As we take you into the weekend with around-the-clock Iverson trade-watch coverage, we must point you to a very important piece on Slate.com, about Iverson's self-contradiction, written one of our very own, Nathaniel Friedman. At this point, I am hoping the whole saga ends as soon as possible. Just as Ron Artest paralyzed the league last year, Iverson is having the same effect. Perhaps this is where basketball, as dominated by the individual, is at its worst. Stern is seen as powerless to players' demands, Philly fans suffer either way. Billy King is revealed as a moron, other GM's are as well for not being able to get a deal done. Webber is again a goat. Larry Brown and Chris Ford's names get dug out from the trash.

Yet, the situation also shows the power of a single figurehead--A.I. is bigger than the NBA.

In other news, we feel it our duty to alert you to the recent whereabouts of one of our elusive O.G. hoops-blog brethren. A.K.A. SEARCHING FOR CHAUNCEY BILLUPS. That's right, we have stumbled upon a new realm of Chauncey's amazing blog-talents, which can be viewed in all its genius, here. As the blog exists with no links to or from it, we are not sure if we are fulfilling his wishes by sending the link out, but as Chauncey was a godfather to our whole steez and an inspiration to many of our readers, we felt such a move was necessary. Eight steps deeper into the Freedarko psyche: After a three-year lapse in communication, it was in the comments section of Chauncey's blog that Bethlehem Shoals and I reconnected, sparking a collaboration that has continued on a crooked and landmine-ridden path.

Finally, with all the hype about this whole Heizman dance business, I would like to present the first installment in "Freedarko imitates art imitates life." As you can see, the entire Heizman Dance phenomenon was prognosticated by the famous Dr. LIC vs. Noixe debates in the comments section of this post. To quote Noixe (aka Noixetradamus):

i meant because there's no context. they would look stupid shooting air fadeaways if it weren't for capo. if he did a track called "desmond howard" everyone would be doin this. [youtube video of desmond howard doing the heisman pose]


At 12/15/2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabe Said is bottle rocket all the way.

At 12/15/2006 4:48 PM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

That Slate piece makes no sense to me, and the idea that it came from FreeDarko seems impossible. OK, so AI dominates the ball, he's failed to achieve chemistry with "above average" players like a geriatric Webber (??) and Keith Van Horn (???), etc. Whereas dudes like KG put their team first. I mean, I love KG, but it's almost enough to make you forget which one of them actually made the NBA finals.

At 12/15/2006 4:58 PM, Anonymous megapickles said...

When does the existentialist highstepper become part of our dancefloor lexicon?

This moment of NBA finals history always sticks out as I recall Tyron Lue was dressing up as AI in practice to help the Lakers 'get familiar'; complete with elbow brace and hairstyle.

AI walks over his own shadow.

At 12/15/2006 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too questioned that portion of the Slate piece. Matt Harpring? (Nice player and all, but...) I mean if Andre Igoudala (another nice player, but...) counts as one of your top five ever teammates after 10 years, something is wrong.

I mean for all the talk of AI suppressing people's talents, the list of people who left Philly and then blew up starts and ends with Larry Hughes, who is in another valley after peaking alongside Gil.

At 12/15/2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people are ignoring that people have had problems mixing with Vanhorn, Stackhouse, and Iggy isn't a proven scorer. I don't think you can blame AI for guys who haven't really been successful anywhere else.
If you look at C-Webb, he's a stats player who can still put up 20/10 if given PT, but his days as a major factor are pretty much over.
AI's career is probably going to be defined in the next 2-3 years. If he wins a chip then he's a great player trapped on an incompetent team for too long. If he doesn't he's a gunner with 4 scoring titles.

At 12/15/2006 11:31 PM, Anonymous torgo said...

The comments on Slate are pretty fucking harsh. It's interesting, here you've got a lot of people here to read what you've got to say (the comment about former gifted students says a lot about this place), people who might not agree, but are willing to listen. Then you jump to a general interest site like Slate (with a long tradition of highly opinionated commenters) and the willingness to hear someone out kind of disappears.
To be honest, I was kind of surprised that it was an FD writer writing it too. Lauding Duncan and KG for being team players, and such (isn't Duncan anti FD? I can never figure it out).
With AI, it just looks like he doesn't know how to work with people who aren't as good as he is. Who hasn't had to work with someone who was incompetent? Or at the very least, someone whose work, compared to what you could do, was crap? At some point, it's natural to say, "hey, let me do it, so I won't have to come in later to fix your fuckup". And I think that's where his problems come from. He gets frustrated watching Hughes, Stack, Iggy, or anyone else drive to the basket, because he thinks he can do it better. Look at the run to the finals, and those guys he had around him, they knew their roles, and the played them well.
Look at their roster, how else would George Lynch or Tyrone Hill be starters? They were there to catch AI's misses and funnel them back to him. That's two guys in the starting line up who, aside from playing with AI, did what?
Yeah, it's a failure on his part to "play well with others", but I have to agree, when you're listing Harpring, Van Horn, and the young Stack, and the rookie Hughes (who was known for being a crappy shooter, yet was a SG?) as the best players he's had around him, at some point, not all of this is on his head.

At 12/15/2006 11:46 PM, Blogger hans q. bungle said...

I thought the Slate piece was mostly spot-on. There are reasons Iverson's game has developed the way it has, and the biggest one is probably lack of quality talent around him. But whatever the reasons, he has evolved into a player whose net value to a team's overall success is very hard to measure.

At 12/16/2006 1:39 AM, Anonymous pyrex chapman said...

the sixers would have plentiful championship drapery hanging from the arena ceiling if only iverson could have been better at molding the fourth and fifth options on last year's dallas team into legitimate second stars. considering webber's numbers didn't drop at all when he went from sacramento to philly, i think all the talk of iverson not being able to work with another star is pure and utter horseshit. there's going to be a lot of ^^^ please copped and crow potpies to go around when he lands with a franchise that isn't he organizational personification of ineptitude. all wrong opinions aside, i feel bad for people who trump up his faults instead of being able to bask in his unique greatness. on the basis of phyisical gifts alone, he and shaq are the only two completely unguardable players we've witnessed in our lifetimes.

At 12/16/2006 12:28 PM, Anonymous Scooter Blanks said...

Is it worth the experiment to transpose Iverson out of the frame of generational poster-boy, and into the league's glory days when everybody knew your first name? What would it have been like had he been known as "Allen" instead of the wistful "Answer" or messianic "Iverson," child of the league's late 90s winter? Thought that the post (on YouTube?) about the existentialist highstepper was dead on: with that crossover and stepover, Iverson tries to shake off his own image, as Lue had dressed up like him for the Lakers' practices. Having done so, he stalks off disgusted, as no one will recognize it. Al's shackled to the word-image Iverson he defined for use in a language he cares not to speak. This does not propose an answer to the unanswerable debates about his significance or likely trajectory. Just a question: would he have always been the player people take him to be?

At 12/17/2006 12:27 AM, Anonymous megapickles said...

Allen or Bubbachuck.

At 2/13/2012 11:07 PM, Blogger m11.in said...

nice and impressive blog.


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