediocre assist totals have suggested a player who isn't really setting up his teammates well enough to offset that. (Granted - and it's a big "granted" - he improved in both regards starting with the 04-05 season, largely as a result of pushing his free throws per shot attempt into the stratosphere). Plus, he turns the ball over a lot.

Defenders of Iverson will argue that he has made up for this historically by getting off a huge number of shots. Now, it's true that a team's go-to guy can and should have a lower ratio of points to shot attempts than, say, a guy who scores 10 points a game - the key scorer has to make the toughest shot attempts when the clock is running down, and it's worth a few misses to push your scoring average from 12 to 25, as long as the marginal extra points don't come with so many extra misses that you end up just sucking the life out of the rest of the offense.

Anyway, I haven't bored into the details of Iverson's Sixers teams closely enough to have a strong opinion on the subject, and as I said in recent years he has shown sufficient improvement that maybe the questions about his first eight years in the league are moot. But I don't regard it as simply received wisdom to be accepted without question that Iverson's high-scoring raw numbers automatically make him a superstar-level offensive player.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:55 PM | Basketball | Comments (28) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Maybe you should just stick to baseball...

AI may be somewhat of a punk off the court, but he is a workhorse on the court who has rarely had anything remotely similar to the incident this last weekend.

Posted by: dave at December 19, 2006 8:04 PM

Iverson is clearly one of the best players in the league, due entirely to his blinding speed. As dave said, he's a workhorse on the court and gives it his all during the game.

That said, he rarely practices and is the biggest ballhog in the NBA and was practically worthless on the USA team because the other nations simply played zone and dared him to continue to hoist up bricks (which he gladly did). He simply cannot shoot. It's been long enough to wait on him getting a jumper - he doesn't have one. When you've had one season over 45% and you lead the world in layups by a guard, you can't shoot. He's a stepped-up ghetto version of World B. Free (who could shoot, though).

The guy was fantastic during his MVP season, though.....carried that team to the finals. If he'd only spent less time at the tattoo parlor & more time practicing his shooting rhythm....

Gotta say, though, that a razor thin 6'0" guard scoring 30 night after night in today's game is pretty amazing, even if he does have an unusually high number of 8-for-27 games.

Posted by: RW at December 19, 2006 10:27 PM

Highway robbery. Getting two draft picks for a guy you've already kicked off your team. Sixers had no leverage and still got value in return. I understand that late first rounders in basketball aren't the same thing as in football but still something for nothing is impressive.

Posted by: largebill at December 19, 2006 11:13 PM

The Sixers absolutely fleeced Denver. Not only do the Sixers clear cap space (in acquiring Smith), they get a player better than Iverson (Miller) in return, in addition to two draft picks in what promises to be the deepest draft since 2003.

I contest the point made by previous posters, in that Iverson is not a good player. He causes possessions to end far too often without any points being scored; he turns the ball over, shoots a low percentage, and does not rebound enough.

Posted by: jcombs at December 19, 2006 11:58 PM

I think Iverson has value, mostly because he gets to the line so much. Despite many other bad qualities, he does play phenomenally hard, as well. I don't think it's a good trade for the Nuggets, though. Iverson and Carmelo are not likely to coexist well, and AI is a small guy in his early thirties who has taken as much punishment as anyone in league history. I doubt he will age well.

Posted by: Jerry at December 20, 2006 12:12 AM

Judge Iverson's value by the effect he has on 'Melo's ppg. My guess is that it will plummet and instant turmoil will be right on its wheels. I agree completely that the 76ers will now be a better team.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 20, 2006 9:37 AM

The people who think that Denver "fleeced" the Sixers don't know a lot about basketball. The idea that Andre Miller is better than him is just ridiculous (and probably influenced more by perceptions of him being "ghetto" or a "thug" than any reality) You people realize that on this thing called the internet you can look up all sorts of sports statistics, right? You also must realize then that Andre Miller averaged less than one assist per game more than Iverson last year. While having two costars (Camby and Melo) who are better than anyone Iverson played with, mind you. So how, exactly, is he better, geniuses? Maybe shooting percentage? Well, Miller shot 470 last year, Iverson 445...and, as Crank said, a guy who is shooting 10 shots should be better than one shooting 30, so there goes that. Iverson is also a very good defender, averaging 2.2 steals per game over his career.

The people who think that Iverson can't play with another big superstar are clearly basing that on....what? Has he ever had one? Iverson shoots a lot, yes, mostly because he has to. Basketball ain't baseball.

Posted by: beedlebaum at December 20, 2006 11:26 AM

Actually, Iverson has been playing with Chris Webber in Philly and Webber is posting his lowest numbers ever. Also, I am not a Miller fan either. He has a lot of Iversonitis in him. Miller has never seen a shot he didn't like either.

Has anyone considered that maybe 'Melo's blowup in NY has triggered by his knowledge of this impending transaction and the frustration it is sure to cause on his part.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 20, 2006 12:03 PM

Chris Weber isn't a superstar anymore, and hasn't been at any point since he's been a Sixer, and it's because he's kind of shot physically, not because of Iverson.

I do think, though, that Carmelo is one of the two first-tier stars in the league least likely to coexist well with Iverson (Kobe being probably the least likely). Both of them have a game that is almost entirely scoring. Iverson would be a much better fit with a more multidimensional player like Kevin Garnett.

Posted by: Jerry at December 20, 2006 1:49 PM

MaddIrishman Said:"Actually, Iverson has been playing with Chris Webber in Philly and Webber is posting his lowest numbers ever. Also, I am not a Miller fan either. He has a lot of Iversonitis in him. Miller has never seen a shot he didn't like either.
"

This post is clearly from someone who is clueless about even the most basic basketball knowledge.

For the record, Miller takes about 10 shots a game, and Webber hasn't been a superstar (or even a star) in years. Buy a clue.

Posted by: beedlebaum at December 20, 2006 2:11 PM

Judge Iverson's value by the effect he has on 'Melo's ppg.

NO!!!!!!!!!!
Kobe Bryant's scoring average went up after Shaq left the Lakers - primarily because his attempts went up. Anthony's number of shots should fall but his percentage should climb and (for the Nuggets, hopefully) the team's scoring overall should rise. A lot of nuances come into play but primarily because the opposition will no longer be able to focus on stopping ONE GUY come crunch time as there'll be two options.
Iverson's effect will come in one category and one category only: WINS

If Anthony's avg drops five PPG and Iverson's 5 PPG and the Nuggets improve dramatically, then that will be exactly what the Nuggets management had in mind. Of course Anthony's attempts will drop. That may be a good thing, as he'll hopefully (for the Nuggets) have fresher legs and will be more efficient with his possessions.

beedlebaum,
Cut the attitude, 'kay? There's a lot more to basketball than a kid looking up stats (Miller's career percentage is on that Iverson reached one season, btw), so lighten up. Iverson played with a few studs on the USA team, where he STUNK and was one of the main reasons for a bronze medal. Even Lebron couldn't rescue a team that can't shoot and a 6'0" guard who can't shoot....well.

BTW, some of Iverson's teammates over the years have included Nazr Mohammad, Tim Thomas, Larry Hughes and Matt Harpring - all of whom have gone on to other teams & performed well enough (much better statistically than while on the Sixers, btw and Mohammad got an NBA title with Duncan & the Spurs) to each get mega-million dollar contracts. There are only a handful of "superstars" in the NBA so few teams are going to have two on the same squad. The Sixers have had plenty of talent over the years (Harpring stands out like a sore thumb, in retrospect, as he's becoming a star in Utah) but have fallen short. Not Iverson's fault, though, as he's a great player, but they've had their share of good players around.

And, btw, Chris Webber was a 20 ppg scorer & 10 rpg player last year. Not too shabby for someone who isn't even a "star".


It's too early to say who won the trade, folks. Iverson still has at least 5 years left in his tank and if the Nuggets can advance in the playoffs...you never know. The Sixers were going nowhere and have retooled for the future and now have a top notch point guard and some youth to prepare for the future.

Finally, Andre Miller is not in Iverson's league, though. Not even close. Very good player and point guard, but Iverson is an all-star, folks. A ballhog who shoots his teams out of many games, but still an all-star.

Posted by: RW at December 20, 2006 4:47 PM

Beedle - I've been following basketball longer than you have been alive. Remember the 100 greatest players, I've actually seen most of them play. Just because you love Iverson doesn't make him a great player. Watch Webbers stats get better now that he will see the ball more often.

RW - Yes, 'Melo's ppg will drop and Iverson's will not and George Karl will have less hair than I do by the end of the season. Fewer shots for 'Melo will not benefit the Nuggets and count on the fact that Iverson's attempts will not drop.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 20, 2006 5:33 PM

"Beedle - I've been following basketball longer than you have been alive. Remember the 100 greatest players, I've actually seen most of them play. Just because you love Iverson doesn't make him a great player. Watch Webbers stats get better now that he will see the ball more often."
First off, I don't love Iverson, i just hate seeing people bullshit in an argument when they have no facts.

Secondly, you have no idea how old I am.

Lastly, Iverson is one of those 100 greatest players of all time. If you don't think so, you don't know a thing about basketball. Sorry.

Posted by: beedlebaum at December 20, 2006 6:42 PM

Iverson is indeed a fascinating statistical puzzle whose true value (in terms of how much he helps a team win) is very tough to gauge. He is alternately overrated (for his stratospheric points per game numbers) and overly bashed (for his field goal percentage and turnovers. His field goal percentage is partly offset by his high rate of free throw attempts, his turnovers are a result of dominating the ball which means that other players on his team aren't turning the ball over.). His best team was the 2000-01 76ers where the 76ers had the intelligence to surround AI with a bunch of players who could contribute positively "without the ball" like defensive monsters Dikembe Mutombo/Theo Ratliff, George Lynch, Eric Snow and Matt Harpring and shooter (as opposed to ball dominating scorer) Aaron Mckie. It was really a nifty use of chemistry in basketball that the sixers have not been able to replicate recently.

His most statistically similar players are also guys whose true value is constantly being debated such as Isiah Thomas, World B. Free and Gilbert Arenas.

His MVP award was totally ridiculous (almost as bad as Steve Nash winning twice in a row). His team that year had the Coach of the Year, the Defensive player of the year, the sixth man of the year and five guys who got votes for all defense, but the argument for AI winning the MVP was "they'd be nothing without him". How does this make sense?

By the way Madirishman, Webber is not a superstar nor has he been one since his microfracture surgery. Yes he gets his 20/10 but his true shooting percentages suck and his defense at a key defensive position is terrible (it was excellent pre-surgery).

It's going to be fascinating to see how Melo and AI co-exist. Denver just ditched their leading, pretty much only, passer so Iverson is going to have to become a distributor. John Hollinger came up with a stat he calls "usage rate" which basically measures how many possessions a player uses when he's on the court. AI is pretty much anually number 1 in the league, as he is this year. Number 2? Carmelo Anthony. I'm guessing that both players possession usage will drop slightly, which will probably lead to slightly greater scoring efficiency from both (they'll both be free to force fewer shots. Theoretically). I'm guessing that roles on the Denver team are going to change. Marcus Camby and Eduardo Najera will probably focus more on defense and rebounding and less on scoring and JR Smith will no longer be the secondary scoring option but "the guy who stands in the corner and shoots open 3 pointers". People who follow the Nuggets wonder how he will handle this demotion in role. AI should also enjoy getting out on the break in Denver, who play the leagues fastest pace as opposed to waiting for Chris Webber to drag himself up the court. I think Denver have made themselves a genuine contender here but things could go spectacularly pearshaped.

Billy King should be fired. JCombs, it is simply impossibe to say that Andre Miller is better than Allen Iverson. And I'm a Miller fan.

Wow that was long and kind of rambling. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Duff Soviet Union at December 20, 2006 8:32 PM

A couple of things I missed. Bill Simmons is right about one thing. A lot of the criticism directed at AI is basically a result of generational/racial anxieties from middle aged white sports columnists who are openly threatened by brash young black men with tatoos and cornrows. I will not argue this.

Second of all I forgot that AI is going to have to carry this team while the ridiculously overly long suspensions are being served. Hopefully he can keep them afloat.

Thirdly, as I type this the Knicks are getting blown out by the Charlotte Bobcats. Good thing Isiah's message about pride got through. FI-RE THO-MAS.

Posted by: Duff Soviet Union at December 20, 2006 8:40 PM

It's a little unfair to just say "brash young black men with tatoos and cornrows" without adding the crucial fact that most people's first introduction to Iverson was that chair-throwing melee in the bowling alley. We can't know how different his reputation would be if Iverson arrived in the league without a rap sheet for a violent crime.

Posted by: The Crank at December 20, 2006 8:47 PM
Fewer shots for 'Melo will not benefit the Nuggets and count on the fact that Iverson's attempts will not drop.

A. If one keeps in mind that Iverson will most definitely (at times) break down the defense with his blinding speed and either get a layup for himself or one for his teammates, or that his steals will lead to breakaway baskets, then the number of possessions for the Nuggets could increase & Anthony's shots decrease while the overall team performs better. I'm thinking in the macro, of course, and assuming that Iverson won't be hoisting it up from 26 feet with 20 seconds on the shot clock as much as he has in the past (yeah, I know, naive...)
B. I'd be willing to bet a cyber-beer that Iverson's attempts drop. Remember, he's going to the Nuggets and George Karl calls the shots and the Nuggets have an offense that has Carmelo Anthony as its number one option. Come crunch time, when the Nuggets are playing the Spurs and Iverson has Bruce Bowen draped all over him, Karl is going to design a play that goes to Anthony. Whereas in Philly, all plays went to Iverson.

Thing is, all Iverson has to do is shoot from the outside when it's appropriate (when the ball is reversed to him, not when he's taken 11 dribbles and foists a fadeaway due to his "streetball" mentality) and he'll be better, the Nuggets will be better and Anthony will be better.

You can't teach his type of speed, after all.

A lot of the criticism directed at AI is basically a result of generational/racial anxieties from middle aged white sports columnists who are openly threatened by brash young black men with tatoos and cornrows. I will not argue this.
I will. Sports writers are overwhelmingly left-wing and they are the ones who give/gave us nonstop coverage of T.O. and Rodman while giving short-shrift to guys like Warrick Dunn or Avery Johnson. Go ask Rush Limbaugh if the sports media is biased against blacks with cornrows or is rather left-wing in its mentality.

The press has criticized Iverson in the past for some things that were much deserved: sitting out practices, selfish play, adolescent behavior, allegations of beating up his wife, f-bombs thrown at his coach, etc. The Sixers have gone thru several coaches recently, and that's not an accident. I think race is a small, if any, factor. Goodness, it's the NBA, chances are anyone who will be criticized will be black....hello! You know, it's okay to point out ACTIONS that are bad done by black folks & not be a racist just as it's possible to say something negative about a dentist without being an anti-dentite. :)

Most of the criticism that Iverson has gotten has been warranted. Remember, he's the guy who started a brawl at a bowling alley while in high school & hit a woman with a chair and then claimed racism when he was arrested (oh, yeah, everyone else was lying and HE was the one telling the truth....uh-huh). And it doesn't mean someone's a racist to remind folks of his long-term behavior, either.

Posted by: RW at December 20, 2006 9:05 PM

OK, I'm back again. Crank said he didn't have the time to check out Iverson's teams statistically so I'll do it for him. All numbers courtesy of basketball-reference.com. Iverson's teams are pretty unique. It is incredibly rare to see one guy carry so much of the offensive load. The first thing is that until last year, his teams were always better on defense than on offense. I think this is just a result of having one guy carrying pretty much the entire load on offense while everyone else on that team is there mainly for defense. Also, Larry Brown has always been a much better defensive coach than an offensive one.

On offense, Iverson's teams have been average or worse. 2 of their 3 best years were 2001 and 2006 when Iverson had his two best offensive years. Their worst year was 2004 when Iverson was injured and/or not at his best. Given the sheer amount of the load AI carries, it makes sense that the offense goes as he goes. The one outlier was 2003 when Iverson had a mediocre season (by his standards) but the offense was good (11th out of 29). This was due to one year rental Keith Van Horn and a career year from Eric Snow.

Until recently (2005 and 2006) the best aspects of the 76ers offense has been offensive rebounding and the ability to get to the free throw line (the rebounding has gone down the last couple of years). The free throws can be directly attributed to Iverson, the rebounds probably can not. However some people have theorised that Iverson's proclivity for driving the lane and drawing help defenders gives his teammates easier opportunities for rebounds. Can't prove this though.

So, you might say, if Iverson is driving this offense and the offense has generally been pretty bad, this must mean Iverson is not a great offensive player. Wrong. As Dean Oliver points out in Basketball on Paper (a must read for any statistically inclined hoops fan) the 76ers have been a much, much better offense with Iverson on the court than without him. Even with Iverson taking "bad shots" and making "bad decisions". The most significant differences have been free throw attempts and taking and making more 3 pointers. Iverson himself is a bad shooter, but this indicates that he has an ability to draw a crowd and hit open shooters.

According to individual statistical metrics his PER (John Hollinger's pet stat) has him in the top 10 three times, never higher than 7th, while Win Shares has his best year in 2001 (his bogus MVP year) in 7th place. Very very good, not great, basically.

Posted by: Duff Soviet Union at December 20, 2006 9:37 PM

"Billy King should be fired. JCombs, it is simply impossibe to say that Andre Miller is better than Allen Iverson. And I'm a Miller fan.

Wow that was long and kind of rambling. Sorry about that."

First of all, Billy King should not be fired. He unloaded a bad contract given to Iverson and, in return, received equal talent and two draft picks in what promises to be one of the deepest drafts ever.

It is fallacy to think that with fewer shot attempts, a player's FG% will increase. Statistics like this are largely consistent over time - meaning that the 'efficiency improvement' claimed by a majority of posters here, just does not exist. Iverson on the Nuggets will likely result in lowered scoring averages for JR Smith, Anthony, and Iverson himself. However, there will be no marked improvement in FG%.

Posted by: jcombs at December 21, 2006 2:12 AM

OK, I said I wouldn't argue about the racism inherent in the coverage of Allen Iverson and the NBA in general, but I lied. First of all my previous comments were probably a little strident and sweeping. Sorry about that. It is just that in the aftermath of the "brawl" on Saturday night, I have seen a lot of racially questionable comments and am starting to get very annoyed by them all.

First of all as many, including Simmons, have pointed out, this thing has been blown out of all proportion. Whenever this kind of thing happens in whiter sports like baseball and hockey, we get coverage along the lines of "ha ha those wacky baseball players. Oh well, it's part of the game" while in the very black NBA we get articles (all of which reference the incident in Detroit) like "another black eye for the NBA", "this should spark a discussion about the sociology of the NBA" , "the terms "NBA" and "thuggery" have become inextricably linked in the minds of basketball fans the world over" and "NBAers are showing up to speak at schools looking like recruitment officers for the Bloods and Crips". And yes, these are real quotes by real sports columnists.

I'm not saying that you can't criticise the parties involved in the brief scuffle. By all means make fun of Nate Robinson and his Napoleon complex. Make fun of Carmelo "slap and run" Anthony. Criticise Isiah Thomas and his weak bluster. But the criticism goes way past that. The feeling I get is that a certain, not insubstantial, segment of the population are just waiting for something like this (or the Malice at the Palace or the US team only winning Bronze medals at the Olympics) as a chance to wag their fingers and tut tut about all the wrongs of black, um "hip hop" culture and the overpaid niggers, whoops I mean "thugs" who play the game. It's BS and I see right through it and the always pathetic "no no, it's not about race. How could you even think that? It's about..." justifications people use when they actually get called on this nonsense. I am a 25 year old upper class white guy. I don't have much love for hip hop music. But I understand that listening to it doesn't automatically make one a "thug" just like I'm not up in the mountains leading Marxist guerillas because I listen to Rage Against the Machine and read Noam Chomsky.

What's this got to do with Allen Iverson you ask? Well, as the obvious sporting symbol of "hip hop"/"thug" culture, much of the commentary directed towards him has the very same thinly veiled racist overtones I noted above. I'm not saying the guys a saint, I'm not saying he's never done anything wrong, and I'm certainly not saying he should be exempt from criticism becuase he's a black guy with tatts and cornrows. I'm just saying that any criticism should be directed at him personally and please leave the stereotypes and social commentary at home. Peace.

PS, R.W, your point about how reporters sensationalise guys like TO and Rodman while ignoring good guys and deeds is an accurate one, and something I have often pointed out myself. I really don't see how that helps your case though. It just proves that the media love to exaggerate negative images of (usually black) athletes at the expense of positive ones. Also, the opinion of a proven bigot like Rush Limbaugh means nothing to me.

Posted by: Duff Soviet Union at December 21, 2006 7:28 AM

Crank said:
"It's a little unfair to just say "brash young black men with tatoos and cornrows" without adding the crucial fact that most people's first introduction to Iverson was that chair-throwing melee in the bowling alley. We can't know how different his reputation would be if Iverson arrived in the league without a rap sheet for a violent crime."

He was, to be fair, only 17 at the time, and his conviction was overturned.
And it wasn't people's first introduction to him. No one would have ever heard about it if they hadn't heard of him as a basketball player first. This was well before he was on the Hoyas.

Posted by: Topher at December 21, 2006 9:48 AM

Topher, I know we had heard his name before then - I had - but to most people outside of really hard-core college/HS hoops junkies he was no more than a name and another set of statistics. I learned all about that brawl before I ever saw the tattoos and the cornrows, and I'm sure a lot of sportswriters did too. It's not surprising that that story colored (no pun intended) how people interpreted Iverson's behavior since then.

Posted by: The Crank at December 21, 2006 10:13 AM

I really don't see how that helps your case though. It just proves that the media love to exaggerate negative images of (usually black) athletes at the expense of positive ones.

Nah, it's rare that the folks doing the sensationalizing (namely, ESPN) rarely criticize anything that those guys do. Rodman was overhyped on ESPN & elsewhere and was rarely called on his obnoxious actions that hurt his team....instead, we had images of "wormy" working hard, hustling and drawing charges from the opposition because "he got in their heads". They loved the guy.

Also, the opinion of a proven bigot like Rush Limbaugh means nothing to me.

The sports media drove him to be fired from ESPN because of his commentary about McNabb by way of claiming that they were racist (they were wrong, but no way were they racist), which buttresses my notion that the sports media loves guys like Iverson....they hate the straight-and-narrow types because they don't give them a 'story'.

And it wasn't people's first introduction to him. No one would have ever heard about it if they hadn't heard of him as a basketball player first. This was well before he was on the Hoyas.

There was a HUGE story about it in Sports Illustrated (where I saw it). Sports fans knew about it, just as they knew the predictable "but they only went after him because he's black" excuses, which Doug Wilder used as part of the rationale when granting the pardon.

Posted by: RW at December 21, 2006 11:11 AM

buttresses my notion that the sports media loves guys like Iverson....they hate the straight-and-narrow types because they don't give them a 'story'.

Yes, because I never hear about white "upstanding" athletes like Peyton Manning (the guy who has never won anything). If you want to kid yourself that the sports media prefers black athletes to white, feel free. I'm not sure how you could back that up though.

Secondly, according to wiki, Iverson's conviction was overturned by the VA court of appeals.

Posted by: topher at December 21, 2006 5:14 PM

You know this is not a good trade because Billy King was part of it. He has never made a good move as GM so this sure as hell was not going to be the first. Miller is 30 so not much younger than Iverson, has been shopped around for at least as long as Anthony has been a Nugget, will make over $10 million/year for 3 years and possesses none of the things Iverson brings to the court. On top of that they got draft picks which Billy King repeatedly turns into either slop or very little. The expiring contract? So what? Not like King knows what to do with that (Kenny Thomas for $50 million +?) and what star player is going to want to come play for a franchise that may not win 20 games for a couple of years to come?

On the other hand there is no guarantee that Iverson and Melo co-exist. Both want the ball. Melo is suddenly the second coming of Bernard King and I don't know if he sees himself as anything even close to not being the man. Until his suspension I believe he led Denver in scoring every game but 1 this year. I think Iverson might be more willing to defer his game but with Melo gone for 15 games he might have a hard time backing down when he comes back. I would say Denver got the better end of the deal if only because I would pay to watch them play and almost no one would say that about Philly at this moment.

Posted by: jim at December 22, 2006 3:14 PM

Yes, because I never hear about white "upstanding" athletes like Peyton Manning (the guy who has never won anything).

A few MVP trophies would argue against that notion, but it's quite a stretch to take my saying that the sports media loves the controversial figures to then conflate with the notion that I'm saying that Peyton Manning is underreported. You can put down the strawman, now.

If you want to kid yourself that the sports media prefers black athletes to white, feel free. I'm not sure how you could back that up though.

Another strawman. I stated 'straight-and-narrow' and you conflated THAT with "white". Maybe some introspection is in order, I dunno, but either that or a quick reread of what I actually typed would do a world of good. I contend that the press loved Rodman/T.O/Iverson and their antics because it gave them a story.

Their color doesn't matter to me. Apparently, color matters to some, though.

Secondly, according to wiki, Iverson's conviction was overturned by the VA court of appeals.

Read up some more.....you'll see something that happened before that. Hint: Douglas Wilder. Hint #2: I already gave the answer.

Posted by: RW at December 22, 2006 4:14 PM

I realize it is only 3 games but he is averaging 31.3 ppg, 11.0 apg, 2.0 spg while shooting .530 and the Nuggets are 2-1 in that time (he is averaging nearly 6 turnovers as well). Miller is 16 ppg, 7 apg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 spg and 3.0 turnovers. Seems like they are both fitting in well. We'll see what happens when Melo gets back.

Posted by: jim at December 29, 2006 2:59 PM

Actually Miller is only 11 ppg and 7.7 apg and 4.8 rpg and 2.3 turnovers. He is shooting .448.

Posted by: jim at December 29, 2006 3:02 PM
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