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Allen Iverson: Joe Dumars “basically destroyed my NBA career”

If you’re at all interested in Allen Iverson, you must read Robert Huber’s exceptional piece in Philadelphia magazine. If you’re interested in only the Pistons, here’s the relevant passage:

The problem, Iverson says, was that he was lied to by rookie coach Michael Curry, who told him he’d never ask him to come off the bench. Then, not even a week later, he was no longer a starter. He was a role player. He was ordinary. And from the time he was an infant, from the time his mother Ann saw his arms and hands and knew what he was going to be, Iverson had never been ordinary.

It was the moment almost all pro athletes, especially big-time pro athletes, can’t come to grips with when it hits: Their bodies are winding down. To Iverson, a tiny man in a big man’s world, his game built not just on speed but on a survivor’s arrogance that he must be the very best — this was not something he’d stomach.

I can feel it now, talking to him, his pain and arrogance both: Still in his practice uniform, he pulls his sweatband over his eyes, cradles his head in his hands. This moment for him came on so fast.

What was Iverson without his athletic superiority? He sulked and fought with Curry. The Detroit Free Press blogged that he was banned from two Detroit casinos for throwing chips at dealers and spitting at them and even trying to cheat. (The casinos, ever concerned about PR, deny that he was banned, and the Free Press took down the blog post, but the reporter who broke the story says now that he was privy to at least 15 people regaling him with stories of Iverson drunk and unbearable in casinos.) Iverson believes no NBA team wants him for a simple reason: Detroit general manager Joe Dumars put the word out that he was too much trouble. “I think that situation basically destroyed my NBA career,” he says. “I honestly believe that.”

To clarify, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News, not the Free Press, reported Iverson had been banned from two Detroit Casinos.

14 Comments

  • Jan 13, 20113:35 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    I’m still mad at McCosky for that. Also, remember when he always in his NBA columns, referred to the “Nuggets” as the “Thuggets?” Hate that dude.

  • Jan 13, 20114:06 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i’m of two minds on this. on one hand, it’s a pistons blog, and this huber article is new, so there’s that… on the other hand, “dumars ruined my career” is old news, and no sane, rational person would believe it. dumars coveted iverson; iverson’s play for the pistons spoke for itself; everybody suffered from that trade (except the nuggets, of course); and, most importantly, iverson had TWO (2) more chances in this league before everyone gave up on him… this story needs to die.
     
    if the headline focused on huber’s article, rather than iverson’s same old “woe is me” story, i wouldn’t complain. but that guy’s got mental problems and there’s no reason for anyone to take his opinions seriously.

  • Jan 13, 20114:30 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Laser, Iverson only joined Memphis and Philadelphia because those were the only teams that would take a chance on him. Neither were good situations for Iverson, and if he had other NBA options, he probably would have taken them.

    Do you not believe Dumars told other teams about Iverson’s problems in Detroit? Do you not believe that persuaded other teams to pass on Iverson?

    That doesn’t make Dumars wrong, but Iverson’s assessment is probably correct. Iverson’s implied feeling of being shortchanged? Probably not accurate.

    Dumars probably ruined Walter Sharpe’s career by trading him from the one team that had any interest in him. That doesn’t mean Dumars deserves scorn for that. Sharpe wasn’t worth the trouble. Same as Iverson.

  • Jan 13, 20114:50 pm
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    Like Joe Dumars needed to tell anyone with eyes that AI was too much trouble.

  • Jan 13, 20116:27 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    What about the flip-side Iverson?  Here is my exclusive interview with Dumars about the Iverson-Billups trade:
    “Sure it was a gamble. But you have to remember that Iverson was a perennial all star and former scoring champ.  Besides, if we couldn’t keep him, we just made a huge salary dump at season’s end. But for him to come into our organization and do that?!  I know all the stories about Iverson’s attitude, but his actual toxicity is hard to truly understand until he “infects” your locker room. And he expects to be anointed an unquestioned starter?  That guy ruined my rep, man!”
    Ok, so I embellished, but you get the point. Iverson so easily casts himself as the victim.

  • Jan 13, 20118:17 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    maybe it was losing a step and refusing to adjust his game that cost Iverson, not Joe Dumars.

    Every NBA player has to come to terms with his athletic mortality. Iverson’s case was just uglier than usual.

  • Jan 13, 20118:42 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I am hearing rumors over here in Australia that Iverson is looking to play in the Australian League next year. Unfortunately he is looking at signing with my team the Sydney Kings. At least you guys had to only put up with him for 1/2 a season. I might have to see his decline first hand in a league he should dominate.

  • Jan 13, 20118:52 pm
    by LEVI

    Reply

    ACCORDING TO ESPN’S NBA TRADE MACHINE A TRADE  OF TAYSHAUN PRINCE AND RICHARD HAMILTON FOR CARMELO ANTHONY AND J.R. SMITH WOULD WORK OUT AS FAR AS SALARIES GO. CONSIDERING THAT THE PISTONS COULD PACKAGE A PRETTY DECENT 2011 FRIST ROUND PICK WITH HAMILTON AND PRINCE, AND MELO AND SMITH ARE SCHEDULED TO BE FREE AGENTS THIS SUMMER, AND THAT THE NUGGETS, AS FAR AS I KNOW, ARE NOT EXPECTED TO RETAIN EITHER PLAYER FOR THE 2011-2012 SEASON, AND THE PAST SUCCESS OF THE BILLUPS, HAMILTON, PRINCE TRIO, AND THAT EVEN IF THE GUYS CANNOT RECAPTURE THIER SUCCESS PRINCE WILL BE A FREE AGENT AND BILLUPS CAN OPT OUT OF HIS CONTRACT LEAVING THE NUGGETS COMMITTED TO PAY ANY KIND OF SERIOUS MONEY TO ONLY TO HAMILTON, NENE AND AL HARRINGTON FOR NEXT SEASON I THINK THIS COULD POSSIBLY BE A GOOD TRADE FOR BOTH TEAMS TO CONSIDER. ANY THOUGHTS??

  • Jan 13, 20119:30 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Levi:

    Step away from the trade machine, friend.

    Denver’s owner has mandated that the team cut costs in any Melo trade. In fact, that’s why the trade has almost fell apart a couple of times, because Denver wants NJ to take the contracts of Al Harrington and Renaldo Balkman back as well. No way they’d be interested in Hamilton’s deal. If they deal Melo, they will go into full-scale rebuilding mode. They wouldn’t be interested in a Pistons wing reunion, especially since their starting shooting guard, Arron Afflalo, is better and cheaper than Hamilton right now anyway.

  • Jan 13, 20119:33 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    @LEVI
    Yeah, that’s some good s*#t you’re smokin’  Denver doesn’t want our junk pile and Carmelo won’t want to come to Detroit.

  • Jan 14, 20113:28 am
    by travis

    Reply

    Well Iverson can rest well knowing that the trade also ruined the Pistons as well.  At the time of the trade I would listen to all the sports talk shows, radio shows and other pistons fans.  And they all said we have to make a trade, blow up the roster.  And I was always wonder why?  We were consistently winning 55+ games a year, deep playoff runs and they had respect.  And with all that we have to blow the team up?  “We need to get young though.”  we were young, we had stuckey and afflallo off the bench, Maxiel, and probably could have got jerebko anyways.  Young and we had veterans that could get it done.  Look at the spurs, they didn’t need to get younger by blowing up their team.  The draft, and free agency and they are consistently good.
    “I’m so sick of the pistons not playing until they are backed into a corner and then comeback.”  OH YEAH THAT WAS SO BAD, HOW BOUT NOW? WOULD EVERY LOVE TO HAVE THOSE EXCITING SERIES AND GAMES BACK?  OR WOULD THEY RATHER JUST BE BLOWN OUT GAME AFTER GAME? AND A ROSTER SO F-ED UP THAT WE HAVE BEN GORDON AS THE FUTURE(A GUY WHO CAN’T DRIBBLE, DEFEND, PASS, TOO SHORT TO PLAY SHOOTING GUARD AND TOO DUMB TO PLAY POINT AND CAN’T EVEN SHOOT THESE DAYS CONSISTENTLY)   Iverson can shut up, he has enough money and he ruined his own career by not being a team player, he could have gone up to the spurs and said I’ll come off the bench and I’ll play my heart out every game, I want to win.  Piston fans have it worse than Late night pre game gambling A.I.

  • Jan 14, 20113:34 am
    by travis

    Reply

    I think JJ redick is a better player than Gordon.  Would trade for him in a second.

  • Aug 7, 201111:31 am
    by GL

    Reply

    u dumb piece of shit bags.. u don no wat iverson can do its the fuckin fault of joe the fucking dumars dat allen lost his career….. i dare all u fuckin piston lovers find a person like him for the nba den u speak…… i had respect for dis team cuz i tot the coach was great but now he lost it…. and i pray 2 GOD dat this FUCKIN team always get its assfucked

  • Aug 7, 201111:32 am
    by GL

    Reply

    u dumb piece of piston loving  shit bags.. u don no wat iverson can do its the fuckin fault of joe the fucking dumars dat allen lost his career….. i dare all u fuckin piston lovers find a person like him for the nba den u speak…… i had respect for dis team cuz i tot the coach was great but now he lost it…. and i pray 2 GOD dat this FUCKIN team always get its assfucked

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