The Way Up Is Down

By Ryan McNeill

There are some life lessons that only come with age and experience, one of those is “the way up is down.”

Allen Iverson is one of the few players in the NBA that grasps this concept.

Far too often players come into the League with a me-first mentality – whether that means shooting first and passing second, worrying about individual accolades or getting a maximum contract.

It’s not too often that younger members of our society grasp the concept of putting others first so that we can advance ourselves. In basketball every great team needs a great floor general. Someone’s who’s willing to sacrifice some of their personal glory so that the team can flourish. Someone willing to make the extra pass so that a teammate can get the easy deuce. Someone who’s not worried about seeing their name in flashing lights as long as their team gets the W.

Need proof? You only need to look as far as the Phoenix Suns resurrection two years ago thanks to the gutsy play of Steve Nash. Before Nash arrived in Phoenix the Suns offense has sputtered like a 1992 Topaz. Nash epitomizes the kind of selfless play that any great team needs from the point guard position.

Allen Iverson is slowing becoming that kind of player of selfless leader.

With the addition of Chris Webber two seasons ago Philadelphia finally provided Iverson with the kind player who can draw double teams away from him while banging down low in the paint. While Webber will never be referred to as a warrior in the post, he does posses a well-rounded game that compliments Iverson’s well and the two should mesh well. Then in Webber’s first game in Philly Iverson went out and dished out a season-high 14 dimes. Unfortunately this wasn’t a sign to come as last season the tandem had a hard time finding their chemistry. After playing together for a full season last year this tandem should be able to build upon the chemistry which started to form last season. This year Iverson will have the benefit of three teammates in Webber, Kyle Korver and Andre Igoudala that can finish. Who has he had to pass to in recent years? Glenn Robinson? Aaron McKie? Kenny Thomas? Please, what kind of athlete would hold tons of faith in names like that?

Now that Iverson has had a year to get used to playing with Webber, Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver look for his assists to continue climb.

76ers fans are hoping that the team’s win total will climb this year as well.

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2 thoughts on “The Way Up Is Down

  1. Regarding AI’s assists going up this year, it appears that Kevin Ollie will be running the point. AI looks to go back to the 2 spot.

    Of course, Ollie might not be competent in doing that so AI could still see a lot of ballhandling but im still not banking on his assists going up

  2. I think AI will play the point because Philly doesn’t have anyone else who who has a strong enough passing ability on their roster. Even since Eric Snow left two seasons ago Iverson has nearly doubled his closest teammate in assists per game.

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