Allen Iverson is one of the best players I’ve ever seen. He’s a former number one pick, 2000-01 NBA MVP, he single-handedly led a Sixers team that had no business being even a playoff team to the NBA Finals and actually stole a game from the dominant Shaq-Kobe led Lakers. He’s a warrior, he gives it his all every day, and when all is said and done, will be one of the 50 best players in NBA history.
I don’t want the Miami Heat to sign him though.
The prevalent rumor going around town is that Iverson is the Heat’s big free agent target this year. In an effort to keep Dwyane Wade beyond this season, the Heat wants to make a big splash and be a contender. Wade in fact is the one spear-heading the Iverson to Miami talks, and is begging Riley to make a move and sign the ten time all-star.
On paper, the heat signing Iverson is great, but basketball games aren’t played on paper, they’re played on the court, and that’s where Iverson could be a problem. I have no doubt that he still has game despite being 34 (only five years younger than Coach Erick Spolestra) but Iverson has always been somewhat of a ball-hog. He’s not a natural point guard, he’s a 2. Wade is a 2. Obviously they’re not going to put Wade on the bench, which means Chalmers will lose minutes. While I wouldn’t have a problem with Chalmers losing some minutes so that he wouldn’t have as much pressure to develop into the point guard we know he could be Iverson wouldn’t be the right guy for him to lose minutes to. (I’d much rather the Heat had decided to keep J-Will last season.)
The other key question is, how much will this cost? I’m sure Iverson won’t sign for super star bucks. While his name is still a star name, and he is a future hall of famer (yes, he is, I don’t care what you say, he’s headed to Springfield five years after he retires, ring or no ring), Iverson still would cost more than he’s worth. Now the deal the heat are preparing to offer him isn’t one that will screw them up for next year’s plans to sign Bosh, hell I’m sure it’s probably a one or two year deal at the most. But to me, I don’t see where it would improve the team right now.
Facts are Orlando and Cleveland actually got worse. The moves look like they got better because they got big name players, but they got worse in the sense that they acquired two of the biggest chemistry killers in the NBA. Orlando traded a future swing man who can take pressure off of Dwight Howard in exchange for another shooter who’s past his prime. The Cavs didn’t give up much for Shaq, but I’m telling you, LeBron and Shaq will not work. This leaves Boston, who made a signing that can improve chemistry (Rasheed) as the team to beat in the East. The Heat could’ve improved based off of the development of the youngsters on the team. It would be smarter to wait till 2010 for Chris Bosh because then, they shoot to the top of the east. (LeBron’s not staying in Cleveland, and this is the Celtic’s last real shot) Iverson maybe takes a 43-39 number five seed that loses a first round series in seven games and makes them a 45-37 number five seed that loses a second round series in five games. That’s not much of an improvement there, and not a move to the upper echelon of the NBA.
Best thing to wait. The Iverson signing will only bring a name and sedate Wade, but it won’t improve the team like he hopes it will. It won’t make the team better, and could make it worse. They’ll be fine without Iverson for this year, and Wade has to be convinced with that because, for some reason he doesn’t see it. So to Pat Riley, go with your gut, don’t sign Iverson, wait for Bosh.