The Sixers Are Worse Than I Thought

We are less than 2 weeks away from the start of the NBA Season. Which means we are right in the thick of the most pointless part of any American Sports season; NBA Preseason. It means nothing.  Preseason only serves two purposes; to figure out how much weight Raymond Felton has gained over the summer and for Rookies to start to make connections in cities they will be visiting throughout the season. That's it.

But occasionally, teams do play games. And one such game took place today. My beloved Charlotte Bobcats played the Philadelphia 76ers.  It was the epitome of preseason basketball. Sloppy. Uninteresting to anyone but die hard Basketball dorks (like me). And it was also a little deceiving. The Bobcats beat the Sixers 110-84 and when I tell you it wasn't even that close, I'm not exaggerating. The Bobcats aren't nearly as dominant as they appeared in this game. The Sixers played no defense. And what defense they did play, was terrible.

Which brings me to the thought I posed in the title.  The Sixers are really really bad. Like...really bad. No seriously. They are really bad. It's not a matter of getting blown out in one preseason game. It's a matter of how they looked. 23 turnovers. Lack of hustle back on defense.  The ease at which the Bobcats were able to move the ball around.  Those things do not bode well for a team that lacks any talent coming to the rescue.

Now, they will improve. They were without 3 starters. The Good news: they were without Even Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes. The Bad news: Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes are their 3 best players. Reread that sentence a couple times. Let it sink in.  Yeah, it's gonna be a long winter in the city of Philadelphia. 

But hey, cheer up Sixers fans.  The season will likely go by fast and you will have the best odds to land Andrew Wiggins.  Yes, you will.  And you will also likely have a lottery pick from New Orleans you got in the Jrue Holiday Trade. In the mean time, you can cry on my shoulder. As the fan of a historically bad team myself, trust me, I feel your pain.

A Farewell to Allen Iverson

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This week it was announced that Allen Iverson will officially announce his retirement from the NBA. Now, anyone who follows the NBA knows that Allen has essentially been retired since 2009. It seems the only person who didn't know that Allen's career was over was Allen. However insignificant this is to actual basketball on the court, this announcement is significant in the realm of NBA history.

Say what you want about Allen Iverson. And believe me, there is a lot that can be said.  One thing is for certain; the guy changed the NBA. For good or for bad can be debated. But what can't be debated is on the court he was one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. Few players had the combination of quickness and court awareness that Allen Iverson had. His ability to cross over a defender, get to the paint and knock home a tough shot while getting fouled is unparalleled. 

In 2001, he carried a Philadelphia 76ers team to the Finals that had absolutely no business in the Finals.  5 years later, Allen's tenure with the 76ers ended and after a few decent seasons in Denver, his career essentially ended. Unceremoniously. No fanfare.  And no one even seemed to care. A really sad ending to a great career.

But Allen has done himself no favors. It's hard for people to sympathize with a guy who has had so many controversies over his career. He was always a me-first, shoot first player who carried himself with an arrogance that turned many people off and endeared him to others. He wasn't afraid of any challenge but could never truly overcome all of his past demons. 

It's because of all his talent and potential that makes the story of Allen Iverson's career so disappointing. All of his off the court problems prevented Allen from becoming one of the greatest players to ever play the game. As it stands, he was really good.  A hall of famer? Without question. He'll always be The Answer. But his ceiling was so much higher. And that he never reached it will only leave us with questions.